January 30, 2022 Weeds

The Weeds

January 30, 2022




Scripture: Matthew 13:24-30; 36-43.


The Lord tells another parable about the kingdom of heaven. Remember that when his disciples asked him about why he taught in parables, he answered in this way:


And he answered them, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. 12 For to the one who has, more will be given, and he will have an abundance, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.[1]


One reason is to hide the truth of what is being taught. It is hidden from those to whom it has not been given. Otherwise, they would be healed in their troubled souls. But God does not heal all.


The other reason is in order to reveal the truth in the parables to his chosen ones. “To you it has been given to know the mysteries of the kingdom.” Whether we understand the parables or not depends upon whether it has been given to us. There are some practical steps we can take in order to understand the mysteries of the kingdom, but our hearts must still be opened by the Lord. To the disciples it was granted, but not to others.

The mysteries must be given to us. Last week, I taught that there are some practical things that we can do in order to be in a position where we are the given ones. These were the three things that I said we can do so that we will understand the truths of God:


  • Be in a place where the truths of God are taught. Who received the mysteries of the kingdom in this chapter? The disciples of Jesus. They were with Jesus and heard him teach these things. Likewise, today, truths are being taught in the local church. Even if the church gets some things wrong (as all will), there will be much truth taught that we need to hear. We must not absent ourselves from the meetings of the church.
  • When we are being taught, concentrate on what is being said and ask questions if we are uncertain of what is being taught. Daydreaming is a problem that most people have. Be aware and focus on what is being said.
  • As important as the teaching in the local church is, it is still only one or two hours per week. This is not adequate to prepare our minds and hearts. We must also spend time in the Scriptures on our own or with another brother or sister (husband or wife, if married). As we read and study God’s word the Spirit will grant understanding. If we have difficulty, we can ask the teachers in our church for help. This is why the Lord placed them there (Eph. 4:11-16).


To put it simply: be at all the meetings of the church, pay attention, and read your Bibles at home. As simple as this is, it is surprising how many Christians do not do one or more of these things. We are in such a privileged position! Enjoy it!


The Parable of the Weeds is similar to the Parable of the Sower in that it identifies that there are false believers among us. But, it is different in what we are directed to do with this knowledge.


In the Parable of the Sower, although it is not specifically stated, the Lord’s intention is that we examine ourselves to ensure that we are those who will bear fruit. This is so because of his audience, his own disciples, and the detail that he provides with which to identify the false professors. These things show that he wished his disciples to consider these matters.


In the Parable of the Weeds, he makes them aware of the presence of false believers, but what they ought to do about it is different.


We also saw last time that the Parable of the Sower, when you consider it in light of what our Lord taught in John 12:24, shows that the kingdom of the heavens on earth is brought about by the multiplication of the seed. The sower sows the seed, the seed grows and multiplies, and the multiplication of the seed becomes the constitution of the kingdom on earth. Christ came as the Sower, sowing himself as the seed of life. This seed of life enters humanity to bring forth fruit – the sons of the kingdom. The kingdom is the enlargement of Christ, the multiplication of Christ as the seed sown into us.[2]


The Parable of the Weeds adds the information that the Son of Man is not the only one sowing. The devil is also sowing.


The sons of the kingdom (that includes the sisters!) grow. They are wheat and they produce grain (vs. 26). Grain represents the good fruit. They are the real believers, those regenerated with divine life.


The weeds, or tares, are “sons of the evil one.” See then, that mankind is divided into two great groups: the sons of the kingdom and the sons of the evil one. There is no in-between! There are many weeds that appear nice on the outside. They may have a pleasant disposition. They may be polite. They may be cultured. They may not be involved in the obvious sins like drug addiction, theft, or adultery. In fact, this is the point of the parable. The sons of the evil one appear to be just like the wheat.


The weed, or tares, are what is known as “darnel.” It is a kind of grass that looks identical to wheat while it is growing. It is not until the heads of grain appear that the differences can be observed.


The heads of grain of the darnel are black while the grain of wheat is a golden color. Even so, other than the color, there is not much difference. But, if the grain of darnel is eaten, it can produce sleepiness, dizziness, nausea, convulsions, and even death.


Farmers in the days of Jesus were anxious to get rid of it, but they cannot tell the difference while they are growing. Even farmers in the Middle East to this day have the same problem. These weeds still grow there!


He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ So the servants said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them?’ 29 But he said, ‘No, lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest, and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, “Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.” [3]


We are not to try to get the weeds out of the kingdom, but wait for the day of harvest. What has caused great confusion among some is that they think that the field represents the church. But that is not what our Lord said:


He answered, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world, and the good seed is the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one,[4]


The field is not the church. The field is the world.


We are to remove the weeds from the church!


But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. 12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? 13 God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.” [5]


The apostle could be no more clear in his command! The one who practices sin must be removed from among us.

The purpose in removing the unrepentant sinner from the church is not to be mean. It is not to punish. Rather, the purpose is two-fold.


Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? 7 Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.[6]


Paul wrote these words in the context of removing the sinning brother from the assembly.


One reason is that sin is like leaven. If allowed to remain in the church it spreads. Other members will begin to think, “So-and-so lives this way and he (or she) still comes to church. It must not be that bad.” Sin spreads!


The other purpose is to invoke repentance in the sinner. The goal is restoration. If the person is a true believer, they will be saddened and burdened by the fact that they are no longer part of the fellowship. They recognize that the church is not just a social club, like the Rotary Club, the Lions, or the Knights of Columbus. They recognize that the church is a divine institution endowed with the actual authority of Christ! Thus, when the church rightly institutes church discipline (by excluding one from the fellowship of the church), it is as if Christ Himself were doing it and it is meaningful to the extreme. It is not the same as being kicked out of a social club!


So, in the case of the sinning brother in Corinth, whether he repented after his removal would prove whether he was a true disciple or a weed. He did repent and the church received him back. He thereby showed himself to be true. If he had never returned it would show that he was not regenerated (I John 2:19).


Returning to our parable, what are the circumstances wherein we are not to remove the weeds?


It has to do with those people who make a profession of faith, but who are not part of a local church. They may be part of an apostate church, but they are not part of a faithful local church. It always amazed me, and I cannot fathom the reason behind those who are involved with the Christian faith, but who do not believe the Bible to be the word of God or who believe that it is unreliable. There are many people like this. Some of them even write books and have advanced degrees in theology or the New Testament. If I found myself in a position where I thought that the Bible were not completely true, I would just absent myself from all things Christian. Why stay involved if I thought it weren’t true? Yet, there are many professors at seminaries and there are authors who attack the Christian faith wile still outwardly being part of the Christian community.


Avoid these people. Do not read their faith-destroying writings, unless you are firmly grounded and have a knack for discerning logical errors, for all their works are logically flawed. We let them “grow” in the world. At the Judgment, they will be called to account!


Just as the weeds are gathered and burned with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers, 42 and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear. [7]


There will be a judgment at the end of the age! The idea of a Judgment Day is abandoned or, at the very least, never thought about by those who are perishing. But, for those who belong to Christ, it is upon their mind because it was on the mind of our Lord. The people of the world neglect it. Christ’s own people prepare for it.


Oh, how foolish to neglect the Day of Judgment! For those who have not yet come to Christ for salvation, I say: Do not ignore the Day of Judgment! Rather, prepare for it. You cannot prepare for it by just resolving to do better.  This happens.


A person will recognize that their own bad decisions and life choices have gotten them into a situation that is not conducive to contentment and is destructive. So, they think, “I will stop doing such-and-such (whatever their sin may be).” But this is only a temporary fix. Often, the person will return to that sin after a time. Even if they should succeed in avoiding that sin, they still possess the guilt of their previous sins.


The only way that you can prepare for that day is by confessing to God that you are a sinner. That you have no hope in yourself to face that day because you are a sinner. Then, place your faith in the Person of Christ and his death on the cross as your payment for sin. Your sins will be taken away! Know that he rose from the dead! Then, follow Him! He calls you to follow Him!


If you repent of your sins and begin to follow Him, then he will empower you and you will be exactly where you need to be! Sin will no longer have dominion over you (Rom. 6:14). You will be ensured of eternal life! It is the best news on earth!


For the one who already is a follower of the Lord Jesus, you too must prepare for your judgment. The judgment of those who already belong to Christ is not to determine life or death. Rather, it is to determine our rewards. Live in such a way that you will hear these words:


‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’[8]


I wish to hear those words above all others? Do you? Then I say: prepare! You must prepare by eradicating the remaining sin in your life. And, you prepare by having done with lesser things. Seek the kingdom of God first! Can you do these two things? If you belong to Christ, you can!




[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Mt 13:11–12). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[2] Witness Lee, Life-Study of Matthew, Message 37.

[3] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Mt 13:28–30). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[4] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Mt 13:37–38). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[5] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (1 Co 5:11–13). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[6] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (1 Co 5:6–7). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[7] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Mt 13:40–43). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[8] New American Standard Bible: 1995 update. (1995). (Mt 25:23). La Habra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.