June 23, 2020 – Tuesday
Matthew 13:30 NIV
30 Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.
The above is the last verse of what is known as the Parable of the Weeds (or Tares in some versions). Many confuse it or link it with the Parable of the Sower in the first twenty-three verses of this chapter, but this is much different. To make sense of it let’s look at the entire parable.
24 Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. 26 When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared. 27 “The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’ 28 “‘An enemy did this,’ he replied. “The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’ 29 “‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’”
While it is interesting to read commentaries on this parable, it is even more interesting and informative to read Jesus’ explanation deeper into the chapter after the Parables of the Mustard Seed and the Yeast. After these two parables Matthew tells us Jesus fulfills what was spoken through the prophet in Psalm 78:2 I will open my mouth with a parable; I will utter hidden things, things from of old. Then in response to His disciples question, explains the Parable of the Weeds. In His explanation He says 37 “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the people of the kingdom. The weeds are the people of the evil one, 39 and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.
Here is where a bit of commentary may come in handy. Paraphrasing David Guzik we have The good seeds represent God’s true believers, the sons of the kingdom. The tares (or weeds) represent counterfeit believers in the world, the sons of the wicked one, who (like tares among wheat) may superficially look like God’s true believers. Additionally, the parable of the tares of the field shows how God will divide His true believers from false believers at the end of this age. Peter Pett adds, Jesus was saying ‘Do not pass judgments on the genuineness of the conversions of ordinary individuals. Eventually they will be known by their fruits’. It is Jesus who will pass judgment!
You might ask, when does all of this happen? Great question. According to parable itself, it occurs at the end of the age or more completely, The harvest is the end of the age. What age would be my next question? It is the end of Christ’s 1,000 year reign when Satan is released from a bottomless pit (Revelation 20:3). At that time Satan will tempt man once again resulting in rebel men joining him in one final battle against Jesus. Once the battle is over, Jesus winning, Satan is cast into the lake of fire as its third occupant (the first two were the anti-christ and the false prophet. That’s when the Great Judgment happens, when the book of life is opened. Then according to Revelation 20:11-15 all the dead are judged and 15 Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire. Thus this is the end of the age where the weeds or tares were gathered up and thrown into the fire, the lake of fire.
Incredible prophecy from Jesus recorded by Matthew forty some years before John wrote of his visions of the Revelation of Christ Jesus. This makes Matthew’s quote from Psalm 78:2, I will open my mouth with a parable; I will utter hidden things, things from of old, even more prescient and prophetic.
The real final question for each of us to ask and answer for ourselves, “Will my name be in the book of life?”