K.Y.E.O.J. – 1. wheat & tares

Keep Your Eyes On Jesus. That is the essence of this new series where we are going to explore the parables of Christ on the kingdom of heaven together. Today, we are going to look at the parable of the tares from Matthew 13:24-30;36-43. I use the NKJV:

Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. 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?’ 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?’ But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. 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.”

Then 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.”

He answered and said to them: “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. Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age. 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, and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!

Maybe you are like me and have heard of this parable before, even multiple times; and you already know that tares look exactly like wheats and cannot be distinguished until harvest. So what is the point in this? There are two things I want to highlight:

1) that God’s servants in the world (= us, followers of Christ), CAN UPROOT THE GOOD WHEAT IN OUR ZEAL TO PLUCK OUT THE TARES. We have to face the fact that God designed it this way, that no servant would become proud and think they are discerning everything perfectly and doing God good service. The real separation will be done by angels in the end of all things! I know it from people (including me) who are extremely zealous for righteousness; in trying to change the world, we can destroy the good works of the Holy Spirit! I remember last year when I was talking to a dear sister in Christ about a vision I had of her violently tearing out all the sprouts from the ground because she thought them evil. However, it was the ground of her own son’s heart! I saw Jesus right next to her, looking at her with grief, because she was not listening to Him and plugging out all the good sprouts prematurely. Now she had to go through the same trial all over again regarding her son.

Let us take the Asbury “revival” (or however you want to call it because I seriously do not care about wording), as an example. Beware of people who say they understand everything perfectly and discern everything right about it and be even more careful if they are eloquent with words! God loves to fool the wise and to reveal the power of His Spirit through faith, and not through eloquent words (remember Paul). Note, I am not talking about who and what is right and wrong here. I am not saying we should not test every spirit and discern. I have personally cried for forgiveness on behalf of a certain group of people visiting Asbury. No, I am talking about the basic fear of God that is the beginning of wisdom. Jesus says the angels will do the perfect separating at the end of all things at the harvest. So who are you to exalt yourself to the status of higher beings? This sort of hubris definitely gives room for deception, my friend! Rest in Jesus instead! His love is not burdensome, His yoke is easy and His burden is light. When you have the perfect word of knowledge or wisdom or prophecy but do not have love, you are like a resounding gong. Have some fear of the Lord.

2) I do not just want to warn. If you felt convicted by what I said above, I just want to tell you that I really sympathize with you because I am a very zealous person myself. Remember Jude, when God says we should even hate the stench of sin. It also says about Lot, Abraham’s nephew, that living in Sodom hurt his soul because he was continuously exposed to so much unrighteousness (just remember what his daughters did to him – yuck!). Jesus also says we are blessed when we hunger and thirst for righteousness, for we will be satisfied! Yes, I want to comfort you. As I was reading through multiple bible commentaries about Matthew 13, I stumbled across a commentary from John Calvin and it really stood out to me because I felt the Comforter speak through him regarding this matter. Here is an excerpt (you can find the full commentary at the end of this post when you click on the link):

“He speaks of a separation, in order to prevent the minds of the godly from giving way to uneasiness or despondency (a state of low spirits caused by loss of hope or courage), when they perceive a confused mixture of the good along with the bad. … very many, under the pretense of zeal, are excessively displeased, when everything is not conducted to their wish, and, because absolute purity is nowhere to be found, withdraw from the Church in a disorderly manner, or subvert and destroy it by unreasonable severity. In my opinion, the design of the parable is simply this: So long as the pilgrimage of the Church in this world continues, bad men and hypocrites will mingle in it with those who are good and upright, that the children of God may be armed with patience and, in the midst of offenses which are fitted to disturb them, may preserve unbroken steadfastness of faith.”*1

Isn’t this beautiful? The heart of Jesus behind telling us this parable? “Take heart for I have overcome the world.” “Do not be afraid”. Remember all those words from Him? “Take heart, my child, for I have overcome the world. I am a God of justice. Perfect separation will come. I know your pain, I thank you for grieving with me and for sowing with tears. But I need you to stay strong, to keep your eyes on me because I love my sheep and I do not address everything at once. I am gentle and lowly. You are not a threat to me, so please do not treat other brothers and sisters as a threat. Correct them with gentleness and always honor the other above yourself. Learn from me, for my burden is light and my yoke easy. I love you, I am preparing my Bride, the church. I am the Son of God, I have conquered.”

My friend, do you get what I am trying to say? Lean your head on His chest and let His warmth fill your heart in the middle of this chaos in the world! He understands, He comforts. He gives you wisdom to win over lives. He quiets you down, for He loves you with a quiet, loyal love. Be one with Him by remaining in His love and you will be able to sleep better; rest better. The fruits of the Spirit are evident: “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.” (Galatians 5:22-26) Remember the warning I keep giving you since the beginning of this year to weigh down the body of Christ with heavy burdens from the enemy, to go back to works instead of walking by the might of the Spirit. God’s love is not burdensome! Keep your eyes on Jesus. He wants you walking on water.


John Calvin’s commentary on Matthew, Mark, Luke – Volume 2, pp.98-99

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