“Jesus spoke another parable saying, The kingdom of heaven is like unto a man which sowed good seed in his field; but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat … But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.” Matthew 13:24 – 26
“The field,” Christ said, “is the world.” This pertains to the kingdom of God, His work of salvation of men; and His work through the church.
True, the Holy Spirit has gone into all the world; everywhere is moving upon the hearts of men; but it is in the church that we are to grow.
“The Son of man sowed the good seed who are born of the word of God, the truth; but the tares are the children of the wicked one.”
The tares represent the fruit of false principles. “The enemy that sowed them is the devil.” Tares are always sown by Satan, the enemy of God and man.
In the East, men sometimes took revenge upon an enemy by strewing his newly sown fields with the seeds of some noxious weed that closely resembled wheat. Springing up, it injured the crop and brought loss to the owner of the field.
Satan hates Christ and scatters his evil seed among the good grain of the kingdom. By bringing into the church those who bear Christ’s name while they deny His character, the wicked one causes that God shall be dishonored, the work of salvation misrepresented, and souls imperiled.
Christ’s servants are grieved as they see true and false believers mingled in the church. They long to do something to cleanse the church. Like the servants of the householder, they are ready to uproot the tares. But Christ says to them, “Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest.”
Christ has plainly taught that those who persist in open sin must be separated from the church, but He has not committed to us the work of judging character and motive. He knows our nature too well to entrust this work to us. Should we try to uproot from the church those whom we suppose to be spurious Christians, we should be sure to make mistakes.
Many who think themselves Christians will at last be found wanting. Man judges from appearance, but God judges the heart. The tares and the wheat are to grow together until the harvest; and the harvest is the end of probationary time.
Christ’s wonderful forbearance and tender love is shown. 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. Were they to be separated from the church, others might be caused to stumble, who but for this would have remained steadfast.
Adapted from Christ Object Lessons