Submitted by Grenville Phillips II
Today, I thought it useful to examine Jesus’ parable:
“Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way.
“But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’
“The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’ But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.” (Matthew 13:24-30)
What does this mean? We can speculate and introduce unnecessary complexity. However, it is better to let Jesus, who gave the parable, explain its meaning Himself.
“Then Jesus sent the multitude away and went into the house. And His disciples came to Him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field.”
“He answered and said to them: “He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one. The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels.
“Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age. The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
“Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” (Matt 13:36-43)
When we allow the Bible to explain itself, it can make a lot of sense. The obvious question is, how do we know the tares from the righteous? Jesus also provided an answer.
“Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or else make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for a tree is known by its fruit. Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.
“A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” (Matt 12:33-37)
Given Jesus’ warning, we should be careful of what we say/write, for we will be called to account. The problem for the tares, is that they cannot stop speaking/writing evil things, “for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” Jesus explained this condition.
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.
“A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them.” (Matt 7:15-20)
It is the believer’s duty to examine the words and actions of those who want to be their teachers. Are they kind and helpful, or “ravenous”. Jesus explained the end of the ravenous wolves who pretended to be sheep.
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’” (Matt 7:21-23)
We should all examine ourselves. Are we practising love, kindness, helpfulness, or hate, rudeness and division? We should try to change now, for later may be too late.