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Saturday, November 22, 2014


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The Parable of The Tares - Matthew 13


In verse 26, we are clearly told that the labors of Christ's enemy brought forth fruit and that this fruit was clearly identifiable as to what it was, "then appeared the tares also." There were absolutely no doubts as to what, or should I say who, the tares were! As has been seen previously, if the field was the ecclesia, then this would mean that some member was clearly identified as such and Christ would give advice to his servants in verses 29-30 that contradicts what he tells them elsewhere. Bro. Robert Roberts in Nazareth Revisited has the following to say about this verse.

When Christ's teaching began to take effect in the development of earnest disciples, the result was not so general as might have been expected, for the Scribes and Pharisees had meanwhile been very busy on the quiet, and out of the sight of Christ, and the people sided with them in larger numbers than would have been the case if they had been left alone to consider the works and words of Christ for themselves. (Pages 222-223)


In verse 27, Christ tells us about the concern of his servants at the realization of what had taken place. "So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?" No one can deny that these are legitimate concerns over such a serious situation. Here Christ identifies himself as "the householder." Which is an interesting term which he applies to himself when he tells his apostles what they would have to endure for his name's sake. Let us look at Matthew 10:22-25.

And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved. But when they persecute you in the city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come. (With the Roman legions that overthrew the commonwealth of Judah in A.D. 70-Matthew 22:7.) The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant (The Greek word for "servant" here is the same as that in the verse under consideration.) above his lord. (The Greek word here and in the next verse translated "lord" and applied to Christ is the same word translated "Sir" in the verse under consideration.) It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant (same as above) as his lord. If they have called the master of the house (The Greek word translated "master of the house" here is the same as that translated "householder" in the verse under consideration.) Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?


In verse 28, Christ affirms that the tares were not due to his efforts but those of an enemy. "He said unto them, an enemy hath done this." The servants then suggest a possible solution. "The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?" Bro. Robert Roberts gives a very brief put pertinent explanation to this verse in Nazareth Revisited on page 223:

The surprise of the apostles that the people did not submit to the word of Christ, and their proposal (as on one occasion) that they should command that fire should come down from heaven and destroy them.


The incident referred to is recorded in Luke 9:51-56,

And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem, And sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem. And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elijah did? (Recorded in 1 Kings 1:10, 12) But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.


Furthermore, the surname that Christ gave John and his brother James would seem to indicate that this was characteristic of them for he called them "Boanerges, which is, The sons of thunder." (Mark 3:17)

In verses 29 and 30, Christ answers his servants.

But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.


It was a guaranteed fact that "every plant, which my heavenly Father (said by Christ about the Pharisees) hath not planted, shall be rooted up."(Matt. 15:13 -- the Greek word translated "shall be rooted up" here is the same word translated "ye root up" in the verse under consideration.) However, this was not the time to deal with the Jewish rejecters of Christ for that would be done on a national basis as it had been done in the past for that was the type of covenant that Yahweh had with this people-a national one with national consequences for national disobedience. Bro. Robert Roberts in Nazareth Revisited on page 223 has the following to say on this subject:

The destruction of the wicked would have interfered with the development of the righteous, which requires that the wicked prosper for a while in their disobedience.


This point is that of Peter in his second epistle when he talks about the passing of the Jewish heavens and earth in the third chapter. Consider verses 9 and 10:

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.