Mat_13:24. Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field:
He knew that it was good. It had been tested: it was unmixed: it was good throughout.
Mat_13:25. But while men slept his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.
It was a very malicious action. The thing has been done many times. Bastard wheat was sown in among the true wheat, so as to injure the crop.
Mat_13:26-27. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?
We often have to ask that question. How comes this about? It was a true gospel that was preached, from whence then come these hypocrites —these that are like the wheat, but are not wheat? For it is not the tare that we call a tare in England that is meant here, but a false wheat — very like to wheat, but not wheat.
Mat_13:28. He said unto them, An enemy hath done this.
The enemy could not do a worse thing than to adulterate the Church of God. Pretenders outside do little hurt. Inside the fold they do much mischief.
Mat_13:28-30. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.
The separation will be more in season, move easily and more accurately done when both shall have been fully developed — when the wheat shall have come to its fullness, and the counterfeit wheat shall have ripened.
Mat_13:31-32. Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: Which indeed is the least of all seeds:
Commonly known in that country.
Mat_13:32-35. But when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof. Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened. All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world.
How thoroughly impregnated our Lord was with the very spirit of Scripture. And he ever acted as if the Scriptures were uppermost in his mind. They seemed to be ever in their fullness before his soul.
Mat_13:36. Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him,
Those house-talks, those explanations of the great public sermons and parables — were sweet privileges which he reserved for those who had given their utter confidence to him.
Mat_13:36-44. Saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field. 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 world; and the reapers are the angels. As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them unto 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. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found,
Stumbling upon it, perhaps, when he was at the plough — turning up the old crop in which it was concealed.
Mat_13:44. He hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.
Some persons do stumble upon the gospel when they are not looking for it. “I am found of them that sought me not” is a grand free grace text. Some of those who have been most earnest in the kingdom of heaven were at one time most indifferent and careless, but God in infinite sovereignty put the treasure in their way — gave them the heart to value it, and they obtained it to their own joy.
Mat_13:45. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls:
He does not stumble at it: he is seeking pearls.
Mat_13:46-47. Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind:
Bad fish and good fish, end creeping things and broken shells, and bite of seaweed, and pieces of old wreck. Did you ever see such an odd assortment as they get upon the deck of a fishing vessel when they empty out the contents of a drag net? Such is the effect of the ministry. It drags together all sorts of people. It is quite as well that we have not eyes enough to see one another’s hearts tonight, or else I dare say we should make about as queer a medley as I have already attempted to describe as being in the fisherman’s vessel.
Mat_13:48. Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away.
All a mixture. We cannot sort one from the other now, but when the net comes to shore then will be the picking over the heap. No mistakes will be made. The good will go into vessels, and the bad, and none but the bad, will be cast away.
Mat_13:49-50. So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just. And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
Not fire, then, which annihilates, but fire which leaves in pain and causes weeping and gnashing of teeth.