Matthew 13:24-30; 36-43 –Jesus explains the parable of the wheat and the weeds at the request of His disciples. That’s a good thing! Now we know the meaning of the parable too! The Son of Man (Jesus) sows good seed into the field of the world, producing children of the kingdom. The devil, on the other hand, sows bad seed, producing evildoers. At the end of the age, that is, at the end of all time – angels will remove from the kingdom all evildoers. When that happens, then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father.
This parable teaches that we are not to judge who is a true or false Christian. We are not to weed out the weeds because in doing so, we would destroy the wheat. On the Day of Judgment God only will judge and separate the weeds and the wheat. Until that time comes the church needs to have patience and forbearance of the weeds among the wheat.
The wheat (good) and the weeds (bad) are in the kingdom, not in the world. We could understand it if the parable applied to the world where there are all kinds of people. The kingdom of heaven is the kingdom of God, and the kingdom of God is God’s realm, God’s people, the church. The church of God consists of good and evil, wheat and weeds.
According to this parable, every church consists of wheat and weeds. Who is to determine who the weeds are? Who are we to judge? Since Jesus teaches that we should allow the weeds to remain, why try to decide who weeds are? Only God knows who are genuine believers, and members of the invisible church.
Weeds look like wheat — hypocrites. You cannot tell the difference between believers and make believers. Both live together in the Kingdom. Their behavior is similar. The only difference – one has faith the other not.
The weeds are so much like the wheat that only God can tell the difference. The Church is invisible to us. We can’t tell who has faith and who does not have faith. Only the Father Himself knows the heart of men. Only He knows the difference.
O God, so rule and govern our hearts and minds by Your Holy Spirit that, ever mindful of Your final judgment, we may be stirred up to holiness of living here and dwell with You in perfect joy hereafter; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
The parable of the Tares copyright Schnorr Von Carolsfeld woodcuts © WELS permission granted for personal and congregational useCollect for Proper 11, Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St, Louis