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Wheat or Weed? The Parable of the Wheat and Tares

In Matthew 13 Jesus was speaking to the large crowds in parables. When asked by His disciples why He was speaking in such a way, Jesus answered...

 “'Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand. In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah: 'You will be ever hearing but never understanding;  you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.’" Matthew 13:13-15

Those who were willing to be taught and willing to hear the truth would understand His parables. But those unwilling to learn, unwilling to hear the truth and clinging to their own ideas in willful ignorance would find the obscure parables difficult and even confusing. Jesus was doing a little separating as He taught.

Later in the chapter Jesus then gave a parable about the weeds and tares (darnel)...

"Jesus told them another parable: 'The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.'" Matthew 13:24-26

Bearded Darnel
The weeds in this parable are actually translated as "darnel". While everyone was sleeping...or rather not vigilant, the enemy was able to come in and sow his own seed with the wheat. The enemy didn't sow just any seed, he sowed a cheap and deadly copy. Darnel looks very similar to wheat and they also mature about the same time. Only a trained eye can spot it among wheat anytime before harvest and only at harvest is it fully recognizable for what it is.

Anyone who has ever had a garden knows how annoying weeds are. They need no cultivating and no care as wheat does and will take over and smother the garden in no time. By the time you pull up the weeds you realize the weeds vastly outnumbered what you had originally planted. They use up all the nutrients in the soil, they sop up most of the water and shield the good crop from getting sun. If left they eventually kill off the starving crop. Weeds must be pulled up with root and all otherwise it's a losing battle. The roots are still devouring the food and new shoots spring up quickly from them.

Darnel is an interesting imitation. If not cleared from wheat grain at harvest, a fungus in the seed itself is poisonous to anyone who eats it causing serious illness or even death. The enemy who sowed this obviously had a very sinister intent for the farmer and his crop. He not only wanted to choke out the farmer's crop, but he also used a poisonous weed to do it thus poisoning anyone who ate of it ignorantly.

 When the servants asked the farmer if he wanted them to pull the weeds up, the farmer told them to let the two grow together until harvest otherwise the servants may pull up a young wheat sprout by accident (Matthew 13:29). In the meantime they were to care for the wheat as usual (with the darnel benefitting from the care as well) until harvest time when it would all be pulled up and separated thoroughly.

Christ used this parable giving us a lesson and picture of the Church throughout the ages right up to the end. Just as weeds grow in a garden and reproduce endlessly, so would the false believers in the church, spreading their poison until it would become almost completely overrun by them. It wasn't until after the church sprouted, began to spread and gain momentum did the false prophets and teachers sprout up. Just as the weeds springing up once the wheat sprouted and began to form heads. The Apostles warned repeatedly of wolves entering into the fold to destroy. They warned of false prophets to come that would try to turn people from Christ through all sorts of means. From twisting and distorting Scripture to flat out denying the deity of Christ, the Word of God and offering something "New" under a "new path" or "new revelations". That's Satanic, Gnostic and it will continue until the harvest.

Just as the darnel closely resembles wheat on the outside so would these false prophets and converts. They look just like the real thing, act like the real thing, sound like the real thing, but they are counterfeit and poisonous. To ingest them could be deadly. So many are untrained in spotting them, through their own lack of diligence and growth, that they run through the crops picking heads of grain and eating it simply because it looks just like the real thing so it must be the real thing. Looks are deceiving and what they're willfully ingesting is poison. Despite having some who are better trained at spotting the counterfeit, they're still just human and are prone to faulty judgment so the two continue to grow together for the sake of the wheat.

But Christ assured that at the end He would send His angels to harvest the crop...

"'At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’” Matthew 13:30

We, as the wheat, are to have discernment in this late hour. Now, more than ever, the weeds are becoming apparent as they mature. Now, more than ever, do we see how they've taken over the field. If Christ assures He will uproot them and throw them in the fire then that tells us we are not to be accepting of them simply because they're pretty close to the real thing. Christ isn't accepting of them, He's just patient. The more we know the more we can spot them and keep ourselves as separate as possible in this crowded space we have to share temporarily.


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Disclaimer: I do not condone the teaching of men by women nor am I trying to exercise authority over men by using this blog as a method of teaching men. All posts are for the edification of women. For more on what I believe concerning this issue please see: Women - No Dominion Over Men
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