Today's Bible Study, Authored by Arthur Cincotti. 11/28/2021
Listen to our Bible Study Discussion at: Seed Time and Harvest Time Podcast
Seed Time and Harvest Time!
Read Mat. 13:24-30
In Mat. ch. 13, Jesus is teaching and ministering in one of the unspecified towns around the sea of Galilee. In this setting He tells a series of parables using agricultural metaphors.
The parable of the, “Wheat and the Tares” gives a global perspective, covering a span from the beginning of time to the “end of the age”. This parable is easily interpreted because Jesus actually gives the interpretation in Mat. 13:37-42
Note: “tares” can also be translated “darnel” or “false grain”
A couple of bullet points are:
• It makes an interesting case for predestination.
• It makes an interesting case that not all are “children of God”
• It makes and interesting case for not confronting evil with violence.
We are not going to dwell on these!
I will note that some interpreters apply this parable to the church, but since church discipline is addressed in Mat. 18:15-17, and elsewhere in the Epistles, it’s widely rejected.
Read Is. 5:1-7
In this prophecy there is a similar agricultural theme, yet here there is no mixed crop. The lens is narrowed to the children, or Nation of Israel. The consequences are harsh, yet not final as with the Mat. 13:24 parable.
Read Mat. 13:3-9 and the interpretation 18-23
In this the lens is narrowed to the individual human heart. We see a variety of agricultural images as metaphors that we painfully recognize in people we love, and even, perhaps, in ourselves at times. The litmus test of “good ground” is, “a crop” and “fruit”.
What is the point of comparing and considering these three Scriptures in tandem?
I’m glad you asked. I was wonder too!
Our hearts, and lives are liken to a field; I Cor. 3:9, “you are God’s field”.
We receive influence, or seed, from many sources, some good, and some bad. Our lives are a mixed field of wheat and tares. We express this by saying, “I am a work in progress”. Even the Apostle Paul declared this in Phil. 3:12, “Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected, but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.”
If then, (or since) we have received grace/salvation, by placing our faith exclusively in Jesus Christ, and His atoning work on the cross, then, even at our worst, we have a covenant with God, as did Israel in Is. 5. For even Paul writes, six hundred years later, “has God cast away His people (Israel)? Certainly not!” Rom. 11:1
So, what of Mat. 13:3, “The Parable of the Sower”?
The condition of our hearts is the issue at hand.
Has God given you a new heart? Eze. 36:26
One that is pliable and receptive to the Word of God.
Is that new heart being feed on the Word of God. Ps. 119:105
Or, garbage in, garbage in.
Are you able to discern good from evil. Heb. 5:14
“discerning of spirits” is a gift of the Holy Spirit. I Cor. 12:10
Unlike the parable of the wheat and tares, we, as individuals must tend to the condition of our field. Cultivate good soil. Give God permission to break up fallow ground. Displace the tares with good seed. We must pluck up tares by “taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.” II Cor. 10:5. Ask God to, “Create in me a clean heart” Ps. 51:10 “Study to show ourselves approved” II Tim. 2:15. “Let your light so shine before men…” Mat. 5:16. We are not home yet!