What Does Matthew 13:38 Mean?

The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one;

Matthew 13:38(WBS)

Verse of the Day

It was after the Jewish leadership had accused the Lord Jesus of performing miracles by the power of Satan, that Christ started to speak in parables. Isaiah had prophesied that those with hardened hearts of unbelief would not understand the eternal significance of the gospel of Christ. Their hearts were closed towards the Lord. The ears were dull of hearing the truth.

The disciples, however, had a desire to know the truth and so they questioned the Lord about the meaning of this second parable. We read, "His disciples approached Him and said, 'Explain the parable of the weeds in the field to us.''" Jesus explained that some good wheat was sown in a field by a good farmer... but later some tares were scattered in amongst good seed, by a wicked and malignant enemy.

In the first parable of the Sower, Christ identified the 'seed' which fell on different types of ground, as representing the Word of the Kingdom, (the gospel of the kingdom), whereas in this next parable the 'good seed' represents those who believe in Christ and are fruitful, while the 'bad seed' symbolises those who have a form of godliness but do not believe. These tares were deliberately sown in amongst the good seed by an enemy, in such a way as to have an appearance of wheat... and yet they were terrible and destructive counterfeits.

Although the field represents the world in both parables, we see additional information in the second parable. Here, the Sower of the 'good seed' stood for Christ Himself and the 'good seed' represents the sons of the kingdom - those who believe on His name. However, the one who sowed the tares is the devil - the enemy of our soul, while the tares themselves were identified by the Lord as children of the devil. 

The tares that were sown among the good seed were counterfeit believers - having a form of godliness, but denying Christ. They were fake devotees of Christ that had infiltrated the Christian Church through satanic means. And although these evil children of Satan initially looked identical to the good seeds, time would expose them as weeds - sown by an evil, iniquitous enemy whose desire was to disrupt the growth and fruitfulness of the good seeds.

As Christ explains the meaning behind this parable, we come to understand that among the Church there will be false teachers, false Christians, and false prophets, who are often indistinguishable from true believers. This should place us on high alert lest we are hood-winked by such deception - for it is by their fruit we shall know who is of God and who is of the devil.

When Christ walked this earth, He was the Sower Who started to sow good seed - the gospel of God, the gospel of grace, the gospel of Christ, the gospel of the kingdom. But even in those early days, we see many tares that were sown among the good seed who tried to pervert the good news of the gospel by twisting the truth and introducing a false gospel. Judas is one pre-Cross example. He was a son of perdition who gave an appearance of faith, but his unbelief was finally exposed when He betrayed the Lord Jesus for 30 pieces of silver.

Paul gave some generic examples of tares in the early Church which included legalism, Gnosticism, the denial of Christ's deity, or the renunciation of His humanity. Today, tares can be found in every area of Christendom - in the home, in Bible schools, in theological colleges, in church fellowships, and Christian denominations. They can even be located on the internet and trusted websites. Many profess to be Christians, having a form of godliness... and yet they twist the truth, add to God's Word, introduce extra-biblical teachings, deny the Lord Who bought them, and twist the truth that comes through Him.

Let us be on our guard for the existence of tares within our own circle and remember that Scripture warns us that both good seeds and tares will be allowed to grow together until the end... which is why we need wisdom and discernment in these increasingly evil and deceptive days.

May we keep the Word of God before our eyes and in our hearts, so that we are not shaken by the pervasive influence of tares that have been sown in our lives by the enemy of our soul. Let us put on the whole armour of God to protect us from the external influences of the enemy of our soul, so he will not be able to destroy our testimony or cause us to stumble.

May we be given godly wisdom and the gift of discernment, so that we may live and work to God's eternal glory - as we watch for the any day return of our God and Saviour, Who alone is worthy of our praise and worship.

My Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You that Christ died on the Cross to pay the price for my sin. Thank You that He rose again to break the power of sin in my life and to give me a new life in Christ. Thank You that I have been born from above and am Your child. Help me to listen to Your voice and to be obedient to Your Word. May I to look to Jesus, moment by moment, and give me wisdom to discern who and what is not from You, so that I may eschew the evil and cling to the good. This I ask in Jesus' name, AMEN.

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