Summary: The good news about the parable of the weeds is we don’t have to speculate about the meaning, the Lord gives us a full interpretation. Four personal lessons we can apply to our lives.


In Matthew 13 Jesus tells seven classic parables about the Kingdom of heaven. Last week we studied the parable of the Sower, which also is recorded in Mark and Luke. Today we’re going to examine the parable of the “Wheat and Weeds,” which appears only in Matthew. This is an amazing parable because it encompasses God’s work of redemption from the beginning of time until the end of time. Several times in scripture the end of time is compared to a harvest. That’s why I’m calling this “God’s Final Harvest.”

Before we examine this parable, let me ask you: Do you think our world is getting better or worse and worse? For a few years at the beginning of the 20th century, most Americans were very optimistic that the world was moving toward utopia. They thought the world was getting better and better. But then World War I came, the war that was to end all wars, followed by World War II. There don’t seem to be too many people in the 21st century who believe the world is getting better. With the rise of terrorism and economic problems around the world things seem to be going from bad to worse.

Actually, almost every generation thinks the world is going to the dogs. I came across a humorous poem that expresses this idea.

My granddad, viewing earth’s worn cogs,

Said, “Things are going to the dogs.”

His granddad, in his house of logs,

Said, “Things are going to the dogs.”

And his granddad, in the Flemish bogs,

Said, “Things are going to the dogs.”

And his granddad, in his old skin togs,

Said, “Things are going to the dogs.”

But there’s one thing I have to state:

The dogs have had a good long wait.”

Vance Havner once said, “I used to say the world was going to the dogs, but I’ve stopped saying that out of respect for dogs!”

So, are things going to get better or are they going to get worse? Jesus answers that question in this parable found in Matthew 13:24-30:

“Jesus told them another parable: ‘The Kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared. The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’ ‘An enemy did this,’ he replied. The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’ ‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may root up the wheat with them. Let them both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’”

Then Jesus told two additional parables we’ll examine in the next couple of weeks. After that, He took a break (maybe a coffee break). That’s when His disciples asked Him about that particular parable.

Matthew 13:36-43. “Then he left the crowd and went into the house. His disciples came to him and said, ‘Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.’ He answered, ‘The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. As the weeds are pulled up 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 weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.’”

Whenever you study a parable of Jesus, there is always the natural truth of the story itself, and then there is the supernatural layer of meaning below the surface. The good news about this parable is we don’t have to speculate about the meaning, the Lord gives us a full interpretation. I want to present the parable to you and then I’ll share four personal lessons we can apply to our lives. If this parable were made into a movie there would be three scenes:


In the natural story, the farmer planted wheat seeds. But there was a wicked farmer who slipped into the field and planted weeds among the wheat seeds. In the parable of the sower, the seed was the word of God. The seeds were the same but the soils were different. In this parable the soil is the same, but the seeds are different.

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