Saturday, January 12, 2013

The parable of the Wheat and the Tares.

We have been looking into how and why the first century saints believed the "Parousia of Christ” would happen in their lifetime.

John the Baptist task was to condemn Israel’s sins and to warn them of the impending judgment of God. It was a call to repent from their sins to avoid the wrath of God. (Matthew 3:7-12) John in his warning to the Pharisees and Sadducees used a metaphor of a Winnowing fan and the threshing floor to separate the “chaff from the wheat” during the time of the harvest.

While John had very little contact with Jesus, he knew his mission in life. He clearly understood that he had been set apart by God for a purpose. The warning of John the Baptist and the warning of Christ impending judgments of God upon that generation fit together like a hand in a leather glove. (Matthew 24:34)

The parable of the Wheat and the Tares/Weeds by Jesus is filled with spiritual significance, and truth as that of the John the Baptist. In the explanation of parable, Christ declares that He Himself is the sower. Matthew 13:24-30 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”. (emphasis added)

The original Greek word here “let,” is one with a wide range of meanings. One major meaning appears in our translation: "let," in the sense of allow or permit. In Matthew 13:28 Jesus revealed some additional crucial information. "He said to them, ‘AN ENEMY HAS DONE THIS. Who sows the bad seed? Satan sows the bad seed. In the Middle East when a farmer wanted to destroy another farmer's field, he wound place tares in among the wheat.

The enemy in the parable is Satan. In opposition to Jesus Christ, the devil tries to destroy Christ’s work by placing “false believers” among “true believers” who tries to get them to return back under the Mosaic, law. You may remember Paul asking the Galatians, who have bewitched them not to obey the truth of Christ. (Galatians 3:1-3)

Speaking of these tares that were planted in God’s field you may also remember Jesus later saying, to the Jews. "You are of YOUR FATHER THE DEVIL, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. (John 8:44) The tares that actually desires to do the things of their father were placed among the wheat by the ENEMY of Christ.

Many have supposed that the tares are just wicked people on the earth. The truth is the tares are the devils. So the tares are the unbelieving Jews among the wheat. For Satan to plant his seed in the same field was an out-right disrespect to God the sower.

But why were the servants told “not to uproot the tares” when the servants ask him should they gather the tares? It is important to note that the servants were told to let the tares grow until the time of harvest. Why is that so important you may be wondering? It is because when we read the explanation of the parable of the tares given by Jesus Christ, you will see that He is really talking about His people the wheat.

Suppose the servants had taken it upon themselves to “remove the tares from the wheat?” When a tare is young, it looks just like the wheat. It is not easy to tell the difference between the wheat, and tares. Wheat looks like a thick-bladed grass when it is young and green. Tares look like a native rye grass.

To the non-farmers, knowing this difference wouldn't be so easy to decipher. Distinguishing one from another in the early stages of growth is nearly impossible. In truth, they look the same to the naked eye. From the distance and even close up, they looks like wheat. Thus, when you try to separate the tares from the wheat you end up destroying some of the wheat as well.

As the plants mature, the roots of weed/tares and wheat intertwine and become almost inseparable. Yet separating them is necessary. Unless the weed/tares are removed, then flour made from the wheat will be ruined by the tares which are both bitter and mildly toxic. The tare's choke the life out of the wheat. This is what the Jewish leaders were doing to the people by adding laws on top of laws on top of laws.

The usual solution is the harvest, which spreads them on a flat surface, like a “threshing floor “and then remove the tares, which by this stage are a different color than the wheat. So the tares, can be separated from the wheat only at the proper time, following the harvest. So now we see how the warning of John the Baptist and the warning of Christ impending judgments of God to come in that generation fit together like a hand in a leather glove.