Article of the Month
The Wheat and
The 13th Chapter of Matthew contains seven
parables. Because of the constant flow of parables, the
disciples even questioned Jesus (13:10) as to why he
spoke in parables to the multitudes. His answer is
revealing. He wanted what he was saying to be a mystery
to all who were not truly his devoted disciples. For
the two thousand years since, Jesus’ teachings remain
mysterious and unclear—even to that great multitude of
those who claim his name and call themselves
The parable we are about to examine is about that very
strange phenomenon; his followers were to fall into two
(1) The “wheat” (true disciples) and
(2) “tares” (counterfeit Christians).
One group was to understand; the other was not.
* * * * *
The Parable of the Wheat and the Tares is one of only
two of the seven parables in Matthew 13 which Jesus
explains. It is important to realize, however, that
even the explanations are somewhat symbolic—somewhat
designed to keep all but the true disciples from
The first parable which Jesus explains is The Sower.
The parable is in Matthew 13:3-9. Its explanation is in
13:18-23. The Wheat and Tares parable is in 13:24-30.
Its explanation is in 13:37-43. It is this parable
which draws our focus in this article.
THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN
Many of Jesus’ parables, including this one, begin with
the words, “The Kingdom of Heaven is likened unto…”
This term, Kingdom of Heaven, is in itself needful of
interpretation. Jesus taught his disciples to pray for
the kingdom (Matthew 6:10). Thus it was to be at some
future time. Yet, (Matthew 3:1-3), John the Baptist
virtually suggests that Jesus himself is the kingdom—and
that at the very beginning of his ministry.
The fact is, THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN is used in the Bible
for three different but related things:
(1) Jesus himself is the kingdom personified. He IS
the kingdom because he is the king. Even pompous
earthly monarchs have used the term this way. Louis the
XIVth of France is famous for his remark: “The
State is me! With Jesus, the claim is appropriately
true; The Kingdom is He!
(2) The Christian-age search for those who will rule
with Jesus (Revelation 5:10) is referred to (mostly in
parables) as the Kingdom. This is because this age
develops the kingdom rulers. It is, thus, an EMBRYO or
INCIPIENT kingdom. Many of these parables are not
complementary of “the kingdom.” (See, for example,
Matthew 13:33 where the kingdom is like “leaven” which
is a symbol of sin!) Thus, we see a history NOT of the
eventual holy kingdom, but, rather, of its painful
throes of development.
(3) Finally, there are texts (like Matthew 6:10) which
refer to the literal peaceable kingdom soon to come
“wherein dwelleth righteousness.” (II Peter 3:13)
AN INTERPRETIVE READING
There are many ways to study our way through this
parable. Perhaps, for the sake of brevity, the best
approach for this article is re-wording the parable,
removing its symbols and replacing them with literal
meanings. For the reader, we suggest an open Bible on
one side and this interpretive reading on the other.
The slow choosing and development of the disciples for
the rulership of the kingdom is like this:
I, Jesus, preached the truth in the religious world,
thus attracting sincere disciples.
Once my Apostles died, the way was clear for Satan to
preach counterfeit doctrines, thus attracting
pseudo-disciples. He did so and just let them develop
without any more intervention needed by him.
As Christianity began to flourish, it was thus a mixture
of true and counterfeit believers.
Jesus’ faithful followers were distressed by the mixture
of sincere and nominal believers and wondered before the
Lord if they should be actively concerned.
Jesus’ words assured them that the distressing mixture
was accomplished by the adversary. This only made the
true disciples want all the more to expel the
counterfeit element from their fellowship.
Jesus, however, warned that they NOT do this because
such an attempt would cause a revolution in Christianity
which would actually hurt the sincere believers more
than if the matter were just left alone.
However, Jesus counseled that once the end of the age
comes, it WOULD be appropriate to engage in a separating
work—but it would be directed by Jesus himself. He will
instruct his true disciples then to engage in a new
work—not a work of making new disciples, but rather of
constraining the ideas of the counterfeits. Thus the
flood of due truths will hamper the work of the
counterfeits and ultimately destroy their faith, while
it will complete the faith of the faithful and gather
them to their reward.
* * * * *
JESUS’ EXPLANATION OF THE PARABLE
Let me explain: I, Jesus, am the one who, by preaching
God’s truths, [began the search for those who will reign
The “field” in my parable represents the religious
world. The “good seed” in the parable are my disciples
who will reign with me. The “tares” in the parable are
those who chose to believe Satan’s corruptions of
truth. [They are “Christians” only in name.]
Satan himself, actively planted the error [to try to
frustrate the development of God’s plans.] The
“harvest” in the parable represents the closing of the
Christian Gospel Age. The “reapers” in the parable
are my messengers at the end of the age. [“Angel” is a
word which MEANS messenger.]
In the parable, you saw the gathering and burning of the
tares. This represents symbolically what I will
accomplish at the end of the age concerning the
doctrines and associations of false Christianity. I
will BIND them by their stubbornness into their
organizations; I will then BURN (destroy) their faith
and, consequently, their organizations.
I will instruct my message-bearing disciples to spread
the truths which will uproot all of the accumulated
offending errors as well as expose the religious works
I will, with the heat of exposing-truths, destroy the
erroneous representations of who I really am. It will
cause immense displays of chagrin, loss, and
disappointment among those who thought they were true
Then, with old errors and institutions gone, my true
disciples, glorified to reign with me, will shine forth
the truths the world has waited for in the completed and
functioning kingdom for which all have prayed so long!
If you can understand the import of this parable, listen
to it with great care.
* * * * *
All parables are given to teach lessons. Some teach
morality concepts, some doctrinal lessons, and some
teach the meanings of history. The Wheat and Tares
parable teaches that the great religion we have all
known as Christianity has, over two thousand years, been
more of a representation of Satanic misrepresentations
than of the true teachings of Jesus. It also teaches
that NOW, at the end of the age, Jesus has sent a pure,
clarifying message designed to SEPARATE those who know
his voice from those who prefer the polluted doctrines
of Christian tradition.
In the words of Revelation
18:4, “Come out of
her, my people.” If we hear the “angels” of the
parable, we will want to hear the rational, satisfying,
Biblical truths now available. We will want to abandon
all association with the confusing, God-dishonoring
doctrines and institutions of traditional (but nominal)
Christianity. If we can hear the words of this parable,
we should hear and act.