MATTHEW 13 – PARABLE OF WHEAT AND TARES: CHALLENGING SOME TRADITIONAL ASSUMPTIONS

 

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  (mt13:24-30)

As with the Old Testament, I am drawing out passages that came to my attention or have particular relevance to the subject of my book, being divine providence. Of course it is “only a parable” but fortunately we have Jesus Himself to interpret it for us. Firstly, regarding the story being told it is to be noted that the seed sown by the sower (the Son of Man v37) is good; intrinsically good. That is referring to the children of the Kingdom who may be equated to the sheep in the Matthew 25 parable who demonstrated by their compassion that they were “of God” and would be accepted as subjects of God’s eternal Kingdom. The enemy (the devil v39) planted the tares. These represent those who are elsewhere described as children of the devil or “derived from the Evil One” (ek tou ponerou 1Jn3:12, referring to Cain). Still more significantly in terms of challenging traditional perspectives is that the seeds (good and bad) were planted in a field that represents the world, not the Church (v38) as many commentators would wish to make out. Not all the good seed is in the Church, and (regrettably) not all the wicked seed outside of it. Quoting briefly from my book with regard to this parable:

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The wicked are to be “taken out from the midst of the righteous” (Mt13:49 Greek), not the righteous “taken up to Heaven from the midst of the wicked” albeit that the living elect are temporarily “raptured” (pre-wrath), that is gathered to Christ so as to be shielded from the aforementioned judicial mayhem and climax of tribulation which the rest of the world must patiently endure (cf. Lk17:34-36). The “darnel” is to be removed because it is poisoning the wheat; the wicked are to be destroyed because they are polluting God’s Earth and perverting its people, not because “their righteousness would not avail before a Holy God”. They had rebelled against the light of God with which they had been innately provided, with dire consequences for themselves and humanity. At Judgement such will be perceived to be abhorrent by all true humanity (Is66:24). So shall creation be purged so that the tabernacle of God can be with men, for He will dwell with them and they shall be His people (cf. Rev21:3NKJV) [Fellowship of the Secret ch.2]

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