Lesson 155-May 20, 2018
Lesson: “The Real Thing” Part One
Lesson Goal: To learn and gain a better understanding of Jesus’ parable and explanation of the Parable of the (Wheat) and Tares.
Introduction: For the sake of continuity and our understanding, we are going to deviate slightly from our normal pattern of chronological study. As we study “The Parable of the Wheat and Tares” we are also going to study systematically Jesus’ own explanation of it. Jesus offered this explanation after being approached by His disciples seeking explanation. We will study in parallel Jesus’ parable and Jesus’ explanation.
(vv24, 37-38) “Another parable He put forth to them.” Jesus continues the series of parables borrowing from the practical world of agriculture and farming. Once again He speaks of a sower “a man who sowed”, “seed” and the “field”. In Jesus’ explanation He tells the disciples that “the man who sows” is the “Son of
Man” (Jesus). The “good seed” are the true followers of Jesus Christ (“children of the Kingdom”), “the field is the world.”
We must understand that Satan opposes and uses various tactics in his attempt to hinder the Kingdom work (“The Kingdom of heaven”). Wiersbe states, “Satan opposes the Kingdom by trying to snatch the Word from hearts (Matthew 13:4, 19). But when that fails, he has other ways of attacking God’s work. Satan is primarily an imitator. He plants false Christians! Satan can not uproot the plants (true followers) so he plants counter- feit Christians in their midst. In this parable, the good seed is not the Word of God. It represents people con- verted through trust; the Word. The field is not human hearts; the field is the world.”
Where God is at work sowing “good seed” (true followers of Jesus Christ), Satan is also at work sowing coun- terfeit imitations. To help our understanding Wiersbe continues by encouraging true believers to be aware of Satan’s counterfeits. “He has counterfeit Christians (2 Corinthians 11:26) who believe a counterfeit gospel (Galatians 1:6-9). He encourages a counterfeit righteousness (Romans 10:1-3) and even has a counterfeit church (Revelations 2:9). At the end of the age, he will produce a counterfeit Christ (2 Thessalonians 2:1- 12).”
(vv25, 38-39) As we look at this parable, an important thought is found in Matthew 13:36. After Jesus sent the multitude away His disciples approached Him asking for meaning of this parable. Notice their request and the wording of it. “Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field.” The disciples spoke of “the parable of the tares of the field”. They understood the primary emphasis and point of this parable, centered upon the fact (truth) of the “tares”.
The word “tares” is found in the basic word “zizanioin” which is a weed that closely resembles wheat. Even for experienced farmers it is very difficult to distinguish from the tares and the wheat.
MacArthur shares this insight, “Because of this resemblance, sowing tares among the wheat was sometimes done in ancient times out of spite or revenge by an enemy who wanted to destroy or at least greatly reduce the value of someone’s crop. It was a common enough crime for the Romans to have had a specific law against it.”
What made the tares such a difficult hindrance to the real crop was that they could not be identified until the wheat began to produce the grain. What was early in the growing process thought to be real wheat often was determined to be tares. This could not be determined until the grain became visible.
Jesus stated in the parable that the tares were sown by the “enemy” specifically identified as his enemy (the enemy of the man who sowed the good seed). (v25) As Jesus explains the parable to His disciples, He clearly explains that the “tares are the sons (children) of the wicked one” and “the enemy who sowed them is the dev- il” (vv38-39).
The enemy has deliberately sown the “tares” under the cover of darkness along side the “good seed” (vv25, 28).
We (followers of Jesus) must understand that whenever God is at work, Satan is at work. As God works bringing the good news of salvation and redemption to the world, Satan will also be at work seeking to hinder, hurt, harm, and destroy. Satan works often times in stealth mode. Nowhere is this more evident than by his deceptive work of sowing the false (“tares”) among the fields of the world. Satan often “sows those who closely resemble true believers in that they profess the faith. However, they are only imitation Christians; they have never been saved.” Phillips
The danger lies in the fact that they may show all the signs of the real and genuine (true follower). Some sing, some teach, some testify, some tithe, and some even preach. Some are benevolent and great humanitarians. They are religiously active and often religiously titled. They talk about God but they do not know Him. They appear religious and holy by mans’ standards and conferment. They often achieve rank and position within religious systems. They are able to influence and impress others by their appearance of expertise. Jesus simp- ly called these “children of the wicked one.”
Question: What does the (wicked one, enemy, Satan) wish to accomplish by sowing tares among the wheat? Please give prayer and thought to your answer.
Question: What makes us (followers of Jesus) able to identify any type of counterfeit?
Question: What is our (followers of Jesus) authority for identifying counterfeit truth, counterfeit doctrine, and counterfeit teaching?
Please search the Scriptures and state three Biblical references for Satan and his operational motif of darkness.
Please search the Scriptures and state three Biblical references for God and His operational motif of light.
Next week in our study we will look at the outcome of the tares among the wheat!