We continue with Yeshua's teaching of parables from the book of Matthew.
Matthew 13:24-30 (KJV)
Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field:
But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.
But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.
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?
He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?
But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.
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" (Dictionary.com). 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.