THE PARABLE OF THE WHEAT AND THE TARES
Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which 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 blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.
So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?
He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?
But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.
Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.
Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field.
He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man;
The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one;
The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.
As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.
The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;
And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.
In this incredible parable Jesus uses another agricultural picture to speak a spiritual truth. This time the parable is of a field which has good seeds sown into it during the day and at night an enemy sows tares into the same field. Both the wheat and the tares sprout up and when the tares are noticed by the field owner’s servants they ask the field owner how this happened and whether or not the field owner would like for them to pluck out the tares. The owner knows that an enemy has planted the tares but the owner does not want to pluck out the tares just yet. He is concerned that wheat might get plucked out at the same time if the tares are dealt with too early. At the time of harvest the wheat and the tares will be separated. The wheat will be gathered into the owner’s barn and the tares will be gathered into bundles and burned.
This parable is one that Jesus gives the interpretation for. The sower is Jesus, the field is the world, the good seeds are the children of the kingdom, the tares are the children of the wicked one (devil). The enemy is also the devil. The reapers are the angels.
In this awesome scene, at the end of the age, humanity will be gathered up by angels assigned to this work, and divided. Here we are told of two groups, the wheat and the tares, the children of the kingdom and the children of the wicked one. The children of the kingdom are God’s children, born again, believers, and followers of Jesus. The children of the evil one are the devil’s children and their judgment is to be cast into the furnace of fire.
This furnace of fire can be interpreted as the lake of fire which the Bible warns us of in Revelation 20:15. In this furnace is wailing and gnashing of teeth. This is a very fearful picture of judgment as God’s divine indignation is unleashed. The chambers of God’s judgment are awful places for any soul to end up. This is a place of wailing. People will be shocked on their arrival in such a place. It will be like resting in a boat and then suddenly going over the edge of a waterfall. Many souls are drifting downstream to such an end. There are souls drifting on their oars not even hearing the rumble of the falls.
Friend, what about you? Are you a son of the kingdom or a son of the evil one? Are you a daughter of the kingdom or a daughter of the evil one? Your eternal destiny depends on whose son or daughter you are. I am not talking about natural lineage. I am talking about spiritual lineage. You are either a child of God or a child of the devil. We are racing on to the day of judgment. When we look back over our lives we will see that sin yielded very little pleasure and a lot of heartache. However, a life lived for God and His kingdom yields joy everlasting.
Who would choose God’s wrath over His mercy? Men fear the wrath of other men but how much worse is the wrath of God. He has a furnace for the tares. No amount of self-righteousness will acquit us on the day of harvest/judgment. Only the righteousness of Jesus Christ imputed to us will give us acceptance with God on that day. He is an impartial judge. There is forgiveness, pardon, grace and mercy for those who will turn to God and put faith in Jesus Christ. Jesus died for your sins and mine, in our place so that we could be pardoned. Then He rose from the dead. By believing in what He has done for us and by turning our lives over to Him, committing to follow Him, we can be forgiven and made a child of the kingdom. Friend, there is mercy for you but you must choose it. Choose mercy while mercy’s terms have not expired. Come to the cross of Jesus Christ. At the cross of Christ, God meets man. On God’s side of the cross, the work of redemption is done. Jesus paid the price by dieing for us and no other sacrifice is needed to redeem man. On man’s side of the cross the choice to repent and believe is for many still there. Make the choice today. Do not let death cut you down, or the harvesting angels cut you down without first settling this matter. Jesus has thrown you the rope of salvation. All you have to do is grab hold of it. To do so you must let go of indifference, unbelief, self-rule. If these things are in your hands then your hands are not free to grab the rope of salvation. Let go of what you are holding and grab on to Jesus and His salvation.
Friend, if you don’t know the Lord’s salvation in your own life, pray to Him now. Pray in your own words a prayer, perhaps something like this.
Jesus Christ, as I look at my heart and life it looks like it is growing into the shape of a tare. I do not want this to be. I need You. If it was up to the angels they would have plucked me out of the field by now, but You have told them to wait until the end of the age. It is this waiting time that I am now living in and I don’t want to waste another minute of it. I don’t want to be thrown into the furnace of fire. Jesus, have mercy on me. You died for my sins and paid the price for me to be pardoned. Then You rose from the dead. This is the truth and I believe it. Forgive me for all of my sins. Make me Your own. I let go of my self-will and self-rule and by faith grab hold of Your rope of salvation. Pull me out of the kingdom of darkness into Your kingdom of light and love. Make me a child of the kingdom. I choose to repent and follow You. Amen.
Scripture taken from the King James Version.