Church of Christ
Locks Cross Roads
2) Matthew 13:24 and following - Parable of the good seed and tares
Matthew 13:24 a man. . . sowed good seed in his fields . . , Matthew 13:37 . . . He that soweth the good seed is the
Son of man: keep that straight! The problem of evil in the world, and particularly in the institutional Church, often
blinds men to the fact that only "good giving and every perfect gift comes down from above, from the Father,"
whereas temptations, lust, sin and death come from human desires willing to be enticed by Satan (James 1:13-18;
James 3:6 and James 3:13-18, James 4:1-10).
In starting His Church as one tangible expression of His Kingdom on earth, Jesus made no mistakes. The Lord
knows His own (Numbers 16:1-5, Ezekiel 8:1 through 9:11, 2nd Timothy 2:19, John 10:14). On that Day the justice
of His strategy will be vindicated. In the meantime, the field is His field, His world, and any evil in it is the result of an
enemy's work, not his (Matthew 13:28)!
Matthew 13:38 the field is the world, not merely the Church, although this is composed of people who live in the
world. He is not only affirming the world-wide character of His reign as opposed to narrow nationalism, but also that
the world itself is the soil within which the life growing-cycle of the two divergent kinds of people is brought to
maturity. So, as long as the world stands, the mighty Kingdom of God has a sphere of action that is coextensive
with all humanity.
The good seed, these are the sons of the kingdom. The expression "sons of," rather than refers here to ancestry,
is rather a Hebraism expressive of a more general relationship. Sometimes the connection is membership in a guild,
class or sect (2nd Kings 6:1, 2nd Kings 4:38, Matthew 12:27). Or else the expression indicates some characteristic
quality of the persons so described. The sons of the Kingdom, then, are Jesus' followers, because these disciples
share the goals of the Kingdom.
Matthew 13:25 But while men slept, his enemy came. . . This taking of rest need not refer to any lack of attention or
care on the part of those responsible for the field, nor is the sleeping blamed. Rather, sleep is not only proper
because earned by honest labor, but may easily signify the farmer's undisturbed confidence that good seed has
been sown, as in the parable of the Growing Seed (Mark 4:27).
The bearded darnel is a poisonous grass, almost undistinguishable from wheat while the two are only in blade, but
which can be separated without difficulty when they come into ear.
The use of the darnel weed was aptly chosen by the Lord because of its striking similarity to wheat, since the shoots
of both are so alike it is next to impossible to decide which is which. The value of this resemblance for the story lies
in its vivid representation of a real problem: there would be many non-Christians in the world whose honesty,
integrity, generosity and other good traits often surpass the average morality of many Christians who really do
believe Jesus and try to serve Him, but whose ethics are no match for those high minded unbelievers. Or, there
might be two men of equal moral worth, one a disciple of Jesus; the other, no. Many would be tempted to leap to the
conclusion that faith in Jesus and justification on the basis of that faith makes little essential difference, since, they
would say, "Surely God wants good people, not just believers whose life and morals are unspectacular for their
similarity to non-believers."
He simply will not permit anyone to take over for God and begin to execute precipitate justice by slicing men out of
the Kingdom, Jesus is justly optimistic about the converting power of His own gospel, because He knows what so
many forget. It is a very great comfort that the sons of God, who now are either lying covered with squalor, or are
hidden and unesteemed, or are even buried under reproaches, shall then, as in a clear sky and with every cloud
dissipated, at once shine out brightly.