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The Harvest of Good and Bad Seed


Matthew 13:24–30, 36–43 (text); Daniel 12:1-4a

© November 2, 2014

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Beloved brothers and sisters in the Lord Jesus Christ: Many Last week, we were introduced to the Parables of Jesus and how they are about the establishment, growth and consummation of the kingdom of God. Jesus also connected his purpose in using parables to election: those who have been chosen to belong to the kingdom will understand them; those who do not will not. Jesus explains this in Matthew 13. We also learned about the Parable of the Lost Coin in Luke 15, where the owner diligently searched for it, and finding it, she rejoiced with her neighbors. God the Father seeks the one who is lost, and when he finds him, the angelic host in heaven rejoices with God that this one sinner repents.

"Wheat Fields" by Van Gogh (click image to enlarge)

“Wheat Fields” by Van Gogh (click image to enlarge)

Also in Matthew 13, we find the Parable of the Soils, commonly known as the Parable of the Sower, where a man sows seed in his field. The seed find themselves in four kinds of soils. The seed that land on the hard path, rocky soil, and on thorny soil all die. Only those who land on good soil grow and bear fruit. Jesus explained this parable to his disciples. This is another picture of the hearers of the gospel of the kingdom of God.

Our parable today is a related parable, also in Matthew 13: The Harvest of Good and Bad Seed, also most commonly known as the Wheat and Tares, or the Wheat and Weeds. Jesus also explains to his disciples the meaning of this parable, wherein a sower sows good seed in his field, but an enemy secretly sows bad seed. In his explanation, he divides all humanity into two groups, the righteous and the wicked, and then explains their eternal destination in one great harvest.

Our theme today then is, “The Harvest of Good and Bad Seed” under three headings: first, Good Seed and Good Sower; second, Bad Weeds and Evil Sower; third, The One Great Harvest.

Good Seed and Good Sower

Jesus begins his parable just like the others: he compares the kingdom of God to a common experience of people in his time. The comparative words he uses are related: “may be compared” and “is like” in verses 31 and 33.

A man who owns a field had his servants sow wheat seed, and then rests for the night. In a treacherous act, someone sows bad seed during the night. The good and bad seed both sprout and grow together in the field. After a few months, both of them start bearing grain, and the servants were shocked to discover the weeds among the wheat.

In his explanation, Jesus says in verses 37-38a, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, and the good seed is the sons of the kingdom.” It is he who is the Sower sent by God. What is the good seed that he sows? It is the sons of the kingdom. How does the good seed become the sons of the kingdom? It is his gospel, his Word that the Holy Spirit uses to bring sinners to faith and repentance. He opens their eyes, ears and minds to the truths of his Word. They grow into maturity and bear good fruit: plentiful wheat.

The field is the world in verse 38, but the kingdom in verse 41. Is the whole world then the kingdom of Christ? No, God created the world, and it is his own possession. Even though he allows sin to permeate the world, he is still its Sovereign King at all times. In the end, Christ will restore his eternal kingship over the whole world, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever” (Rev 11:15).

The wheat that the Son of Man sowed is also called three things…

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