THE PARABLE OF THE TARES OF THE FIELD (Part 1)
“The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one.” (Matthew 13:38 NKJV)
After the Lord Jesus had privately explained the parable of the sower to His disciples, He put forth another parable about the tares of the field to the great multitude that were gathered to Him by the sea.
Matthew 13:24-30 – NKJV
24 Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field;
25 “but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way.
26 “But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared.
27 “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?’
28 “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?’
29 “But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them.
30 ‘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.”
When the Lord Jesus had sent away the multitude that were only after His works and not His words and who were only hungry for mundane things and not heavenly things, His disciples came to Him in the house, saying,“Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field.” (Matt. 13:36 NKJV).
Then, the Lord Jesus opened His mouth and explained the deep meaning of the parable to them. We are ignorant of the truths and mysteries of God’s kingdom today because we are not passionately seeking after God and diligently seeking to obey God’s Word (Jer. 29:13).
The Lord Jesus said, “If anyone wants to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority.” (John 7:17 NKJV).
Many believers today are vulnerable to deception, exploitation and manipulation of “spiritual con men” in our generation simply because they have no real desire, passion or hunger to personally know, understand, and obey the truths of God’s Word.
According to Jesus’ interpretation of the parable of the tares of the field to His disciples, 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 (Matt. 13:37-39).
Like every parable of Jesus, there are vital truths, lessons and principles of God’s kingdom embedded in the parable of the tares of the field.
In this piece we shall begin to thresh this parable with a view to discovering and imbibing the essential truths, lessons, and principles therein.
First, it is worth considering the seeming contrasts between the parable of the tares and the parable of the sower (Matt. 13:1-23).
While Jesus interpreted the seed the sower sowed to be “the word of the Kingdom” (Matt. 13:19 NKJV) in the parable of the sower; however, He interpreted the good seeds in the parable of the tares of the field to be “the sons of the Kingdom” (Matt. 13:38 NKJV).
The interpretations are not contradictory but rather complementary!
God’s Word is “Precept upon precept, precept upon precept, Line upon line, line upon line, Here a little, there a little.” (Isa. 28:13 NKJV).
Understanding the parable of the sower is a prerequisite for understanding other parables of Jesus. That is why Jesus said to His disciples, “Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables?” (Mark 4:13 NKJV).
It is the seed (the Word of the Kingdom) which falls on a good ground (the heart which hears, understands, accepts, believes and obeys God’s Word) in the parable of the sower that produces the good seeds (the sons of the kingdom) sowed in the field in the parable of the tares.
Can you see the progression in Jesus’ parables and teachings?
It is the Word of the Kingdom that bears or produces the sons of the Kingdom!
The Scripture amply attests to this truth.
James 1:17-18 – NKJV
17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.
18 Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.
1 Peter 1:22-23 – NKJV
22 Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart,
23 having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever.
Whenever the Word of truth (the Word of the Kingdom) grows and flourishes in a generation, the sons of the Kingdom will also grow, flourish and multiply in the generation.
When the early apostles of Christ disentangled themselves from mundane affairs and gave themselves continually to prayer and the ministry of the Word, the result was amazing.
Acts 6:7 – NKJV
7 Then the word of God spread, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith.
Why are there not many true sons of the kingdom in our generation?
Why are there not many believers whose lives and conducts reflect the mindsets, values, virtues, glories and purposes of the King of the Kingdom, the Lord Jesus Christ?
It is simply because most of the men and women of God chosen to be stewards of the words and mysteries of God’s Kingdom in our generation have become deeply entangled, engaged, engrossed, engulfed, immersed, or preoccupied with mundane affairs!
Unlike the early apostles, they have failed to give themselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the Word!
What about the tares – the sons of the wicked one, Satan?
They are the natural fruits of Satan’s lies and deceptions!
When you abhor, despise, ignore, or reject the Word of the Kingdom you will eventually become a tare. When you constantly, consistently, and continuously turn your ears away from hearing the Word of truth, you cannot be anything else other than a tare.
The tares are those who reflect the lifestyle, mindsets, values, or passions of the devil.
The Lord Jesus called the Jews who constantly opposed, disputed and rejected His Word the sons of the devil (the tares).
John 8:44 – NKJV
44 You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.
What will eventually happen to the tares?
They will be cast into the furnace of fire!
Matthew 13:40-42 – NKJV
40 “Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age.
41 “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,
42 “and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
The threshing of this parable continues in the second part of this piece!
Prayer: My Dear Holy Spirit, open my eyes of understanding to know, understand, believe, and obey God’s Word, in Jesus’ name. Amen.