In the Fulness of Time/Part 92

By: Dr. Thomas O. Figart; ©2007
To the true disciples was given the ability “to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven”, but this did not mean automatic and complete understanding. So now Jesus gives the interpretation of the parable of the wheat and tares which we have been looking at the past few months.

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His Message to His Disciples – Matthew 13:36-52

The Parable of the Tares Explained, Matthew 13:36-43

The Explanation Requested, Matthew 13:36

Matthew 13:36 “Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house; and his disciples came unto him, saying, Explain unto us the parable of the tares of the field.”

To the true disciples was given the ability “to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven” (verse 11), but this did not mean automatic and complete understanding. In verse 12 it is made clear that “more abundance” of knowledge would be im­parted to them. Asking for explanation was part of that learning process. Thus, in the privacy of the house where they were before (verse 11), Jesus gave the interpreta­tion of the parable of the wheat and tares.

The Explanation Related, Matthew 13:37-39

Matthew 13:37-39 “He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of Man; the field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom, but the tares are the children of the wicked one; the enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the age; and the reapers are the angels.”

Before interpreting the outcome, Jesus lists the persons, things and events:

  • The Sower of the good seed is Jesus, the Son of Man.
  • The field is the world (which is “His field,” in verse 24, and “thy field” in verse 27, and will be called “his kingdom” in verse 41.) Thus, there is to be world­wide participation of both the good seed and the tares.
  • The good seed are the children (sons) of the kingdom, true disciples (even though this same title is used of false disciples in 8:12 who are cast out).
  • The tares are the children (sons) of the wicked one (unbelievers who will be cast out).
  • The enemy that sowed the tares is that wicked one, the devil.
  • The harvest is the end of the age (aion), not the end of the world, since this period ends with the Son of Man judging the tares and placing the wheat in His barn, the kingdom.
  • The reapers are the angels.

The Explanation Applied, Matthew 13:40-43

Matthew 13:40-43 “As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so shall it be in the end of this age. The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them who do iniquity, And shall cast them into a furnace of fire; there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.”

The culmination of the prophetic part of this parable is that there eventually will be a separation of the tares from the wheat at the end of this “age.” The tares will be cast into a furnace of fire where they will experience punishment of fire, and the wheat will go into His kingdom and shine as the sun.

The “mystery,” therefore, is taken one step farther. In the first parable the new revelation was that the message of the kingdom would not be received by all, so that the kingdom could not be established as soon as the disciples may have thought. Now, this second parable gives some parameters to the “age,” showing that it began with the ‘sowing” by the Son of man and ends with the “reaping,” both involv­ing the Son of man directly. The new revelation given in this parable is that there is a time frame revealed, not in numbers of years, but which must of necessity include certain other “mysteries.”

Just what is this time frame called, and what does it include? The answer to this question will be given in our next part; but we can assure you that all will be fulfilled “in the fulness of time!

Read Part 93

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