Commentaries
English
Matthew
  
b) The Parable of the Tares in the Field
(Matthew 13:24-30 and 36-43)
24Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field;25but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way.26But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared.27So 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?’28He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’29But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. 30Let 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.” ’ ” (Matthew3:12;15:13, Revelation14:15) …36Then Jesus 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.”37He answered and said to them: “He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man.38The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels.40Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age.41The 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,42and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.43Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear! (Daniel12:3, Matthew24:31, John8:44,1Corinthians3:9)


The whole world is God’s field. In all the nations, Christ sows His seed. This seed is neither a teaching, nor a book, nor words, but certain people. Everyone that is born of the Holy Spirit is compared with the seed in Christ’s hand. He throws it down in His field. The seed must die spiritually to his corrupt nature and own wishes that God’s power may bear much fruit in him. Without self-denial there will be no crops of His ministers.
Whatever good seed there is in the world, it all comes from the hand of Christ and is of His sowing. Truths preached, graces planted, souls sanctified, are good seed, and all credit goes to Christ. Ministers are instruments in Christ’s hand to sow good seed. They are employed by Him and under Him, and the success of their labors depends purely upon His blessing.
In the parable of the tares, Christ revealed the devil’s intention to corrupt God’s seed. The tares represent those that are born of the spirit of Satan, whom the wicked one dispersed among those that are born of the Word of God. Both categories often live together in one family, or one class room. They become interlaced with their scientific and cultural thoughts. It is not plain, in the beginning, which one is of the devil and which one of God, but sooner or later the fruit of the spirits appear clearly. Love, hatred, humility and pride do not keep still in an individual; the source of each fruit eventually becomes visible. We have to discern the spirits, yet Christ prevented us from hasty separation since this is the work of angels at the Day of Judgment.
Until then, we have to bear the tares with patience, even if they hurt us. Whereas the tares command a place and power from the wheat, the glorious Son of Man will send His angels to separate men (the wheat from the tares) at the end of time.
They tares are influenced by the devil. Though they do not own the devil’s name, they bear his image, act on his lusts, and from him they receive their education. He rules over them and he works in them (Ephesians 2:2, John 8:44). They are tares in the field of this world. They do no good, but they do harm. They are unprofitable in themselves, and hurtful to the good seed, both by temptation and persecution. Although they receive the same rain, sunshine, and soil as the good plants, they are weeds in the garden and are good for nothing.
The sons of disobedience shall burn as wrong-doers, and the children of God shall appear in their transformed bodies and shine in their peace. How beautiful is the promise, “Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father” (Matthew 13:43). Consider carefully each letter of this verse, and you will turn back broken and humble to your God to become a good seed.
When Satan is doing his greatest mischief, he works the hardest to conceal himself. His design is in danger of being spoiled if he is seen in it. The tares did not appear until the grain had sprouted and produced a crop. There is a great deal of secret wickedness in the hearts of men, which is long hidden under the cloak of plausible behavior but breaks out in the end. The good seed and the tares spring up together for a good while and remain undistinguishable. But when a trying time comes, when fruit is to be brought forth, when good is to be done that has difficulty and hazard attending it, then you will look intently and discern between the sincere and the hypocrite. Then you may say, “this is wheat, and that is tares.”
The ministers of Christ that are faithful and diligent, will not be judged by Christ. Therefore they should not be reproached by men for the mixtures of bad with good, hypocrites with the sincere, in the field of the church. Offenses will come. However, they shall not be laid to our charge if we do our duty, even though it does not always have the desired success. Despite what is done, tares will be sown. If they do not sow them nor water them, nor allow them, the blame shall not lie at their door.
It is not possible for any man to distinguish infallibly between tares and wheat. He may be mistaken. Therefore such is the wisdom and grace of Christ, that He will rather permit the tares, so as not to endanger the wheat. It is certainly true that scandalous offenders are to be censured, and we are to withdraw from them. These are openly the children of the wicked one and are not to be admitted to special ordinances. Yet it is possible there may be a discipline, either mistaken or misapplied, that proves troublesome to many that are truly godly and conscientious. Great caution and moderation must be used in inflicting and continuing church censures, lest the wheat be trodden down, if not plucked up.

Prayer
Heavenly Father, We are by nature the sons of unclean spirits. Please change the course of our thinking that we may be cleansed and filled with Your Spirit. We want to be the children of Your love, humble, workers and servants to all men that they may see Your fatherly virtues in us and praise You for our behavior that is given to us.
Question
How does God’s harvesting take place?