Last Updated on :
Saturday, November 22, 2014


sp spacer



The Parable of The Tares - Matthew 13



Thus there was an attempt to save as many of natural Israel as possible! (For a full discussion of this subject see Bro. John Thomas' work entitled The Last Days Of Judah's Commonwealth And Its Latter Day Restoration, and Bro. H.P. Mansfield's verse-by-verse commentary on 2 Peter 3-both are published by Logos.)

At this point let us consider another explanation that is felt to be erroneous, and that is the one which says that the tares represent the development of the apostate churches that exist around us. The suggestion is made that Christ is permitting these apostate churches to exist until he personally deals with them at his return. The objection to this is that Christ's servants asked him if he wanted them to remove the tares as if this was natural and perfectly feasible on their part to do! How can they or we exercise any authority over the churches prior to Christ's doing so at his return! Obviously they nor we can! Furthermore, Christ in his answer to his servants does not deny that it is in their power to do so for he warns that if they tried it they might root up some of the wheat! Thus the tares cannot represent the churches about us! We have already shown that it cannot refer to a development in the ecclesia and that it must refer to the Jewish world of Christ's time upon which they did and could have an impact. Did not Jesus say at the time of his arrest,

Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then shall the Scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?" (Matthew 26:53-54)


Did not Christ cast the money changers out of the temple on two occasions? (Matthew 21:12-13; Mark 11:15-17; Luke 19:45-46; John 2:13-16) But such action as suggested by his servants was not according to Christ's or his Father's will. We have already considered these thoughts above.

Another route that those who adopt the erroneous interpretation of this parable take is that built around the word "harvest," and the phrase "the end of the world (aion)." They state that these terms must refer to the return of Christ. But, only a preconceived bias would permit someone to say such a thing! For a little Bible study will show conclusively that they do not have to refer to the return of Christ at all but can and often do apply to what took place with respect to Christ's and the Apostle's labors and events that brought the Mosaic Age to an end. Let us consider the usage of this term and phrase.

The Greek word translated "harvest" in verses 30 and 39 is therismos and only occurs in the following passages:

- Matthew 9:37, 38 "Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest." This statement was made by Christ just before he sent out the twelve upon their preaching mission. Thus the harvest was related to what they were doing t that time, not something way in the future.

- Luke 10: 2 "Therefore said he unto them, The harvest is truly great, but the labourers are few; pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest." This statement was made by Christ to the seventy just before he sent them on their preaching mission. Thus again the term related to their day and age and not to the future.

- John 4:35 "Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? Behold, I say unto you, lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest." This point is further emphasized in the verses that follow for he states that the disciples can reap the harvest: "And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together. And herein is that saying true, One soweth, and another reapeth. I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labor: other men laboured, and ye are entered into their labours." (verses 36-38) We will come back to these verses a little later.

- Rev. 14:15 "And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe." This passage obviously relates to the return of Christ and the judgment that will be poured out upon the earth at that time.

From the above passages it is quite clear that the use of the word "harvest" does not guarantee events surrounding the return of Christ are being discussed. In fact, of all the occurrences of this term, apart from the parable we are considering, only one occurrence applies to the return of Christ. Thus our conclusion, along with the rest of the interpretation already given, is that the harvesting of the tares relates to what took place in A.D. 70 when Rome brought the Mosaic Dispensation to an end.