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Saturday, November 22, 2014


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The Parable of The Tares - Matthew 13


The Lord Jesus Christ identifies "the good seed" in verse 38 as "the children of the kingdom." The only other place where this phrase occurs is in Matthew 8:12 (reading from verse 11 for context): "And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." Here it quite obviously applies to the Jews who rejected Christ! However, in the parable under consideration it is applied to those Jews who are identified as "good seed" and as "wheat" in opposition to "the tares" and to those who are gathered into Christ's barn, and "the righteous" who shall "shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father." Thus Christ is only considering that class of individuals which is identified as the "good ground" of verse 8 and verse 23 which are those who respond to "the word of the kingdom" obediently and bring forth fruit. It is not even considering the three other categories discussed in verses 4-7 and 19-22. Remember all of these classes are related to the work of a sower as opposed to the sower of this parable, namely, The Lord Jesus Christ as he himself explained.

"The good seed" must be the true seed of Abraham which is referred to in such passages as Luke 1:55; Acts 3:25; 7:5; Romans 4:13, 16, 18; 9:7, 8; Galatians 3:16, 19, 29; Hebrews 11:18; and the seed of the woman (Gen. 3:15), Rev. 12:17-in all of these passages the word for seed is identical to that for seed in Matthew 13. It was "the word of the kingdom" which was taught by the Lord Jesus Christ that produced this class of "good seed." Ever since the days when John the Baptist came upon the scene, the basis of salvation was redefined. Mark indicates this when he says in chapter one and at verse 4 the following:

"John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins."


Thus the basis of salvation was altered for the message of John required belief, repentance, and obedience expressed in the act of baptism which was outside the Law of Moses. Christ likewise assented to this when he was baptized himself, thus acknowledging it was essential for salvation. (Matthew 3:13-16). Furthermore, Christ continued on by preaching the Gospel (Matthew 4:23) and baptizing his disciples (John 3:22-26; 4:1-2). Thus the Jews or "children of the kingdom" in the sense of Matthew 8:12 by rejecting that which was appointed by Yahweh and taught and carried out by both John the Baptist and Christ could not be a part of Christ's Ecclesia as defined in Matthew 16:18 nor "the good seed" of this parable. Again it becomes quite clear that "the field" can not be the ecclesia for unless they accepted the basis of salvation now appointed by Yahweh they could not be a part of Christ's Ecclesia. The only explanation that is feasible then is that which says that the field is the Jewish world or Mosaic Dispensation and the good seed are the true seed of Abraham.

Christ goes on to say in verse 25: "But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way." By the phrase, "But while men slept," it would appear that Christ is making a comment upon the general spiritual state of the Jews when he came upon the scene. The word is definitely used in this fashion in other passages where this very same Greek word occurs. Consider the following passages: Matthew 25:5; 26:45; Mark 13:36; 14:41; Eph. 5:14; 1 Thess. 5:6. It was because of this general state of spiritual decadence that the "enemy" of Christ could successfully work. Who was this "enemy" and who are the "tares"?

The Greek word translated "enemy" in verses 25, 28, and 39 is echthros, the meaning of which is given as, "passively, hated, odious, object of enmity, (opposite of agapetos, beloved); actively, opposite to, hating another and adverse to him; as substantive an enemy, adversary." -Bullinger. "hostile - 1. passively hated. 2. actively hating, hostile." -Arndt-Gingrich. Consider the following pertinent occurrences:

- Matthew 10:36 "And a man's foes shall be they of his own household."

- Luke 19:27 "But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me."

These "enemies" are described as follows in verse 14:

"But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us."