Season 1, Episode 77
For Tuesday, April 28, 2015
“The Distinctiveness of the Kingdom”
Welcome to The New You, where we focus on maintaining and accentuating the new that Christ has created in you. I’m Robert Hatfield, and here is today’s scripture:
Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way” (Mat. 13:24-25).
This week, we’re looking at Matthew 13, a chapter filled with parables about the kingdom of heaven. Let’s look today at the Parable of the Tares, found in Matthew 13:24-30.
Jesus begins the parable by saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like…” Remember that the kingdom of heaven is the church. In other words, that us! This is important as we make the necessary application from this illustration.
In the story, there is a man who sowed good seed in his field. But that night, while he slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among his wheat. “Tares” translates a word which, according to Strong’s lexicon, refers to a weed that resembles wheat. Later, the man’s servants noticed the tares among the wheat and identified the man. They asked him if they should remove the tares, but the man told them to wait until the harvest. At that time, the tares would be gathered and burned, while the wheat would be gathered into the barn.
We aren’t left to wonder about the explanation of this parable. Jesus explains it for us in Matthew 13:36-43. The sower is the Son of Man, Jesus says. The field is the world, and the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom. The tares, however, are the sons of the wicked one.
Today, children of the kingdom find themselves surrounded by wickedness. However, the Lord teaches us through this parable that there will be a great separation on the day of judgment. “As the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age” (Mat. 13:40). Those who “offend … and practice lawlessness” will be cast into the furnace of fire, where “there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth” (Mat. 13:41-42).
Let’s wrap it up: This parable teaches us the distinctiveness of the kingdom. Many may try to look like the good seed, but the children of the kingdom will be known by the fruit that they bear – namely, the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23). Right now, anyone has the opportunity to obey the gospel and begin bearing that fruit. One day, that opportunity will no longer be available.
We could also make this application from the parable of the tares: it is tragic to sleep while the envy sows tares. In Romans 13:11, Paul reminds us that “it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.” There is much work to do. Let us be spiritually awake and active in the Lord’s business.
Memory Verse: In Colossians we find that the church is conveyed into Christ’s kingdom. Look with me at Colossians 1:13:
He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love (Col. 1:13).
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Join us tomorrow, when we’ll discuss the GROWTH of the kingdom of heaven. I’ll meet you then for The New You.