Story 84: The Parable of the Harvest

Matthew 13:24-30; 36-43

Timilia wheat

Jesus had begun to speak to His disciples in parables about the Kingdom of Heaven. The rest of the crowd was still there as Jesus preached from the boat, but for most of them, these stories would be a mystery. Here is what Jesus taught:

“‘The Kingdom of Heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.

“‘The owners servants came to him and said, “Sir, why didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did all the weeds come from?

“‘“An enemy did this,’ he replied. 

“‘The servants asked him, “Do you want us to go and pull them up?

 “‘“No, he answered, “Because while you are pulling the weeds, you may root up the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time, I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the what and bring it into my barn.”’”

Can you imagine what this parable might have meant? Well, the disciples weren’t sure, so later on, after they had left the crowds, they asked Jesus. He said:

“‘The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are the angels.

As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. They will throw them into the fiery furnace where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.’”

This is a bit of a frightening message. Do you see how Jesus used the things that happen on a farm to explain the things that are going to happen in human history? This was a very important message because it teaches us a lot about the world and how God is working in time.

When John the Baptist came and preached about the Kingdom, and when Jesus first preached, they warned everyone to repent. The Day of the Lord was coming. As each listener heard these Words, they were being given the marvelous chance to be transformed. Their decision would show whether they were the precious wheat that will be gathered to the Lord, or if they are the useless weeds that will be burned up. There is no choice in between.

When John and Jesus first preached the message of the Kingdom, they said that the Kingdom was near. Now Jesus was saying it would come at the end of the age. That seems like a long time off! What did it mean? In this parable, the Lord tells that there will be a period of time when the wheat will grow.

A farmer understands that once he has planted the seed, it will be many months before it is time to harvest. In that time, Satan would try to destroy it by bringing sinful, rebellious men among the people of God to try to break apart the Kingdom. God would allow this to happen because if he weeded out all the evil ones, some of those will sincere hearts would be hurt as well. So God would wait until the end of the Age, on the Great Day of the Lord, to separate the wheat from the weeds.

The time when the wheat grows is the time we are in right now! Jesus came and planted the seeds of the Gospel in the world. After His death and resurrection, His disciples would help it grow. We are still in that time of growth! This parable is about us! It helps all of us who have put our faith in Jesus to understand why wicked people will be allowed to operate among the people of the Kingdom of God as we wait for His return.

Many faithful believers since the time of Jesus have suffered greatly because of false believers bringing destruction in the midst of God’s people. The story hasn’t changed much since the beginning of time. Just like Adam and Eve…just like the people who rejected Jesus in His day…people in our time will listen to the enemy of God instead of God Himself. Our job is to remain faithful to Him and allow Him to bring His healing to us when the hard times come. We can draw deeper into the Great Hope of a time when all the darkness will be gone and we will live in the Perfect Light of Everlasting Love. Jesus Himself told us that on That Day, we will be in the Kingdom of God and we will shine bright like the sun. May we take hold of that hope and set our hearts upon it with everything within us. May we trust Him with a trust that shows the world He is worthy!

When God moved into the world to bring the Messiah, He moved through the children of Abraham and formed a great nation. They were meant to be a blessing to the whole world. God would continue with His plan to bless the world in spite of Israel’s sin and failure. The new Kingdom message of Christ would teach His followers how the Most High God planned to do that…and how they were a part of His plan!

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