The Parable Of The Weeds


‘Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared. “The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’ “‘An enemy did this,’ he replied. “The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’ “‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’” Matthew 13:24-30

Jesus explains the meaning of this parable later in this chapter, and so, we’ll identify the different characters when we get there.

Jesus again is describing the kingdom of heaven as a man who sowed good seed in his field, however, while he was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away. Instead of keeping watch over the field, the person in charge was asleep, Galatians 6:1.

The weeds were a plant which looked like wheat until they became fully grown. The weeds would hamper the growth of the wheat and the harvest. the farmer wouldn’t know that the weeds had been sown in the field along with the wheat until it was harvest time when the grain was formed.

The farmer couldn’t remove the weeds while the wheat was growing, otherwise, the wheat would also be destroyed in the removal process. And so, the farmer would have to wait until harvest time to separate the weeds from the wheat.

Jesus Explains The Parable Of The Weeds

‘He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the people of the kingdom. The weeds are the people of the evil one, and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. “As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears, let them hear.’ Matthew 13:37-43

In answer to the disciples’ request, Jesus identifies each element in the parable.

The Sower is Christ Himself, who is proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God, Matthew 4:23.

The field represents the world. This field is where the Son of Man came to sow the seed, Matthew 28:18.

The good seed, that is, the wheat, are the people of the kingdom. These are those who gladly own Jesus as their Lord and King, submitting to Him freely.

The weeds are the people of the evil one. These weeds are those who offend and practice lawlessness. They are within the Lord’s dominion, His realm, but they clearly are not submitting to the His authority. Their actions reveal that they are really ‘people of the evil one’.

The enemy who sowed them is the devil. This is the one who tried to tempt Christ in the wilderness and failed, Matthew 4:1-11. Now he tries to destroy the efforts of Christ to save souls and enlarge the influence of His kingly rule through his clever yet dastardly deeds.

The harvest is the end of the age. This ‘age’ is when the Gospel of the kingdom is being preached, it’s also when people who receive the Gospel can become the ‘people of the kingdom’.

In other words, it is this present age, the Christian age, Colossians 1:13 / Revelation 1:9. This is an ‘age’ that will end with a great ‘harvest’. It is identified elsewhere as the glorious coming and appearance of our Lord, Matthew. 26:31-32 / 1 Timothy 6:14-15.

The reapers are the angels. These are the angels that will accompany Christ when He comes again, 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9. They will separate the wicked from among the just, Matthew 13:49.

Jesus stresses the main points of the parable.

The problem of the ‘weeds’ will not be fully addressed until the ‘harvest’, Matthew 13:40. This is done out of consideration for the ‘good seed’, Matthew 13:29. It is at the end of the age that the Son of Man will finally resolve this problem, Matthew 13:41.

With His angels He will ‘will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil.’, i.e. the people of the evil one. Those so gathered out of His kingdom will be properly dealt with! Matthew 13:42.

They will be cast into ‘the blazing fire’, where there will be ‘wailing and gnashing of teeth!’

After the harvest, the righteous will ‘shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father’. Matthew 13:43.