Jump Start #3307
Jump Start # 3307
Matthew 13:26 “But when the wheat sprang up and bore grain, then the tares became evident also.”
Our verse today comes from the section of kingdom parables where the Lord is showing us different aspects of God’s divine kingdom. The disciples referred to this as “the parable of the tares” (36). And, this is one of the parables in which the Lord gives a full explanation to us. The Lord sows the good seed. The devil sowed the tares. The field is the world. The tares are the sons of the evil one, the devil. Together, side by side, the good and the bad grow. In the end, the angels from Heaven will separate the wheat from the weeds. The tares will be burned up and wheat will be gathered to that righteous home with God.
There are several things to see here:
First, there are limitations to the Lord’s illustrations. In the world of botany, the study of plants, wheat and tares are genetically different. However, in the spiritual world, a tare could become wheat. If an ungodly person comes to know the Lord through the Scriptures, he can change his ways. Useless weeds can become beneficial wheat in the spiritual world. The power of the Gospel can change anyone.
Using illustrations have limitations. Illustrations can help us see deeper spiritual concepts but there are aspects where the illustrations fail. The teacher using illustrations needs to understand this as well as the person hearing the illustrations. Some like the challenge of picking apart a story and showing where it comes up short. But in doing that, they miss the point. They miss many points. The illustration points to the principle. It is not the principle. It is only the light shinning on the principle. Without the principle, the illustration become a story and only a story.
In the Lord’s use of parables or illustrations, He never uses something that is off color, offensive or in poor taste. The Lord’s parables are not nice bedtime stories, either. There is a rawness to them. A son leaves home with a pocket full of money and then wastes it all. A man on a journey is beaten and robbed. A laborer complains because the master paid others who worked less the same amount as he got. Five girls are not admitted to a wedding because they came late. A man is asked to leave a wedding because he is not dressed properly.
Pain, sorrow and heartache fill many of the parables. But that describes life. There is a lot of pain and sorrow in the world.
Second, the parables of the tares reveals that the devil is busy doing wrong. While the Lord is sowing the good seed, the devil is busy sowing weeds. He doesn’t sow the tares in an empty field. He plants the weed among the wheat. He is trying to hurt what Jesus has done. The devil came at night, while the servants were sleeping. He does his work in secret. It’s wrong and he doesn’t want to be caught.
The devil has been busy lately hurting good churches. He has created distractions and heartache to slow the progress of God down. He is trying to get brethren to turn on each other and engage in a civil war rather than being united on fighting the devil. As one of our hymns begins, “troublesome times are here.”
Third, the Lord is aware of what the devil has done. Notice, the Lord didn’t stop the devil. He allowed the tares to be sown among the wheat. But at harvest, the Lord will separate the wheat from the tares, as He does the sheep from the goats. God already knows what He will do. The growing tares bothers us. The field with wheat and tares together may look messy to us, but the Lord will deal with this. Ours is not to take the tares out. God will do that.
A weed free yard looks beautiful. We want weeds out of our flower patches. But, here in the world, the Lord allows the wheat and the tares to grow side by side. The wheat will grow. The wheat will do fine. The wheat will please the Lord. The tares are bothersome. The tares do not belong in the field of wheat. The tares take sun and moisture that ought to go to the wheat. But in the end, the Lord will take care of it.
The presence of the tares will not destroy the wheat. The devil will not win. The devil will not cripple God’s kingdom. The devil with his best plans, fails. The tares, along with the devil, will be cast into the fire. Weeds are pulled from our gardens and are quickly forgotten.
Some would like to have a world without tares. That’s called Heaven. But for now, here we are side by side, wheat and tares. As wheat, we are to glorify our Creator. As wheat, we try to influence tares in a positive way. As wheat, we don’t envy tares. As wheat, we keep from becoming tares.
Such a great story. Such a powerful principle. Be patient. The Lord will take care of things.