The Evangelical Universalist Forum

The Wheat And The Tares

I think Jesus’ parables are probably my favourite things in the Bible. They are so simple and yet so complex. So easy to remember yet so hard to understand. And like an onion you can keep peeling away the layers and find new meanings underneath.

I think you guys would really dig Capon. Sherman, you’re definitely on his wavelength - one of his big things is how God consistently refuses to achieve His purposes through the exercise of what Capon calls ‘right-handed power’, hence neither should we. He who lives by the sword and all that :smiley: .

I confess that sometimes Capon’s hermeneutics are a little too stretched, a little too off the wall - even for an errantist non-literalist revisionist über-liberal like me! But most of the time he’s bang on. And very funny too.

If you’re interested, his book on the parables is called Kingdom, Grace, Judgement: Paradox, Outrage, and Vindication in the Parables of Jesus. A superb book.



Matthew 13, where the parable of the wheat and the tares is described, concerns the kingdom of heaven, as can be seen repeatedly from its verses.

11 Jesus answered them, "To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted.

19 "When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is the one on whom seed was sown beside the road.

24 Jesus presented another parable to them, saying, "The **kingdom of heaven **may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field.

31 He presented another parable to them, saying, "The **kingdom of heaven **is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field;

33 He spoke another parable to them, “The **kingdom of heaven **is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three pecks of flour until it was all leavened.”

38 and the field is the world; and as for the good seed, these are the sons of the kingdom; and the tares are the sons of the evil one;

41 "The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness,

43 "Then THE RIGHTEOUS WILL SHINE FORTH AS THE SUN in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.

44 "The **kingdom of heaven **is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid again; and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.

45 "Again, the **kingdom of heaven **is like a merchant seeking fine pearls,

47 "Again, the **kingdom of heaven **is like a dragnet cast into the sea, and gathering fish of every kind;

52 And Jesus said to them, “Therefore every scribe who has become a disciple of the **kingdom of heaven **is like a head of a household, who brings out of his treasure things new and old.”

The kingdom of heaven is not the same as heaven, for there is violence in the kingdom of heaven but not in heaven (Matthew 11:12 From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and violent men take it by force).

Thus, the kingdom of heaven seems to involve life on earth. So, is this concern about the application of Matthew 13 to the ultimate fate of all humans misplaced?

One thing to note, is that the word isn’t for the lost but for God’s own people. The wicked being of his own.I see it as a separating of the people of God for the first resurrection millenial rule. The fully formed mature wheat becoming the ‘huios’ sons. The balance or tares going to the 2nd resurrection and gehenna fire judgement in the LOF to be purged until they are refined with the rest of mankind. :sunglasses:

One of the interesting things about passages commonly used to affirm ECT, they are almost always couched in metaphorical, hyperbolic, parabolic, apocalyptic phraseology that is not meant to be taken literally, but meant to illicit an emotional response and communicate broad moral messages. On the other hand passages that seem to affirm UR are often presented in phraseology that is meant to be taken much more literal and specific.