The Wheat and the Weed

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Matthew 13:16–30 ESV
16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear. 17 For truly, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it. 18 “Hear then the parable of the sower: 19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the path. 20 As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, 21 yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away. 22 As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. 23 As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.” 24 He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field, 25 but while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away. 26 So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared also. 27 And the servants of the master of the house came and said to him, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have weeds?’ 28 He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ So the servants said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them?’ 29 But he said, ‘No, lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest, and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, “Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.” ’ ”
Matthew 13:
Matthew 13:24–30 ESV
24 He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field, 25 but while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away. 26 So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared also. 27 And the servants of the master of the house came and said to him, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have weeds?’ 28 He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ So the servants said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them?’ 29 But he said, ‘No, lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest, and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, “Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.” ’ ”
Introduction:
The Battle of the Bulge
For those of you who haven’t heard of it, it is not an eating contest or a reality show..:)
Image of the Battle of the Bulge Here..
This is a famous battle in World War 2.
In late 1944, during the wake of the Allied forces' successful D-Day invasion of Normandy, France, it seemed as if the Second World War was all but over. On Dec. 16, with the onset of winter, the German army launched a counteroffensive that was intended to cut through the Allied forces in a manner that would turn the tide of the war in Hitler's favor. The battle that ensued is known historically as the Battle of the Bulge. The courage and fortitude of the American Soldier was tested against great adversity. Nevertheless, the quality of his response ultimately meant the victory of freedom over tyranny.
Although American forces prevailed, this was the largest and bloodiest single battle fought by the United States in World War 2. The battle of the bulge took place from Dec 16, 1944 to January 25, 1945 in Eastern Belgium, Germany and Luxembourg.
One key element that made the battle tougher for Americans, were the infiltration of English-speaking German soldiers capturing critical bridges, cutting communications lines, and spreading rumors. To identify these “infiltrators”, American troops asked soldiers for a password and questions that only true Americans can answer. When identified, these infiltrators were executed.
Adolf Hitler sent infiltrators among the ranks of the American forces as a desperate move to turn the tide of defeat.
Big Idea: Satan sent infiltrators in the ranks of the church and Jesus warned us against them.
For the past Sundays I preached on Jesus’ teachings from the sermon on the mount, which the Lord intended to be direct lessons for his disciples. At some point in His public ministry however, Jesus started teaching in parables.
What is a parable?
Parable - An Earthly Story with a Divine Meaning.
Parables required an explanation and Jesus’ gave the explanation in private to those who were eager to hear it.
Why did Jesus speak in parables?
Jesus Himself offered an explanation in
At a certain point of His public ministry, there developed a clear distinction between those who will accept His message and those who will reject it, His enemies who at this time were already plotting to kill Him.
So by His sovereign divine knowledge and choice, Jesus started hiding the truth from some people.
The Bible says in that “faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God”.
But there are people who have decided not to hear but rather follow their own agenda of destroying the gospel.
This is why Jesus ended these parables with the words: “He who has ears, let him ear”. The truth of the parables are exclusively for those who have ears to hear and come to faith in Jesus.
Matthew 13:15 ESV
15 For this people’s heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them.’
The parable of the wheat and the tares.
Because Israel in Jesus’ time was an agricultural country, so in His parables Jesus used pictures related to farming.
The first part of Chapter 13 Jesus told the all familiar parable of the soils or the parable of the sower from verses 1-9. I encourage you to read it.
Today we will study Jesus’ parable of the wheats and the tares.
I. The Theme of the Parable.
What is the theme of this parable?
“The Kingdom of Heaven”
“The Kingdom of Heaven versus The Kingdom of God”
Why Matthew uses the phrase Kingdom of Heaven rather than Kingdom of God.
It said that Matthew used the phrase the kingdom of heaven because of his Jewish audience, he out of reverence tried not to write the name of God.
Another explanation is that he is distinguishing between the kingdom of heaven, which refers to the church.
The Kingdom of God is the coming Kingdom that Jesus will establish in the future starting from His millennial reign.
So “Kingdom of Heaven” - church
“Kingdom of God” - Christ’s future total rule.
Jesus is teaching us here that there are “infiltrators” or fake Christians in the church.
So we begin the parable:
Matthew 13:24 ESV
24 He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field,
Matthew
II. The Elements of the Parable
A. The Wheat and Weeds
a. Characteristics of wheat and tares (darnel)
Wheat is a plant cultivated for its seed, which is milled into flour that is used for bread. So wheat is staple food.
The planting of the wheat and tares
Darnel however, is a weed. It is called “mimic weed”.
Image of Darnel Here
b. Characteristics of wheat and tares (darnel)
Shown side by side wheat.
Image of side-by-side wheat and tares.
First lesson: Fake Christians look similar to the real ones.
These people who infiltrate the church, sound like they are Christians. They join worship services, they know scripture but their motives are just not right.
These people look for their own interests and personal gains rather than the interests of God and the advancement of the Kingdom.
Jesus is warning us beware of the weeds.
b. The damage caused by the weeds
First they are harmful and poisonous.
It has been seen through the centuries that if not separated from wheat, darnel can be mixed with grain and can have toxic effects to the one who eats it. When people eat its seeds, they get dizzy, off-balance and nauseous, and its official name, from a Latin word for “drunk.”
It has been seen through the centuries that if not separated from wheat, darnel can be mixed with grain and can have toxic effects to the one who eats it. When people eat its seeds, they get dizzy, off-balance and nauseous, and its official name, from a Latin word for “drunk.”
Fake Christians are the real toxic people.
The mission of fake Christians in the church is to distract them from their true mission. They may come with attractive personalities and incentivize others towards things that mean nothing for spiritual growth.
Second thing is that they can mislead by false teaching. People who teach us to go back to a doctrine of works or legalism.
Or they may not necessarily stand at the pulpit, but they can influence by their behavior.
Jesus in the Book of Revelation talked about the Jezebel of the church who caused God’s people to commit sexual immorality.
Who is this Jezebel? Not necessarily a person but a spirit.
Men and women, let us be aware of the Jezebelian spirit that Satan had sent to the church at large. This spirit is already at work in our culture and it has penetrated the church. How? When men delve in pornography you are being overtaken by the jezebelian spirit that has infiltrated the church.
It is destroying you slowly and eating you up, eventually it will lead you to do evil things.
If you are a CHristian and look at pornography do you think God does not see?
If you are still looking or watching at pornography, throw it away. Throw it out of your homes, your computers and smart phones! Make that decision now before it permanently damages your life.
Second damage caused by the weeds is it steals the nutrients from the true plants.
These people just sap the energy out of you. They complain all the time. They want attention to themselves. They gossip against the brethren, against the leadership.
Be careful when someone comes to you and complains about the leadership and about how things are at the church.
One rule of thumb: If the person is really sincerely concerned about the church, he would go directly to its leadership who can do something about it.
But why do they choose not to come directly to the leader is a question you should ask. Maybe or even unknowingly, this person is being used by Satan to destroy the church by undermining its leadership.
Can we make this a standard practice that if someone complains about a leader of the church or the pastors tell the person, let’s get the issue addressed and tell the person directly. Otherwise it is pointless and harmful gossip.
b. The planter of the weeds.
Who planted the weeds, Jesus said while it is He who plants the good Christians in the church, it is the enemy, Satan who plants the infiltrators.
He said Satan was able to plant these weeds when the workers were sleeping.
God never sleeps, In we are told that God never slumbers nor sleeps. It is the church who falls asleep, so wake up! (get attention from those who are sleepy)
Second Lesson: Be awake, vigilant and discerning of infiltrators in the church.
III. The Harvest
The reality that Jesus teaches here is that the weeds become more seen and evident when the wheat starts to bear grain.
From verse 26:
Matthew 13:26 ESV
26 So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared also.
Image of wheat and weed close to harvest.
We will be able to recognize the infiltrators in the church, not only will they not have good fruit, they will bear bad fruit.
Jesus said “By their fruits you would know them.”
So it is not for us to walk around trying to find the infiltrators in the church. Interviewing, oh this sister looks suspicious let me interview her..
Oh this guy fits the description of the Darnel, actually his name is Darnel, let me deal with him.
Our Lord Jesus is so wise that he gave us to warn us not to judge.
Matthew 7:1 ESV
1 “Judge not, that you be not judged.
But he said you can know them by their fruits.
So the moral of the story is:
“We are not called to judge, but to be fruit examiners”.
Fruit Examiner Image here..
Jesus continued to say...
Matthew 13:29–30 ESV
29 But he said, ‘No, lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest, and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, “Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.” ’ ”
So God allows the weeds to grow together with the wheat. And on the day of the harvest, there will be the separation.
-30
Lesson 3: Continue to bear fruit for God and let Him deal with the infiltrators.
Question: Does this mean that the church will not do anything with the so-called infiltrators?
While there is a time of judgement reserved, God by His mercy and love for the church also exposes the infiltrators in the church. When He does, the leaders of the church will act to remove the evil person.
1 Corinthians 5:13 ESV
13 God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.”
1 Corinthians 13:
IV. Conclusion
Does it mean the church won’
Jesus goes to explain the parable in . I won’t have to read it, just please do in your own free time.
To me, an amazing conclusion to this parable is not that God will identify and ultimately destroy the infiltrators in the church. The amazing truth is that he allows them to remain in the church.
It is not because God meant harm to the body but rather to show us that He is able to protect His church. The prayers of the saints continue to uphold this church.
God said no weapon formed against you will stand.
Jesus said “the gates of hell shall not prevail” against this church.
So you can look at it this way,
“God allowing evil to remain is not putting the church at risk, but rather giving it the opportunity to prevail.”
To prevail we have to be armed for spiritual warfare. Put on the full armor of God. Employ the weapons of our warfare that are mighty in God for the pulling down of strongholds.
Second conclusion is that we can still find a lesson about the amazing grace of God in this story.
You may still be on the stage of your journey in relation to the church where you may not have been completely planted yet. Which means you are not yet a good seed nor a bad seed. God is giving you the invitation to receive Jesus...
For those who you know you had a genuine experience with God and you know that you are not a full blown weed, but you are acting like one, and think you were guilty of some of the sins mentioned today, there is grace for you to repent, turn around and rededicate your life to Jesus..
Matthew 13:36–43 ESV
36 Then he left the crowds and went into the house. And his disciples came to him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds of the field.” 37 He answered, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world, and the good seed is the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, 39 and the enemy who sowed them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are angels. 40 Just as the weeds are gathered and burned with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers, 42 and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.
Matthew 13: