Monday, March 23, 2020

Christian Trivia Question #14 - Parables, Part 1

Jesus described the "Kingdom of Heaven" (or Kindgom of God) in several parables.  One is the Parable of the Wheat and the Tares.  Here is that parable as recorded by Matthew: 

The Parable of the Wheat and the Tares   
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 the wheat into my barn.  Then gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them." ' "

However, this is not exactly what Matthew wrote.  
I introduced one error.  Find the error.


  1. Instead of gathering the wheat first, Matthew recorded Jesus saying gather the weeds first and then the wheat.

  2. Yes, the tares were to be gathered first

  3. Kelsey and Bill got it right!

    The parable ends like this:

    ‘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.” ’ ”

    Jesus used parables (fictitious, short stories that illustrate a spiritual truths) to teach His disciples. In this parable, Jesus gives them a picture of one aspect of how things will be in His Kingdom after He leaves them. He explains it in terms that they would understand – growing and harvesting crops - since they were living in an agrarian society.

    He is talking about the “Kingdom of Heaven” or the “Kingdom of God”. This is a broad term used in Scripture to describe life under the New Covenant – life in His Kingdom “which is not of this earth”. And this parable covers the many generations that would come (let the wheat and tares grow together in the field) and extends right up to the end of life in this age – the point of the general judgment of all mankind (when both would be removed from the field).

    This is one of the rare parables that Jesus actually explains.

    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! (Matt 13:36-43)

    An interesting thought I read about why Jesus’ farmer in the parable instructs the workers not to pull the tares immediately when the workers see them speaks to God’s mercy. He tells them to refrain because, in doing so, they might damage the wheat. Imagine if every time we sinned, we were immediately destroyed (pulled up and cast into the fire). Not many of us would be left.

    But also, how many of us have been ugly “tares” at points in our lives, but were given a chance to repent and then restored our relationship with God? He gives us our whole lives to be “the righteous” and not “the tares”. The premier example of this would be the good thief on the cross.
    Without forgiveness, we are all toast. This could be why Jesus commands us all to forgive each other in the Lord’s Prayer. And just so we don’t shrug forgiving others off as a suggestion vs a command, immediately after teaching the words of the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus says this:

    “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
    But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” (Matt 6:14,15)

    Jesus tends to make the really important things really clear. Where are we if God the Father doesn’t forgive our sins?

    Back to the parable. Kelsey and Bill were right. I reversed the order of how the final judgment will unfold. Jesus says that at the end of this age, He will first instruct the angels to “remove all that offends and the unrighteous from the Kingdom”. Then He will gather the wheat into His barn (“Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father.”)