Sunday, July 30, 2017

The Parable of the Wheat and the Tares Part 2

See Part 1

Matthew 13:36-43 (KJV)
36 Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field.
37 He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man;
38 The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one;
39 The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.
40 As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.
41 The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;
42 And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
43 Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.

After Yeshua told the Parable of the Wheat and the Tares to the crowd, He sent them away, and went into the house (verse 36). His disciples came to Him and asked Him to explain the meaning of the parable. Yeshua then revealed that the man who sowed the good seed is Yeshua himself (The "Son of man" is a Messianic term referring to the Messiah.) (verse 37). The field stands for the world and the good seed are the children of the Kingdom of Heaven (verse 38). He further explained that the tares represent the children of the wicked one (Satan according to verse 39). The harvest represents the end of the world and the reapers are the angels. According to verse 40 the tares would be gathered and burned in the fire. This part of the parable mirrors what will happen at the end of the world. The Son of man will send forth his angels and they will gather out of his kingdom all things that offend and them that sin (verse 41). These will be cast into the furnace of fire where there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth (verse 42). Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the Kingdom of Heaven (verse 43). Yeshua ended His explanation by saying, "Who hath ears to hear, let him hear."

Since Yeshua revealed the meaning of this parable to His disciples, it is pretty impossible to misunderstand. He was explaining that He had originally placed His own good children in the world, but that Satan disturbed that perfection by introducing his own evil children. Since it was difficult to remove the wicked without possibly uprooting the good, Yeshua determined to leave both in the world until its end. At that time the angels would remove the wicked and cast them into hell, but the righteous would remain in the world, where they would shine forth as the sun. Yeshua then encouraged His disciples to really listen and understand the parable.

But who are the wicked and who are the righteous? Although all mankind is guilty of sin and is deserving of hell, Yeshua, by His death and resurrection, made it possible for sinful mankind to trust and believe in Yeshua's work on the cross, and to be viewed by God in light of Yeshua's own righteousness. Those who trust are considered the righteous. They will remain on earth in the Kingdom of Heaven, but the wicked, those who are not believers and then are viewed by God in all their sin, will be cast into hell.

How can we apply this parable to our lives? This short parable explains what our world is like now. We are living with a mix of evil and good. However, one day, there will be judgment and only those who are trusting in Messiah for their salvation will survive. The destination of everyone else is hell. We've been warned! Let's make sure our eternal home will be with Yeshua!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The Parable of the Wheat and the Tares Part 1

We continue with Yeshua's teaching of parables from the book of Matthew.

Matthew 13:24-30 (KJV)
24 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field:
25 But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.
26 But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.
27 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?
28 He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?
29 But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.
30 Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of 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.
This time Yeshua stated that the Kingdom of Heaven was like a man that sowed good seed in his field (verse 24). Let's remember that the Kingdom of Heaven is not Heaven, but is the physical kingdom that Yeshua will set up and rule when He returns. The Kingdom of Heaven exists only spiritually now and it is the kingdom that we enter into when we are born again.

Unfortunately, while the man's servants slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the good wheat (verse 25). Tares are defined as "a noxious weed, probably the darnel" ( The darnel is a species of rye grass that closely resembles wheat and cannot be distinguished until the ears appear (Bible Study Tools [online] - Easton's Bible Dictionary).

When the crop began to grow, the servants asked the man if he had sown good seed (verses 26 and 27). If he had where had the tares come from? The man answered that an enemy had done this (verse 28). The servants then asked if they should go and gather up the tares. The man replied that they should leave the crop alone, since trying to gather up the tares would result in some of the wheat being pulled up as well (verse 29). Instead, he recommended that the servants leave the field alone and let the wheat and the tares grow together until the harvest (verse 30). At that time the man would instruct the reapers to gather first the tares, bind them in bundles to burn them, and then gather the wheat into his barn.

This is the first time that Yeshua started His parable with "the Kingdom of Heaven is like..." He continued to do this with the rest of His parables. The statement functions as a notice that He was now moving onto another parable. It also served as a reminder about what these parables really were about.

What is the usual explanation of this parable? What do the symbols represent? Is is possible to understand this parable without an explanation? Stay tuned for next time as we find out what Yeshua said further about this parable.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

The Parable of the Sower Part 2

Previous post

In this post I would like to refresh our memories on what each of the elements or symbols of the parable represent and I would like to share some applications.

1. The symbols

The sower represents Yeshua (God).
The seed represents the Word of God.
The birds represent Satan.
The soils represent the type of people that hear the Word of God.
     The soil by the wayside represents those who hear the Word, don't understand it, and then have the Word taken away by Satan.
     The stony soil represents those who hear the Word, receive it joyfully, but don't have much root. Although they grow spiritually somewhat, the lack of root combined with tribulation and persecution due to the Word of God, they become offended.
     The thorny soil represents those who hear the Word, but due to the care of this world and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the Word and they become unfruitful.
     The good soil represents those who hear the Word of God, understand it, and bear fruit of varying amounts.

2. Application

From this parable we see that God has an interest in mankind's knowing Him. He sent Yeshua to correctly establish the Word of God, its requirements, and how we can be saved. When Yeshua spread the gospel message He came in contact with various people who fell into the four categories we find in this parable. It is interesting to note that most of Yeshua's hearers did not understand His message. Some were unprepared and even though they listened, Satan stole it away before they could believe and be converted. Some of His hearers turned away when they met tribulation and persecution that resulted from committing to God. The life of a believer is not necessarily without danger and trouble. Some of His hearers understood the Word, but were concerned with worldly things more than the things of God. The care of this world could refer to things like poverty, fame, and power, anything that could cause a believer to lose his or her focus on God. The deceitfulness of riches refers to the striving for wealth where God no longer seems necessary because we think wealth can relieve us from our worries. Lastly, a small number of hearers understand the Word, repent, and put their trust in God. These people bear fruit of varying amounts. The fruit can be the changing of one's character as well as turning around and becoming sowers themselves.

It is in this regard that all believers also become sowers. We, too, will run into these four types of people. Only a small number will likely understand and accept the Word. We can't let this discourage us! After all Yeshua had the same issue! Most people need to hear the Word over several times before they are able to understand. Let's keep at it! Do not fall into the trap of teaching that a person's problems will be over, or that his or her life will be so much better, if he or she would only come to Yeshua. We then may cause these believers to fall away, because there will always be some tribulation or persecution that will follow belief. And whether or not we are Billy Grahams that aid in the salvation of many or we only successfully reach a few, God is not grading us on our level of productivity. We only need to be faithful!! We only need to be out there spreading the Word of God.

So what is this parable teaching us about the Kingdom of Heaven?

We hear the Word of God, repent and believe, and then we enter the Kingdom of Heaven. This then becomes our work. We emulate Yeshua and try to grow the Kingdom in much the same way that He did. Let's get to it!

Monday, July 3, 2017

The Parable of the Sower Part 1

We have been looking at some of the details of how and why Yeshua taught about the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven. With this post we begin our study of the meat of His teachings.

Matthew 13:1-9 (KJV)
1 The same day went Jesus out of the house, and sat by the sea side.
2 And great multitudes were gathered together unto him, so that he went into a ship, and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore.
3 And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow;
4 And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up:
5 Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth:
6 And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.
7 And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them:
8 But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold.
9 Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.

As we begin this chapter we see that Yeshua went out of the house and sat by the sea side (verse 1). Multitudes gathered around Him, so He went into a ship and sat down, while the multitude stayed on the shore (verse 2). He then began to teach (verse 3). Notice that He taught the multitudes using parables. Please see previous post for Yeshua's reasons.

In this parable a sower (a farmer) went out to sow his seed. In ancient days, the farmer would simply scatter seed over his field. According to verse 4, some of the seed fell by the wayside, which is ground next to a road. It is hard and has not been prepared for planting. Since the seed could not penetrate the soil, birds came and ate up the seed. Other seed fell upon stony ground where there wasn't much dirt (verse 5). The seed sprang up, but it was spindly because of the lack of soil. Therefore, when the sun was up, the plants were scorched and they withered away (verse 6). Verse 7 says that some of the seed fell among thorns. They also sprouted, but ended up by being choked by the thorns. Finally, some of the seed fell into good ground (verse 8). This seed sprang up, grew, and brought forth fruit. Some produced an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, and some thirtyfold. Then Yeshua urged His hearers to not only hear, but to truly understand (verse 9).

At this point, Yeshua's disciples came to Him for some explanation of what the parable meant.

Matthew 13:18-23 (KJV)
18 Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower.
19 When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.
20 But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it;
21 Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.
22 He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.
23 But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.

Yeshua began His explanation by describing what the four types of soil represented. Verse 19 says that the seed that falls by the wayside represents one who hears the Word of the Kingdom, but doesn't understand it. At that point, the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart.

Yeshua doesn't give us a lot of information, but with what He has told us, we can decipher what the rest is about.  Obviously, the soil represents types of people who hear the Word of the Kingdom, which is the Word of God (the Bible). The Kingdom, itself, is not Heaven, but the Millennial Kingdom that Yeshua will physically set up upon His return. Currently, the Kingdom exists only spiritually and it is the Kingdom that we enter into when we are born again. The farmer can be none other than Yeshua, who was preaching and teaching about repentance and faith, and how to enter into the Kingdom. This first type of person hears the Word, but doesn't understand it, and Satan (the wicked one), represented by the birds, snatches the Word away.

In verse 20 the stony soil represents one who hears the Word of God and received it with joy. However, he doesn't have much root and so he becomes offended when tribulation and persecution arise because of the Word (verse 21).

The thorny soil represents one who hears the Word of God, but becomes unfruitful, because the care of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the Word (verse 22).

Lastly, the good soil represents one who hears the Word and understands it. This one will bear fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, and some thirtyfold (verse 23).

Stay tuned for part 2 of the Parable of the Sower!