The Wheat and the Tares: Matthew 13:18-23; 13:36-43
“24) Jesus presented another parable to them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25) But while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went away. 26) But when the wheat sprouted and bore grain, then the tares became evident also. 27) The slaves of the landowner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ 28) And he said to them, ‘An enemy has done this!’ The slaves *said to him, ‘Do you want us, then, to go and gather them up?’ 29) But he *said, ‘No; for while you are gathering up the tares, you may uproot the wheat with them. 30) Allow both to grow together until the harvest; and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather up the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them up; but gather the wheat into my barn.” ’ ”” Matthew‬ ‭13‬:‭24‬-‭30‬ ‭NASB1995‬‬
The parable of the tares among the wheat is the second parable that Jesus explained to His disciples. Matthew 13:36-43 is devoted to the explanation. As He left the multitudes and went into the house, His disciples came to Him and requested an explanation. Please stop and read the explanation at this time.
This parable more than any other provides a picture of a biblical world view. Let me highlight a few points from this parable of how the Bible pictures reality.
First, the physical realm and the spiritual realm both exist. They intersect in daily life. Naturalism that denies the existence of the spiritual realm is an inadequate view of reality. It is a perversion of biblical truth.
Second, the spiritual realm consists of a battle between good and evil, right and wrong, God and the devil. Both kingdoms have invisible agents that are active in the world. God has holy angels and the devil has evil spirits. Jesus strongly punctuated this truth in this parable.
Third, there are two kinds of people in the world. The text talks about the sons of the kingdom and the sons of the evil one. (Matthew 13:38) There are wicked and evil people in the world who are bent on spreading pain, misery and suffering. Leave room in your view of reality for human depravity. There are some very evil, violent and sadistic people in the world. They are demonically deceived and driven.
Yet, be careful not to write anyone off. Jesus came to save lost people. The gospel can save people held captive by the evil one and transform them. People can be born-again. The Holy Spirit can change people.
Forth, human history is rushing toward a climax. The end of this age is quickly approaching. It will feature a harvest that will separate the sons of the kingdom from the sons of the evil one. Revelation 14:14-20 also sheds light on this harvest. In both texts, the Son of Man sends out His angels to gather the wicked for judgement.
Fifth, the eternal destiny of sons of the kingdom and the sons of the evil one will be radically different. Both heaven and hell are real places. Read Matthew 13:42-43 very carefully. I encourage you to compare it to Revelation 19-22. This colors in the details. The lake of fire prepared for the devil and his followers is very different from the New Jerusalem God is preparing for the sons of His kingdom. Read and take heed!
Finally, the Bible consistently teaches that the way you respond to Jesus Christ and the gospel seals your eternal destiny. Jesus did not come to judge the world, but to provide the way to bring salvation to lost people. (John 3:16-21)
According to Colossians 1:13-14, when a person puts saving faith in Jesus Christ, they are transferred from the domain of darkness into the kingdom of His beloved Son. John 3:16 teaches that God gave His Son that whoever believes in Him might not perish but have eternal life.
I urge you to turn from your sin and put your faith in Jesus Christ. Jesus taught; “You must be born-again to enter the kingdom of God.” (See John 3:3-8). The simple gospel message is the hope for lost humanity. Receiving Jesus Christ through faith in the gospel is the only way to salvation.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global