Matthew 13:24-30 contains the parable of the wheat and the tares, in which, is mentioned a man sowing good seed in his field and while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat.
As Christians, we probably are quite familiar with this parable.
When the disciples heard this parable, they didn’t understand its meaning, so when Jesus had sent away the multitude, they privately asked him the meaning of this parable.
Jesus explained the meaning of the various symbols employed in the parable as follows:-
- Sower of the good seed – The Son of Man (Jesus Christ) (Matt 13:37)
- The field – The world (Matthew 13:38)
- The good seed – Children of the kingdom. (Matt 13:38)
- The tares – Children of the wicked one. (Matt 13:38)
- The enemy – The Devil (Matt 13:39)
- The harvest – End of the world (Matthew 13:39)
- The reapers – Angels (Matthew 13:39)
This parable is very significant and speaks volumes. It is not possible to delve into this topic and attempt to cover the entire subject in such a brief message.
So I would just draw your attention to one simple yet very crucial question arising out of this parable.
Who are the tares?
But before we look at who are the tares? We need to understand where are the tares?
The parable mentions the good seed and tares being sowed in the field and the field symbolises the world.
So we would logically conclude that the wheat refers to Christians or believers and the tares refer to the heathen or unbelievers.
However brethren, please note what the SOP says in the following quote:
“The field,” Christ said, “is the world,” But we must understand this as signifying the church of Christ in the world.The parable is a description of that which pertains to the kingdom of God, His work of salvation of men; and this work is accomplished through the church. True, the Holy Spirit has gone out into all the world; everywhere it is moving upon the hearts of men; but it is in the church that we are to grow and ripen for the garner of God. COL 70.2
So if the field represents the church of Christ in the world, that means it represents our church, which again means that, unfortunately, the tares are among us.
But who are they?
“The ones who find in their heart no resemblance to the great moral standard of righteousness, the Word of God, have no Christ to confess. Their language, their thoughts, are not in harmony with the Spirit of Christ. Their profession of faith is a counterfeit one.” BLJ 354.4
So close is the resemblance between the wheat and tares that even the angels struggle to distinguish between them. Thus they are commanded not to gather the tares beforetime “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.”
“As the tares have their roots closely intertwined with those of the good grain, so false brethren in the church may be closely linked with true disciples. The real character of these pretended believers is not fully manifested. Were they to be separated from the church, others might be caused to stumble, who but for this would have remained steadfast.” COL 72.1
I haven’t met a single Christian who believes himself to be a tare. Everyone deep inside believe themselves to be wheat. We would believe others to be tares but ourselves.
But here is the problem, if every believer believes himself to be the wheat and denies being a tare, then the Bible indirectly stands a liar. (For the Bible clearly mentions both wheat and tares being present in the church until the harvest which is the end of probationary time). Bur surely the Bible is the infallible word of God. Then this would mean that those professed Christians claiming to be wheat are either blatantly lying or are sadly ignorant. Personally I believe the latter to be true.
Could it be that many of us are deceived into believing that we comprise the wheat (children of the kingdom) when in reality we don’t?
“What greater deception can come upon human minds than a confidence that they are right when they are all wrong! The message of the True Witness finds the people of God in a sad deception, yet honest in that deception. They know not that their condition is deplorable in the sight of God.” 1TT 327.4
Dear brethren, my intention in framing the title of this article in such a manner is NOT to encourage a spirit of judging and condemning others or instigate a desire to identify and distinguish between the tares or the wheat, but to encourage and realize the need to humbly examine self, in all sincerity and honesty, in the light of truth from God’s holy word. “For what man knoweth the things of a man save the spirit of man which is in him?”
1 Cor 2:11
Dear brethren, I believe with all my heart that the judgement of the living is soon to begin and “The question of deepest interest to each one should be, Am I meeting the requirements of the law of God? … Only by a close examination of self in the light of God’s Word can we discover our deviations from His holy rule of right…. In Him we may have pardon for past failures, and in His strength grow up to be perfect men and women in Christ Jesus (Youth’s Instructor, June 10, 1897). LHU 342.4
“Many who think themselves Christians will at last be found wanting.” COL 19
“Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure:” 2 Peter 1:10
“Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.” Rom 11:5
Praise God, His grace is still available and the door of mercy is still open. But will not remain open for long. Will you hearken to His invitation?
“Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”
“To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.” Hebrews 4:7