READ | Matthew 13:24-43
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.”‘” Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field, which indeed is the least of all the seeds; but when it is grown it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches.” Another parable He spoke to them: “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal till it was all leavened.” All these things Yahushua spoke to the multitude in parables; and without a parable He did not speak to them, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying: [” I will open My mouth in parables;] [ I will utter things kept secret from the foundation of the world.”] Then Yahushua 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! Matthew 13:24-43
The people who weren’t Yahushua’ followers heard Him tell many parables, but they didn’t understand what He was talking about. Yahushua, however, would always explain the parables to His followers later on because they were open to the truth (see Mark 4:34). Aren’t you glad that the Bible records many of Yahushua’ explanations so that His modern-day followers can also understand His parables?
Today we read the parable of the wheat and the tares. Tares are weeds that look very much like wheat, but when the wheat begins to produce grain, the tares produce nothing. From God’s perspective, there are only two categories of people in the earth: “the people of the Kingdom” who are the followers of Yahushua, and “the people who belong to the evil one” who are not followers of Yahushua. Although saved and unsaved people look a lot alike, what differentiates them is their fruit, or lifestyles. True believers in Yahushua act like it, just as true wheat produces grain.
At present, God is allowing both saved and unsaved to live side by side. But that will not always be the case. At the end of the world the two categories will be separated, and the unsaved will be gathered by God’s angels and thrown into hell where there will be “weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 13:42). The godly people, however, will live together forever in God’s kingdom with brand new glorified bodies. Perhaps Yahushua was literally referring to those new bodies when He said we will “shine like the sun” (Matthew 13:43). (And you thought you were a bright kid now!)
Two other parables we read today illustrate the future outcome of what Yahushua began two thousand years ago. Both parables are about things that grow large after a small start. A mustard seed is so tiny that it’s difficult to see without a magnifying glass, but it grows into a huge plant. So God’s kingdom began very small, with just Yahushua and a few disciples. But it has been growing ever since then, and one day there will be nothing other than God’s kingdom. And, only a little bit of yeast is added to bread dough to make it rise, but that little yeast permeates the entire lump, ultimately affecting the whole loaf of bread. So, too, one day Yahushua’ influence will affect the entire world. That is the day we’re waiting for!
Q. Can you imagine living in a world where everyone is obedient to God and has a glorified body? Can you think of some things people now use that won’t be necessary in God’s kingdom?
A. Door locks, guns, burglar alarms, band-aids, and deodorant to name a few!
Q. Yahushua never once referred to people as Christians and non-Christians. In what we read today, He defined people as either being “people of the kingdom” or people “who belong to the evil one,” evildoers or godly (see Matthew 13:38,41,43). What do these terms tell us about who really is a Christian and who is not?
A. They tell us that people who are evildoers and claim to be Christians are not really Christians.
Application: Most people think that things will always be the way they are right now. But what we read today from the lips of God’s Son indicates that is not the case. The wisest thing anyone can do is to get ready for the eternal future, regardless of what anyone else thinks. Although Christians may be in the minority right now, one day we’ll be a 100% majority.