“The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while people were sleeping, his enemy came, sowed weeds among the wheat, and left. When the plants sprouted and produced grain, then the weeds also appeared” (Matthew 13:24-26).
The true meaning of Jesus’ story seems obvious enough to me. The man who owned the field is compared to God. The field must be the world, the good seed must be the Gospel, and the enemy must be Satan. But is that what Jesus intended to teach?
Before we see the answer to that question, let’s see the remainder of Jesus’ parable…
When the servants saw all the weeds growing in the wheat field, they asked the landowner if they should tediously work their way through the field extracting the weeds. “ ‘No,’ he said. ‘When you pull up the weeds, you might also uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At harvest time I’ll tell the reapers: Gather the weeds first and tie them in bundles to burn them, but collect the wheat in my barn’ ” (Matthew 13:29–30).
Now, what’s the story about? In only two cases, the Gospels record Jesus’ interpretation of His parable. Thankfully, this is one of those. When the crowds had dispersed, and Jesus was alone with His inner-circle, the disciples asked Jesus for an explanation. Here’s what He said…
“The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man; the field is the world; and the good seed—these are the children of the kingdom. The weeds are the children of the evil one, and the enemy who sowed them is the devil” (Matthew 13:38–39).
So far, we’re right, but what comes next?
“The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. Therefore, just as the weeds are gathered 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 gather from his kingdom all who cause sin and those guilty of lawlessness. 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 their Father’s kingdom. Let anyone who has ears listen”(Matthew 13:39–43).
Today, are there weeds is the wheat? Are there sinners with the saints? Are there lost people in the church? And what will happen on judgment day?
Jesus said that there are wolves masquerading as sheep (Matthew 7:15), there is both good and bad fruit in the orchard (Matthew 7:16-20), and that “not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven” (Matthew 7:21).
Wheat and weeds, sheep and wolves, “we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each may be repaid for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil” (2 Corinthians 5:10). After the judgment, born-again believers will be ushered into God’s presence while those who have rebelled against Him will be cast “into the blazing furnace where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”