The Wheat And The Tares
The Kingdom comes through words, Kingdom words. Someone speaks, you listen, and if your heart is ready to receive it, you will receive it and it will produce God’s life in you. So if you don’t have a hard heart, you are open, you have a confidence in who you are, you are grounded and you aren’t letting the world distract you or capture your heart, you have a heart that’s ready.
Along with the parable of the sower Jesus shared in Matthew 13, he shares another parable to further explain the secrets of the Kingdom. We call it the parable of the weeds or ‘tares’. Found in verses 24-30, it tells the story of a farmer sowing his crop and an enemy sowing weeds into that same crop. At first, his servants ask if they should pull the weeds they discovered springing up amidst the wheat. The farmer realizes that at the early stages, it is hard to tell the difference between the weeds and the wheat so fearing that the wheat will be accidentally ‘rooted up’, they will have to wait until maturity to gather the crop. Once mature, the difference will be obvious and the tares will be easily separated from the wheat. The tares are then gathered up in bundles and burned. In verses 36-43, Jesus explains this parable. The wheat represent the Kingdom people, the tares are the ‘sons of the evil one’. At the ‘end of the age’ the harvest will be gathered by the angels and the evil sons ‘thrown into the fiery furnace’ and the sons of the Kingdom will ‘shine like the sun in the Kingdom of their Father’.
This parable has some ominous tones but also some encouragement for us as believers. Jesus is telling us that until the ‘end of the age’ darkness and light will coincide. People who receive the Kingdom of God are light, and God’s Kingdom will eventually fill the earth(come to maturity) and when Jesus returns to take His place on the throne, all darkness will be removed. Others, will receive the seed of the devil and their fate will be with him, who is to be destroyed. Where’s the encouragement in that? Some believers are confused as to the nature of the Kingdom of God. They wonder about evil in the world. They wonder why God hasn’t ‘done something about it yet’. Well, He has! He has given us opportunity to be sons of the Kingdom. We can also take comfort in the fact that Jesus is telling us that for a time, during the growing season, evil will be right along side us. While this might not seem comforting to some, it explains the continuing presence of evil in this world. Furthermore, a time of resolution is coming. When the crop is mature, evil will be removed. So we need not be confused about evil in the world today and we can take comfort that as the seed of the word goes into God’s field, more sons of the Kingdom will be ‘springing up’ in the earth.
What is the seed of the devil? He said that he didn’t need to listen to God but he could be his own god. The Bible says he became proud, pride was his fall. He then sowed his seed into the hearts of Adam and Eve. ‘You don’t have to listen to God, in fact, you can’t trust Him’, the devil declared, ‘You can be your own god’. The devil’s seed is the attitude that says, ‘I am the boss, I don’t have to listen to anyone, I am the authority in the Earth.’ When you decide you don’t have to listen to God, you make yourself bigger and smarter than God. It’s like telling a small child, ‘Don’t touch that!’, it’s almost a guarantee they will.
Why doesn’t God shut down evil in the world right now? He will, but not yet. 2Peter 3:9 says, “The Lord is not slow to fulfill His promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish but that all should reach repentance.” God is waiting for the crop of Kingdom people to come to maturity. In the mean time we are waiting for “new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells”(2Peter 3:13) If you are alive today and the gathering hasn’t happened, you’ve been given an opportunity to receive the seed of the Kingdom of God and become a son of the King. Evil hasn’t been removed yet, but the Kingdom is growing in the earth, coming to maturity, ready to take it’s place and ‘shine like the sun’.