In this weeks lesson we will be taking a look at the parable of the Wheat and tares taught by Jesus. Most people who read the word of God know the passage of scripture in Matthew chapter 13 very well. However, for this lesson I think it needful to look at three main points that we can learn from this parable. Let’s take a closer look and see how it applies to our lives today.
Handout: Wheat and Tares
This passage is one of the parables Jesus taught before he was crucified. Reading this chapter we can see that He has just sat down by the sea and the multitude was so great on the shore that He moved onto a ship and he began to teach in parables as he so often did while here. Turn to Matthew chapter 13 beginning with verse 24.
Matthew 13:36 “Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field. 37He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; 38The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; 39The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. 40As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. 41The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; 42And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
After telling the parable, Jesus goes on to explain it to His disciples to make sure that they understood. Jesus explained that the field represents the world and those who have accepted Christ are represented by the wheat, good things. The followers of the devil are tares, evil things. What God does, the devil always copies. God plants good, and Satan plants evil. So here we have the wheat and the tares all growing up together in the same field.
The first thing we need to be aware of in the lesson of the wheat and tares is that:
Ephesians 6:12 “ 12For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
We are in a war against an evil presence. The devil wants to interfere with our progress for the Kingdom of God. He wants to over take anything that is of God. He plants tares out there to fight for the territory that God meant for good. One example of how wheat and tares compete for the same territory is this. Think about all the wonderful resources we have to spread the gospel now such as television, radio, and the internet etc. The devil fights against us for those resources so that he can use them for evil. He fights for our money as well. In everything we try to do for God, the devil will be certain to try to interfere. Satan also is in competition for your mind. If we are not very careful he will plant his garbage in our thought process. We must be wise and understand that we are no match for him on our own. We need to be tapping into the power of God so that we can defeat him. Sometimes we can’t help a specific thought that may come into our minds, but we can choose to toss out the bad ones and refuse to dwell on them. We can keep our minds on things of God and keep the enemy out. Remember, thoughts produce feelings, feelings produce actions, and actions produce habit. We must guard our thoughts carefully, because what we allow our minds to dwell on determines what we do many times.
The second point I want us to look at in the parable of the Wheat and the Tares is:
25But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.
We are most vulnerable to enemy attacks when we are “sleeping” or not watching. He attacks when we are not expecting it. Mostly it happens in a time of blessing when we have just come through a trial and then blessing comes and we are on the mountain top and we begin to relax if we are not careful and we let our guard down against the enemy to much and he sneaks in and the damage is done. We must not let our guard down. We must be watchful even on the mountain top.
Matthew 10:16 “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.”
1 Peter 5:8 “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:”
We must be more disciplined and not let the devil in the camp. Sometimes he will trick us and sneak in, but there are times when he just walks right in because we are not being watchful. A good soldier in battle doesn’t leave room for the enemy to get in and over take him. We must rely on the power of God to help us to stay focused and to remain watchful at all times for tricks of the devil.
This doesn’t mean that we are to be tense and afraid all the time wondering if something bad is going to happen. It does mean that we need to keep our focus on the Lord and to be aware of Satan’s maneuvers so that we can fight the good fight of faith. We must fight and not just give up, even when evil does slip in and we get knocked around, we have to pray for strength from the Lord, and repent if necessary then we have to get up and try again. There is nothing to turn back to. An existence without God is meaningless. He is life and truth.
The third thing I want us to be aware of in the lesson of the Wheat and the tares is this.
Galatians 6:7-8 7Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. 8For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
When a farmer puts seed into the ground, he knows that which he has planted, is what will be harvested. When corn is planted, beans are not expected when harvest time comes. This is the law of life. What we sow, we reap. When we sow evil and sin, we will reap death.
Romans 6:3 “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
When we plant the things of the Spirit, which are good things like praise and worship to God, praying, studying God’s word, obeying God’s commandments and following after the Holy Spirit, then we shall reap the good things of God. We can be fruitful, bearing fruit of the Spirit which is love, joy, and peace. It’s not always easy to do the right thing and to persevere with good when the demons of hell are fighting against you with all their might. We in our own strength are weak. We will fall every time. Yet, if we rely on Christ for our strength, we can be more than conquerors. Hallelujah! We can press on and fight that good fight of faith and we can be victors.
Galatians 6:9 “ 9And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”
Dear ones, I understand what it’s like to be battered and bruised by the enemy. It’s not easy to get knocked down and I have scares just like you do. The fact of the matter is that we get weary and our flesh is weak. After making that statement though, I also want to add that through Jesus we are very strong. I want to encourage you to press on. Don’t give up. In reading the back of the book and we see that we win. We must cling to our source of strength and life and we must move forward. If you fall, get back up. There’s no shame in repenting when we fall, but staying down isn’t an option for a good soldier of the cross.
Proverbs 24:16 “For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.”
We must walk in the Spirit so that we can sow good things, stay aware of the enemy and so that we will reap eternal things. We can reap much harvest for the glory of God by walking in the Spirit.
Galatians 5:16 “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.”
Let us pray much for one another. Let me tell you today child of God. You are an over comer. The wheat and the tares will be allowed to grow together but harvest time is coming. Stay true to the Father, and endure till the end through Christ. He is going to continue to take care of you. Be encouraged today and encourage others. I thank God for you all and I love you.
Reminder: Remember to serve others in the love and attitude of Christ.
Dear Wonderful, Father,
We praise you for knowing all things. Thank you for knowing the wheat from the tares and thank you for taking care of your own. Father please comfort and encourage your children today who are deep in battle and maybe they have fallen and are deep under the attack of the evil one. Father we are no match for him. We understand that our strength solely comes from you. Father without your power we are doomed, but we thank you and we trust you to take care of us and to raise us up. Father we ask for forgiveness for the times we have been slack and let the enemy come in. Please help us to keep a watchful eye and help us to be wise so that we will not keep falling for the same tactics of the deceiver. Help us to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves just as your word instructs. Please watch over us and keep us safe another week as we try to do your will in all things by your grace. God we thank you that your mercies are new every morning and that you understand us. Thank you for loving us and providing. Father help this ministry and all those involved so that we can reach many for your glory. Lord will you please comfort and encourage all those who come and read and just let them feel your love and protection all around them no matter where they may be. Thank you hearing and answering prayer. Thank you for your divine favor. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.
March 29, 2009