Matt 13:24-30
Protecting the Weak Wheat

Notice that this is one of the many parables Jesus was telling to the
people at this time.  Jesus gave six parables in this chapter alone!

Also take note that the reason Jesus spoke in parables was so that
the believing would understand and the unbelieving would not.  He
said that to His disciples.

Matt 13:10  And the disciples came, and said
unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in
11  He answered and said unto them, Because it
is given unto you to know the mysteries of the
kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.

Since the disciples are asking that question at this time, it would
seem logical that Jesus had just started teaching in parables.  From
this point forward, those who had determined that they would not
listen to Jesus would not understand even if they did.

Hopefully, that is not you, but if it is, you probably will not "get"
todayís message and if by some chance you do, what you do understand
wonít stay with you for very long.  The old express, "Use it or lose
it" turns out to be very Biblical indeed.

I. For those who can, letís understand the basics of this parable.
    A. Parables are earthly stories with spiritual meanings.  So this
        parable is teaching us something spiritual and something
    B. It is the story of farmer whose workers planted wheat but
        someone slipped some weed seed into the field. The servants
        ask if the owner wants to pull up the weeds.  He does not for
        he fears the wheat would be destroyed too.  Instead, he will
        let both the weeds and wheat grow together and separate the
        good wheat when it is harvested.  What does this mean?
        1. Jesus actually interprets the parable in \\#36-43\\.
        2. \\#37\\ The interpretation centers on Jesus, His life,
            and ministry.
        3. As I interpret the parable, I want to include some
            present-day applications.
    C. Each element in the story has a spiritual meaning.
        1. The owner represents God.
        2. \\#37\\ The worker is Jesus but since Jesus has left,
            letís widen to application to include anyone who shares
            the gospel, not just preachers but anyone who works to
            see other people come to Jesus.
        3. The wheat is the crop of those who work to see people
            saved.  They would be the newly saved people who are won.
        4. The tares are those who pretend to be saved but are still
            lost.  Jesus called them hypocrites.
        5. \\#38\\ Jesus said the field is the world but for our sake
            today, letís just emphasize one portion of the world.
            Letís let the field be the church.
        6. The enemy that sowed the tares is the devil.
        7. The end-time harvest is the rapture and the Great White
            Throne Judgment.  The wheat and the tares will be
            separated at the rapture.  The tares will be burned at
            the Great White Throne Judgment.
        8. Godís barn is heaven.
        9. The tares will be burned in hell.
    D. Having the pieces, we can understand the central truth.

II. This parable is a statement to say that where ever there are
     Christians there is going to be fake Christians.
     A. That is true in the world.
         1. Fake Christians are the tares.
         2. Where ever there are real Christians are always fake
     B. That is true inside the church!
         1. Lost people are always welcome to come to our church
         2. We invite them.  We desire them to come.  We are thrilled
             when they visit us.
     C. However, all they should be are visitors.
        1. We want to make the unsaved as welcomed as we can but
            they can never be part of the church because they are
            not part of Jesusí body.

1Corinthians 12:27  Now ye are the body of
Christ, and members in particular.

        2. In fact, unsaved people are actually enemies of God.

Ro 5:10  For if, when we were enemies, we
were reconciled to God by the death of his
Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall
be saved by his life.

        3. Part of the problems with the "church" today is that it is
            not only comprised but controlled by Satanís tares!
            a. Lost people are the pastors, the deacons, the elders,
                directing the activities, writing the Sunday school
                material, and making the decisions for the church!
                (1) You have heard of "gay" churches - lost people.
                (2) You have heard of "denominations" who say that
                     the Bible has errors - lost people.
                (3) You have heard of Christians who say "there are
                     many ways to heaven" - lost people.
                (4) You have heard the Pope say Muslims and
                     Christians worship the same God - lost man.
                (5) You have heard of preachers who say that they
                     wonít preach on sin - lost people.
            b. I have no idea how many churches have been compromised
                by unsaved people coming into the church, taking up
                positions of leadership and directing the church down
                a wrong path, but this parable is telling us that it
                happens and the American church is an example of it.
        4. But Jesus is warning us, where ever there is wheat, the
            enemy will make certain that there are tares!
            a. That means there are tares in this church too.
            b. What keeps them at bay?  Strong spiritual dependency
                and strong spiritual leadership.
            c. But if there is ever a crack in that strong spirit,
                the weeds, the tares, will grow through it!

III. Letís consider some specific truths:
    A. The workers cannot always tell the wheat from the tares;
        that is, we cannot always tell the saved from the lost.
        1. Wheat and Biblical tares actually look a lot alike.
        2. Most of you have at least seen a picture of fields of
            wheat.  It grows on a stalk several feet high and
            then grows husks of wheat on the top.
        3. The tares being spoken of in our text is a weed called
        4. Darnel looks much like wheat until it gets almost fully
            grown so it is very difficult to tell them apart. Only a
            worker with much experience could be able to do so.
        5. So the field owner told the workers to leave the darnel
        6. Friend, most of the time you and I cannot either.
            a. So what are we supposed to do to keep the church
            b. We are supposed to preach the Word and stick to it.
            c. It is the workers of the church that keep the
                church pure.  It the preaching of the Word that
                keeps the church pure.
            d. Lester Roloff used to say, "The Word will keep
                you from sin or sin will keep you from the Word.
        7. Preachers shouldÖ
            a. Öpreach on sin because the tares donít like it.
            b. Öpreach on the changed life because tares donít
                have that.
            c. Öpreach on standards because the tares can not
                do them.
            d. Öpreach on Bible truth because the tares do not
                get it.
    B The owner allowed the tares to grow with the wheat for the
       wheatís sake.  I see a couple of thoughts with that.
        1. While most of the workers would not be able to tell
            the difference between the wheat and the tares, the
            master could!
            a. He knew well before the harvest what was in His
            b. Friend, you might fool the preacher and the other
                church members but you will never fool God.
        2. God loves the weak wheat, the fruitless wheat.
            a. The owner did not let the workers remove the tares
                because some of the wheat would have been
                (1) What wheat would have been destroyed?
                (2) The fruitless wheat.  The fruitless wheat is
                     what I am calling the weak wheat.
            b. I donít think the Lord picked the objects of these
                parables, the wheat and the darnel, by accident.
                (1) I think it was with purpose.
                (2) Everything that makes the separation from the
                     wheat and the tares obvious is in the wheatís
                (3) Even so, God loved the fruitless wheat and
                     did not want it thrown into the fire.
                     (a) I am going to point out again how difficult
                          it is for me to believe that God would
                          ever cast away one of His children.
                     (b) In this parable, it was His love for
                          the fruitless Christian that kept Him
                          from sorting the wheat and the tares.
                     (c) God did not want any weak wheat cased
                          into the fire!
            c. The darnel is actually a poisonous grass.
                (1) I donít think it kills but it causes sleepiness,
                     dullness, drowsiness.
                (2) It is a sop-o-ri-fic weed.
                (3) How do you recognize a tare?  He is dull,
                     sleeply, unattentive to the things of God.
            d. There are four ways that wheat represents the
                (1) The fruit is what proves what is wheat and
                     what is tares.
                     (a) Do you know when you can tell the wheat
                          from the tares?
                     (b) When the wheat starts putting on fruit.
                     (c) How long before you start putting on
                          fruit?  Some of those that grow inside
                          the church have been here a long time
                          without fruit!
                     (d) At the best, Iíd call that weak wheat.
                     (e) I have news for you.  God loves you too.
                     (f) If not, He would have given the order
                          to pluck up the tares but because he
                          concerned about the unfruitful wheat,
                          He said let them grow together.
                (2) Wheat does not root itself very deep into
                     the earth.
                     (a) Wheat will typically grow 3 to 4 feet tall
                          but its roots are only half that deep.
                     (b) That means wheat spends its energy
                          growing upward not downward, toward
                          God and not into this world.
                     (c) I read a story about a 82 year old woman who
                           lived in the same house all of her life.
                           A disaster was coming and she was told she
                           would have to leave.  They gave her 15
                           minutes to gather what she wanted.  She
                           said, "Every bit of who I am is in this
                           house.  How can I pack up and leave that
                           quickly?"  So it is with tares, they
                           invest in their earthly roots not in a
                           heavenly destination.
                (3) Wheat has a short life span.
                     (a) Wheat lasts only for a season then it
                          is forever gone.
                     (b) If it is to leave a mark on this earth,
                          it must do so by the fruit it leaves.
                     (c) Christians are interested in leaving a
                          stump.  They want to leave a harvest that
                          will keep reproducing itself until Jesus
                (4)  When wheat matures, the weight of the fruit
                      causes it to bow its head.
                      (a) Wheat is humble before the God who
                           created it.
                      (b). That is the saved, humble before God.
    C \\#28\\ Consider that the master not only knew tares were
       in his field, he also knew who put them there.
       1. The enemy is Satan and Jesus was revealing Satanís
           number one way to weaken and destroy a church.
       2. It is infiltration and false identification.
       3. Satan sends his children in to infiltrate the church
           and to pretend to be one of the saved.
       4. What can we do about it?
           a. Again, the master said nothing.
           b. We just need to be aware of it and stick to the Bible.
           c. The Bible will week the Godís garden!
    D. \\#30\\ However, there will be a harvest.
        1. There will be a judgment.  God is going to separate
            the saved from the lost and the lost will burn.
        2. Some wonder if I believe in hell?  I sure do!  And I
            have also learned that denying a truth does not make
            it go away.
    E. Let me give you one more truth and this is the best one.
        1. Unlike the real world, in the spiritual world, tares
            can be turned into wheat!
        2. The same God who made water turn into wine can make
            tares into wheat!

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