The Wheat and the Tares


#1

I have to admit that of all UR arguments, this parable has given me the most trouble, particularly since I saw something in it recently that I didn’t see before.

“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.” - Matthew 13:24-30

Now in other discussions on this board it has been suggested that the ‘wheat’ represents a man’s spirit, while the ‘tares’ represents a man’s ‘flesh’. And I was rather leaning that way, until I realized the other day that this is one of only a few parables that Jesus lays out an interpretation, found here:

“Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field.
He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man;
The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one;
The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.
As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.
The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;
And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.” - Matthew 13:36-43

So the problem I have is that since Jesus declares this parable’s interpretation, it would not make any sense to make use of metaphors in said interpretation. Hence, I do not see how anyone can apply the spirit and the flesh to the wheat and the tares, respectfully. The interpretation IS the reality. Just as it is so in the Parable of the Sower.

Noting this brought me to a deep sinking feeling as I examined the parable closely. I made a comparison of what constitutes the ‘wheat’ and what constitutes the ‘tares’, and I note this as such:

  1. The wheat

From the parable: a) Sown by the sower, b) sown as ‘good’ seed, c) sown in the sower’s own field d) indistiguishable from the tares early in the growth process e) part of the expected harvest, f) is able to be separated from the tares at harvest time by reapers.

From the interpretation: a) The sower of the ‘good’ seed is the Son of God (i.e. He is the originator of the ‘good’ seed), b) the field (which is the sower’s) is the world, c) the ‘good’ seed are the children of the kingdom, d) the harvest is the end of the world, e) the reapers are angels, f) the righteous (that is the children of the kingdom) shall shine forth as the Sun in the kingdom of their Father.

  1. The tares

From the parable: a) Sown by the ‘enemy’, b) By definition, as well as in context to the parable, tares are destructive to the wheat and thus are sown as ‘bad’ seed, c) sown in the sower’s field amidst the wheat, d) to be gathered up first in the harvest, e) burned up in bundles.

From the interpretation: a) The enemy that sown the tares is the Devil (i.e he is the originator of the ‘bad’ seed), b) the tares are the children of the wicked (one), c) the tares (the children of the wicked one) are gathered and burned in the fire, d) the Son of Man sends forth his angels (as reapers) to gather out of His kingdom all things that offend and them which do iniquity. e) all the forementioned shall be cast into a furnace of fire, f) there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

If there was nothing else to go by but the information that lay before us, then I would have to conclude that there are two catagories of beings with two different origins and with two different destinies.

  1. If the Sower is the Son of Man and the wheat are the Children of the Kingdom, then that is all that is sown by the sower. In other words, all the seed that the Sower sows is good. They have the destiny of shining as the Sun in the their Father’s kingdom.

  2. If the enemy is the devil and the tares are Children of the wicked (one), then that is *all *is sown by the enemy. In other words, all the seed the enemy has sown is bad. And they have the destiny of being burned in a furnace of fire, where there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

The question becomes: Does the enemy have the power to produce bad seed? And if so, what is the nature of the bad seed?

The only information we can glean from the parable is that the tares look identical to the wheat at the beginning stages of growth, but that at harvest time, there is a distinction. These are not good seeds that have gone bad. Nor are these bad seeds gone good. But each produces their respective fruit, as it were. Each seed produces exactly as expected. I do not see any change in either catagory.

So without drawing any other conclusions, I’d have to say that the Devil has the ability to produce literal children separate and distinct from the Son of Man who has the ability to produce literal children, based on this parable.

What say you?


JRP's Exegetical Compilation: Matthew 13
#2

Dondi,
Excellent observation and one which we need to take seriously. I often have argued that we out to rethink our language of how we express our beliefs and when people read passages such as this, it’s no wonder they think we’re twisting up the text. Indeed we need to really take your point here and wrestle with it.


#3

In this parable Jesus is simply affirming the reality that there are some people who submit to the influence of the Word of God and there are others who respond to the influence of the lies of Satan. And in the end God judges between who was right and who was wrong. Until then let’s not give ourselves over to trying to judge others but let’s realize that there are people who now love God and people who do not love God. This does not mean that some people are born for destruction and others are born for relationship with God, but that some people are currently listening to the enemy and others are listening to God. The message was spoken to the disciples encouraging them to recognize that some people respond to the word of God in a positive way and others do not. It does not mean that a person can never repent and is locked into relationship with whoever (God or Satan) got to them first.

It’s also helpful to remember that in context Jesus has just had another encounter with the Pharisees, the religious leaders in Mt. 12 and was accused by them of casting out demons by the power of Beelzebul. Though Jesus had just done a wonderful miracle, these religious leaders were so hardened against God that they’d strive every way they could to dismiss/denounce Jesus and His message of grace, love, and judgment, and even accuse Jesus.

“40 “As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. 41 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. 42 They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears, let them hear.”

Yes there shall be judgment, fiery judgment where what we have done is life will be judged with the good being purified and the evil being burnt up. Those truly righteous shall shine like the sun and those who are wicked will suffer terribly with weeping (repentance) and gnashing of teeth (terrible angry remorse). Also note that this wording was a means of referencing the Pharisees theological metaphor of judgment, Gehenna, which the Pharisees used to warn of Judgment to come, and primarily referenced a type of purgatory though they argued over whether or not those they considered “irredeemable” would be annihilated or continue to suffer indefinitely long as God saw fit.

So what should we draw from the parable?

  1. There are good and bad people in this world, and it’s often not obvious to us who is who.
  2. Let’s leave the judging to God.
  3. Let’s live our lives being watchful as to what influences we are submitting to.
  4. Let’s live our lives knowing that one day we shall all be judged and there will be rewards and punishments as God sees fit and needed.
  5. Let’s be busy about planting good seeds and let God worry about judging others.
  6. Let’s not be like the Pharisees who were actually opposing God, acting as enemies of the most High.

This parable does not affirm that some people are born enemies of God and others are born of God; rather it does affirm that some do currently submit to God and others are influenced by the enemy. This parable is not meant to communicate that people cannot change, repent. And it is not meant to be a full teaching on judgment and Gehenna, but references them as side notes, concepts his audience would have already understood.

Also note that through judgment, those things in our lives that are evil will be burnt up and those things in our lives that are good shall be purified. And thus we shall shine like the sun. Judgment is fearful but necessary for us all. We shall all face judgement and need to live our lives accordingly.


#4

This may be the scripture that shows that Gehenna was some future punishment apart from the Valley in Jerusalem and its place in the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. I’m gonna have to ponder this for a while :open_mouth:


#5

Remember that at one point WE ALL (at some point) were children of wrath or Tares. We all needed salvation which implies we were all lost and children of the devil. The question is still begged (and oh how I would have loved to question Jesus) why do people listen to one and not the other. Does God love them enough to reconcile (fix) them if they cannot fix themselves? Is it impossible for God to do?

I find Arminian theology to be very close to reformed regarding God’s love. Recently I’ve been reading an Arminian blog site which I read comments which sould very reformed - OF COURSE GOD HATES THE WICKED!!! - hmmmm I though God loves his enemies???

They’re flat out confused but God has given us his Word and each other to sharpen each other that we might shine a light which is so contrary to the world - GOD LOVES ALL INCLUDING HIS ENEMIES.

Aug


#6

Jesus finishes with “Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.” There is more to this parable than meets the eye.

John said: “We know that no one who is born of God sins; but He who was born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him.”

Lamentably, I do sin, and so do you. Does this mean I am not born of God, but of the Devil? But note the “Lamentably.” If I was born of the Devil, why would I think sin was lamentable?

I conclude that I am born both of God and of the Devil. There is a part in me (and in every person) that loves the Light, and a part that loves the Darkness. The part that loves the Light is born of God, kept by God, and untouchable by evil. The part that loves the Darkness is born of the devil, rejected by God, and untouchable by good. Both selves are man-shaped, since they exist in every part of my being. One day soon, the two will be separated by God. “All things that offend, and them which do iniquity” will be destroyed, leaving us “shining forth as the sun”.

The alternative (the world is swarming with zombies who look like real people but in fact agents of pure evil) doesn’t match my experience.


#7

Our pastor yesterday told us to examine our hearts; were they joyous or sad, loving or hateful, greedy or giving…I came to the conclusion that my heart is both. I am over-joyed and I am sad, I love unconditionally and will pick on you in a heart beat. I tear up at the plight of the poor yet hold on to my money as if I would starve to death if I didn’t. Yes I am wheat and I am tares. I am born of God but still listen to the liar.


#8

And thus judgment comes to purify us, so that we might shine as the sun!


#9

Good post nimblewill…

Don’t forget how poignantly Paul describes his own battles with the flesh - delighting in the law of God in his spirit yet obeying the law of sin in his body - wretched man that I am!

Although he aks the rhetorical question - ‘who will deliver me’? - and answers himself with ‘I thank God in Christ’ - that seems to be a hope that God will in the future through Christ wholly deliver him from his continuing sinning not that it was accomplished at the time of writing.


#10

All poignant answers and I appreciate the insight. Yet I still have to point out that nowhere in the parable, or in the progression of the ‘harvest’ therein, is there any indication that the tares turn into wheat (or vice versa, for that matter).
Nor is the argument that the wheat and the tares are just of different shades of ourselves seem to bear out, for again I must stress that in the interpretation Jesus gives it clearly states that there are two factions of children at play here.

In the Parable of the Sower, Jesus clearly identifies what each symbol represents in the real world. The seed is the Word of God and the four soils are the various conditions of the hearts of people for whom the Word of God is given. And the fruit that the fourth soil bears is that which is produced by those who receive the Word and are of a noble and good heart. There is no speculating about what the parable means, it is clear from the intepretation.

So likewise, it would be consistent to assume that the parable of the wheat and the tares bears the same clear interpretation as the former parable, without the need to allegorize what the symbols mean. Good seed = children of the kingdom. Bad seed = children of the wicked one.

I’m not trying to insist this is what the parable means. I’m only trying to be consistent. Nor am I espousing necessarily some form of Calvinism, which I abhor the thought of.

I do have one thought concerning this, a radical thought indeed, but I caution that it is just an idea that may be stretching it. But I only put it out for further discussion.

What if the children of the wicked one, presumably the Devil, are really his children, i.e. fallen angels or perhaps some kind of hybrid human as some suggest in Genesis 6, through the mating of sons of God with the daughters of men. If somehow they were able to propagate through the centuries, they would be indistinguishable among us God-created humans. And they would be responsible for much of the evil that has risen in the world.

There are various cases in the bible where angels have appeared in the form of humans. We learn in Hebrews 13:2 that some have entertained strangers unaware that they were angels. In Jude 1:4, we are told that some have crept into the churches ‘**who were before of old **ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.’ Why would they have been condemned ‘before of old’? This suggests that whoever these ungodly men were, they are ancient. And then in verse 6-7 we have this description: “And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.” Apparently angel can, and have, engaged in sexual fornication, even going after strange flesh (which I assume to mean homosexual activity. Again, if this is the case, they are indistinguishable from humans.

Jesus said that the everlasting fire was prepared for the devil and his angels. Perhaps this is literally true in the sense that these tares are evil angels among us who have already been condemned as being the children of the wicked one, yet live among us as humans, until they are revealed and burned up at the end of the harvest, with no humans involved. Would they not also have the senses of wailing and gnashing of teeth? Certainly they admitted to being tormented by Jesus when they abode in the man of Gergesenes (Matthew 8:29). How else would we as the ‘elect’ be qualified to judge angels ( I Corinthians 6:3) if we didn’t have opportunity tosee them physically operating around us in human form?

Thoughts anyone?


#11

I agree that Jesus’ interpretation seems to be clear. We’re speaking of individuals, some who are God’s children, some the devils. But you know how it is with parables… He who has ears to hear etc.

If a person born of God doesn’t sin (1John5), then presumably a person born of the devil does nothing but sin. However, I see neither sort of person in the real world. We all seem to be a bit of both. If many (most?) people are in fact born of the devil, how would this devilish paternity transmit? By what rules of spiritual heredity? In one family, you might have 3 unbelievers and one believer, all from the same parents. How does it work?

I find it helpful to think of physical dimensions. Just as there is absolutely nothing North about going East, there is nothing good about evil, or evil about good. However, a person moving North-east is moving both east and north simultaneously. In the same way, I find both good and evil in myself simultaneously, expressing themselves in everything I do.

I thought of another example last night. I am both rational and irrational simultaneously. When someone reasons with me, they are speaking only to the rational me. The irrational me cannot understand a word of what’s going on, and rejects the entire conversation with disgust. Similarly, when someone speaks the truth about God, the spiritual me hears and understands, but the unspiritual me does not. The word of God “rings true” only to that part of me that’s in tune with God. It resonates.

Re. the nephilim etc, those stories occur in a thoroughly mythical context. We have the creation of the world, magic trees, talking snakes, cherubim, fiery swords, towers reaching into heaven, giants in the land, and angels fathering mighty children from mortal women. Though I firmly believe those stories are inspired and profoundly true, I think they are true like the parables of Jesus are true, and that we cannot get reliable scientific information from them. That’s not their purpose.


#12

“Re. the nephilim etc, those stories occur in a thoroughly mythical context. We have the creation of the world, magic trees, talking snakes, cherubim, fiery swords, towers reaching into heaven, giants in the land, and angels fathering mighty children from mortal women. Though I firmly believe those stories are inspired and profoundly true, I think they are true like the parables of Jesus are true, and that we cannot get reliable scientific information from them. That’s not their purpose.”

Tell me a miracle that doesn’t sound like a myth. Isn’t that what makes a miracle, something that doesn’t fit the usual, something that breaks the standard way that things happen?


#13

Luke opens his gospel with a forceful declaration that this stuff is history. He’s carefully investigated everything, talked to the eye witnesses etc. We have the same with John: “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, seen, touched… this we proclaim…” And Peter: “We did not follow cleverly invented stories…” Now a person can choose to disbelieve these accounts if they wish, but it certainly looks like we have the testimony of reliable witnesses to some very extraordinary events.

The writing style both at the beginning of the Bible and at the end doesn’t read like Luke’s gospel (to my ear at least) but reads more like myth. (Inspired myth, I hasten to add. If God can speak through the poetry of the psalms and the nihilism of Ecclesiastes, he can also speak through mythology. Why should God’s literary taste be limited to historical narrative?)

This raises the uncomfortable question of which bits are historical and which bits are myth, but this isn’t a new problem. We already have to decide which bits are poetry, and not everyone will agree even on this. Luther famously called Copernicus a fool, quoting a psalm that said, “The earth is firmly established; it cannot be moved.” That answers the question, said Luther. The earth does not go around the sun. QED. He thought he could get reliable scientific information from a poem, which wasn’t his exegetical high point!


#14

Sorry, Dondi, to come so late to the party…

Have just been asking the question about the tares myself, wanted to place a post here asking, but decided to google if it’d been asked before. And HERE it is!!

It does seem to present a special problem for us doesn’t it. For it seems we have here a group whose fate is set from the beginning! By virtue of who “planted” them! There is clearly no hope of redemption in this model; and since there is no hope, why should there be any hint of evangelism….

… And of course in this parable, there is no evangelism. Why bother? It seems that these tares are irrevocably sealed, forever, in their initial condition. No hope of transformation, of redemption, of turning away from their deplorable and pitiable condition.

Quite sad really; no hope, ever.
The fact of tares among the wheat is simply observed, and dealt with later.

It certainly is true that we all too often ask parables to bear far more weight than they were intended to bear. So too here. That this parable denies hope and transformation and redemption (the very heart and soul of the gospel!!) must mean that this is simply not the point of the parable, nor can it by any stretch of the flailing imagination be allowed to assert as much.

God comes to seek and save the lost; Jesus enters our world as the perfect light, which lights every man. Who then is the object of God’s concern BUT what we’re now calling “tares”??? … The very ones we’ve determined are, in the telling of the parable itself, irredeemable.
– Simply makes no sense.

Perhaps then the parable simply conveys a reality with which we are already quite familiar; the fact of evil in our midst that appears to flourish even under the watchful eye of the caretaker. Why has not God acted to root out the evil which all can see is right there? In our very midst?

The evil, if dealt with as we may immediately wish, may in fact have harmful effects on the righteous; the wheat as-it-were. This must not happen and so God allows both to ripen to their true nature into maturity. And only then does the separation occur.

This parable then seems to address the heartfelt (by the faithful of all ages) cry to God: Why do you allow wickedness to prosper right along side righteousness? Trust Me, God says in reply, in due time there will be a separation and order will in fact be reestablished.

… Or something like that…

Bobx3


#15

We know that there will be a correcting and refining, that is unavoidable scripturally. The weeping has never given me a problem since we have verses like this, “weeping may endure for a night (outer darkness), but joy comes in the morning”. Gnashing simply represents the stubbornness of the unrepentant, which is the whole reason they are going through judgment in the first place!

I think the whole interpretation of the parable comes down to this passage,

"[The angels] shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity and shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the reign of their Father. (Fun little thought: the phrase and them that do iniquity can be translated as and that which causes iniquity)

We know by Scripture that the furnace isn’t evil, in fact why would Jesus say people are thrown into a fiery furnace? Where else in scripture is this theme of people figuratively being put through a furnace?

“As one gathers silver and bronze and iron and lead and tin into a furnace,
to blow the fire on it in order to melt it,
so I will gather you(Israel) in my anger and in my wrath, and I will put you in and melt you. (Ezekiel 22:20)”
(Later in chapter 39 God declares that Israel will be restored, so to be melted in a furnace mustn’t be a final state.)

“Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver;
I have tried you in the furnace of affliction. (Isaiah 48:10)”

“The crucible is for silver,
and the furnace is for gold,
and the LORD tests hearts. (Proverbs 17:3)”

I think my favorite is the Proverb, notice that the furnace is for gold, combining this with the wicked being touch-stoned* in the Lake of Fire (a process which was used to test the value of gold and silver) we begin to discern a clear picture throughout the scriptures. God is putting the wicked into the furnace of fire to touch-stone(test) them like precious metals, only through this process can their true value be found. The final result is “Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the reign of their Father”, realizing that all people are children of God (Acts 17), then we see this as a prophecy about the wicked’s final redemption and not of their eternal punishment. Remember the reign of Heaven is within, it is something that God must establish in every heart, by this testing in the furnace of affliction the war is won and the kingdom established.

P.S. If anyone thinks this interpretation lightens the impact of the cross and the blood of Christ, I wish to draw their attention to the very plausible interpretation of the ‘Lake of Fire’ as the blood of Christ burning away all sins. The Revelation is just that, an uncovering of Jesus Christ, its about him and his work. The Fire purifies and touch-stones everything, for everyone will be purified with fire.

*Touch-stone is translated as ‘torment’ in most bibles, however the Greek word here is ‘basanos’ and it literally is a black stone used for testing precious metals. To translate it as torment is a stretch, ‘testing’ is a better one.


#16

i think we have to be careful about mixing metaphors in this instance. yes, a furnace is for refining or creating, but if you throw a bundle of weeds in there, they will be burned to ash.

however, the very statement that there’s weeping and gnashing of teeth in the furnace when there should be rather a swift but painful death means maybe Christ Himself was mixing metaphors LOL

if i was Jesus, i’d have hoped the disciples would question me further. this parable begs questions, and that’s why i feel it’s not a final statement, but a leading one. the “end of this world” doesn’t mean there is no hope in the next.

Dondi, you’ve definitely found us a puzzle! but it still has to balance against the rest of the Bible. also, i doubt this parable contains the whole truth, just a part of it. we still have to consider the 1 Corinthians 3:15, and see that everyone is judged by fire, and if his works or life don’t stand up to the test, he himself will still be saved, but will suffer loss.

i also find that a very foundational scripture which still will apply here is Lamentations 3:31. God does not cast aside forever.

i’ll agree with whoever said calvinism is abhorrent (unless every living thing is pre-destined, but that contradicts the Point about limited atonement).

i think the statement that God will separate the good from the bad, and burn away the bad, should be a comforting statement that God will eventually destroy all evil. parables are not meant to be taken as more than a picture. if you analyse too far you see issues.

i really don’t believe in the Nephilim theory, though it would make a fantastic film. if you read that part of Genesis, it does not follow from the statement that the children of the “Sons of God” were anything more than mighty warriors of legend. the statement that sin was rampant is grammatically separate, and so these fellows may’ve been big and strong and wise, but no more evil than you or i. they were not why the Flood came (if the Flood’s literal). also, after the Flood, how could any of their descendents have been alive on earth, given that Noah and his family were all that were saved?
however, if it IS true, maybe the reason why Hitler’s body wasn’t found was because he didn’t die…scary thoughts. but like i say, a good movie but not good history. Hitler would then not be “human” and us humans would have reason to celebrate that such evil wasn’t caused by us…and blatantly it is in all our hearts, so this would be a false comfort.


#17

I just want to interject a “thank you” to you all. As I read this thread, I was so full of joy, reading all your comments. I have never seen people work, with differing ideas, to find an answer together. Not about the Bible. I am so thankful to be here, to have found a place where it can be truly said, “You will know them by their love for one another”. Thank you all! You are a blessing and bring me much hope!


#18

Very helpful comments and texts awakening and corpselight

Some additional comments and emphasis:

  1. The tares are clearly something with no worth; they are valueless. So it takes a stretch to say they represent people/minds/souls. In our beloved Luke 15 parables of the Lost sheep, lost coin, and “lost” son, the thing/entity being sought has worth and thus the relevance of God’s persistence and initiative and ingenuity in seeking the lost. And of course we can’t postulate a salvation drama where Christ comes to save/redeem that which is worthless to Him…

  2. The burning in this parable is clearly for the purpose of total destruction; to get rid of; to make disappear, that which has no value. The Tares, as valueless, clearly will be subject to this destiny. While we can say that evil is valueless, we cannot say that those who engage in evil are also valueless. Therefore it makes sense the burning may indeed convey a purification in that it burns away that which is worthless. This of course fits quite well with the death and fire images in the bible as means of purification and journey to holiness and so on. Pauls dying daily, being crucified with Christ, etc

  3. As for the more tangential speculations about the Nephilim, I’m not real sure that’s a worthwhile path of inquiry here. Seems a central theme of the bible is that life’s author and sustainer is God – not the evil one. Satan (to put a name, if one prefers to, on the evil one) is the destroyer and God the creator. All Satan can do is twist and pervert and subvert and adulterate that which is/was created good. But the life that is in these perversions does not come from Satan, but from God. And thus should stand of object of God’s saving justice and mercy it seems to me…

  4. Lastly, and this is a bit sobering perhaps, it does seem that the presence of the Tares among the Wheat does have a negative impact on the Wheat. We’re told that uprooting the tares before the harvest will ruin the Wheat; presumably because their roots are all jumbled up together in the soil. But this would also mean that precious nutrients in the soil that are intended to nourish the Wheat is in fact being diverted to the Tares and thereby depriving the Wheat of it’s full sustenance. — But I have little idea what spiritual meaning that might have.

Bobx3

PS – yes Kelly S! I agree with your take on the fine folks who think together here!


#19

just had a thought. Robin Parry has tentatively and cautiously mentioned the hypothesis that Satan may be destroyed in order to save lucifer.
could the tares be our sin natures? it’d surely kill us to rip them out now, and in a sense our sin natures are offspring of the evil one…
that’s more speculative than i wanted to be, but just throwing the idea out there.

PS: Kelly, yeah it’s pretty cool! i like the environment here :slight_smile:


#20

corpselight, that’s an interesting hypothesis. Parables are challenging because it is so easy to read much into them. On the other hand, they are also powerful tools of teaching for they force the person to wrestle with the text. And in wrestling we might come away with a limp and our names changed, like Jacob did, marked and changed. I find that accademically/exegitically speaking, parables clearly communicate just a couple of points; but as we wrestle with such passages, God can communicate to us much through them.

And Kelly, I too appreciate that we on this site, for the most part, can discuss differences of opinion/beliefs openly and gracefully. Much of it comes from the beliefs that 1) God is in control and the only righteous judge. 2) All people are valuable and loved by God. 3) We are not called to judge one another, but love one another. 4) An increasing level of humility that recognizes “I could be wrong; I certainly have been in the past”. And 5) a hunger to grow in the “grace” and “knowledge” of our Lord and Savior. There is always more to learn, and more grace to grow in!

I was raised in a group who thought we had to corner market on truth, that we were the only ones who really read the scriptures honestly and dealt with them forthrightly. Looking back on it now I realize just how prideful and selfrighteous that was.

Well, anyhow, thanks for reminding us how rare this type of fellowship is!

Blessings,
Sherman