Parables of Lost Things – Sheep and a Coin

Parables of Lost Things – Sheep and a Coin

Parables - Lost and Found Sheep and CoinHave you ever lost something and spent a lot of time trying to find it? People lose things all the time. Here are a few things that are commonly lost:

‣money
‣purse
‣wallet
‣sunglasses
‣pen
‣phone
‣Ear ring
‣Your seat

Or how about:

‣your temper
‣your voice
‣your cool
‣your head
‣your patience
‣your dignity
‣Your mind
‣Time

There are so many things we lose everyday, but when we find them, we rejoice and celebrate! Today I want to look at a few things in the Bible that were lost. Last week we looked at the Prodigal Son. In the beginning of Luke 15 we read about a lost sheep and a lost coin.

Read Luke 15:1 – 10 HCSB

The Lost Sheep

A sheep was lost and likely knew it was lost. It knew it wasn’t with the other sheep or the Shepherd. They are just living and doing what they think is right, but without the Shepherd, they can lead them selves astray so easily.

Because of curiosity it strayed. Seeing a gap in the hedge it wandered from the rest, or nibbling away at the pasture, it drifted aimlessly in the opposite direction and became separated from the shepherd and the other sheep. This sheep represents the stupid, foolish, unthinking kind of wanderer from God. Happily it was overtaken by the seeking shepherd and brought back to the fold. Jesus is our good Shepherd.

Does the sheep come back saying “Oops, I’m sorry, I got lost?” NO! That sheep stays lost, and it might even say to other sheep; “Baaaa… leave me alone I am doing what I want to do!” until Christ finds it. That is why we preach the Gospel to everyone.

John 10:11 HCSB
I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.

John 10:14 HCSB
I am the good shepherd. I know My own sheep, and they know Me.

It is in Jesus’ very nature to save people. He seeks and saves the lost.

John 19:10 NKJV
for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.

The man who owned this sheep that was lost, went to great lengths to find and rescue it. Even leaving the 99 behind just for one measly ole sheep. The Shepherd saw value in the lost sheep. This is true love. This is the love Jesus has for us.

Along with the sheep being lost, we read that a woman lost a silver coin and swept through her entire house to find it.

The Lost Coin

Read Luke 15:8 – 10 HCSB

The lost coin didn’t know it was lost either. It is an object. Something that has no heartbeat. It was lost at home. Does this not imply the possibility of the soul, precious in God’s sight, being lost even though in a Christian home, or in a visible Christian Church?

Are there those living where we do, and attending the church we do, who are not saved, who continue to be lost because of indifference on their part or ours? We should be like that woman who lost her coin and seek out and look for those who are lost. It should be a passion of ours to see the lost found!

The woman felt the loss of her coin as if she had no other silver piece. It was no comfort telling her that she still had the other nine pieces safe. Since she was poor, much depended on finding the lost coin and so she searched diligently for it.

Jesus was illustrating His own saving ministry among men, He tried to make those heartless Pharisees see that if a woman could exert all possible care in finding a coin of little worth, was He not justified in taking all possible care in winning back to Himself lost sinners whose souls were worth more than silver?

Further, if the woman was so happy over the recovery of the coin she herself had lost, to the point of calling her neighbors and friends to rejoice with her, then Jesus had every right to ask us to rejoice with Him, and with the angels, over the restoration of those repenting of their sins? Yes, He did have every right to expect us to be happy for the Kingdom of God when one soul comes to Jesus and is saved from utter damnation. This is building God’s Kingdom. This is God’s heart!

In the story of the Father and the Lost son we looked at previously, the father was heart-broken over the loss of his younger son. It was not enough to tell him that he still had another son with no desire at all to leave home. His father’s heart went out to the missing one in spite of his willfulness and wickedness.

Does God care about lost things?

Combining the whole chapter (Luke 15) as a whole, 3 stories in one Parable: The Lost Sheep, The Lost Coin, and The Lost Son, is a better picture because in reality there is but one parable with three aspects.

We read, “So He told them this parable:” (Luke 15:3 HSCB) This is in the singular form. There is no break in-between each parable in this chapter. They all merge and blend together.

The three parables recorded in this chapter are not repetitions; they all declare the same main truth, but each one reveals a different phase of it.

Concern over something lost, and joy at the recovery of that which was lost, is the prominent note of each simile our Lord used. At the heart of this masterpiece of parable literature, the sheep, the coin, the son were all lost and all worth saving. It was serious to lose a sheep, worse to lose money, and worst of all to lose a son. A sheep is valuable, money more valuable, but man is the most valuable of them all.

It is interesting when we look at all three stories in the parable of Luke 15. The Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit are represented and help in recovering the lost. First, We have Christ as the Good Shepherd, laying down His life to save lost sheep. In the second story, the woman sweeping the house for her lost coin, is an example of the Holy Spirit working through His Church (the saved) to save others. The Spirit’s work naturally follows the Shepherd’s task. In the third picture, the father represents Father God seeking his lost child. Here the Divine Father is before us all His abundant love to seek and save the lost.

Look, then, at the three pictures set out before us, they symbolize the whole compass of salvation, but each one apart sets forth the work in reference to one or other of the Divine Persons of the Trinity —

The shepherd – with much pain and self-sacrifice, seeks the reckless, wandering sheep.

The woman – diligently searches for the insensible, but lost, piece of silver.

The father – receives his wandering, returning son with the kiss of reconciliation.

Therefore, the three life-sketches are one, and one truth is taught by the whole three, yet each one is able to stand alone from the other.

Now all this said, Here is why these three stories or pictures were given. In order to find out we have to visit the beginning of Luke 15.

Luke 15:1 – 3 Amplified Bible
Now the tax collectors and [notorious and especially wicked] sinners were all coming near to [Jesus] to listen to Him. And the Pharisees and the scribes kept muttering and indignantly complaining, saying, This man accepts and receives and welcomes [preeminently wicked] sinners and eats with them. So He told them this parable:

Jesus saw these two groups of people coming to listen to him talk. He knew what was in their hearts. These three stories in this parable were given to expose the sinner and the saint. Both classes were represented here.

In this world there are those who know God and live for Him, and those who know God and don’t live for Him, and those who don’t know God, nor even think of living for Him. This parable was written to those who were lost and didn’t know they were lost. This parable was directed to the Tax Collectors and Pharisees. The known sinners and the religious people. Wow, what a contrast. I am sure the Pharisees thought what Jesus said didn’t apply to them. They were more ready to judge Him instead of learning from Him.

I have been watching the social networks like Facebook and Twitter and the reaction of the Supreme Court’s ruling of same sex marriage in all 50 states. To be honest, I see sinners and religious people barking out what they think and believe.

Jesus came for the lost. All of them. We can’t be quick to judge another person and what they have or haven’t done. Our place is to pray for them. Show them truth, but do it in love. I believe homosexuality is a sin. But I will not hate people for practicing it. There is too much hate in this world. I have seen both sides spew out words of hate an not love. I will not condone the homosexual life style either.

In the three stories in this parable we can truly apply the truths we find in helping those and ministering to those who are lost. There are four verbs that describe these three stores: Lose, Seek, Found, and Rejoice. We seek out the lost, find them, love them, and rejoice when they come home to Jesus!!!

Have you ever lost something of great value? If so, you may have had moments searching, retracing your steps, and asking others to help you look for your valuably lost item. Do you remember the joy you experienced when you found what was lost? That joy pales in comparison to the joy in heaven when even one sinner repents.

If you feel lost, I want to pray for you. If you have been judging and criticizing people for their lifestyle, I want to pray for you too.

Prayer:

Lord God, I ask for your forgiveness for any wrong we may have done in our lives, or looking at the lives of others. I repent (turn away) from my old life and look towards You and the new life You have for me. Holy Spirit may you be closer than my breath everyday. Jesus thank you for taking my place for all the wrong I have done. I rejoice in the Lost being found! I rejoice in You today. Amen.

It is God’s amazing grace that has saved each one of us. We once were lost, but now we are found in Christ! Let’s rejoice and be glad with others who were lost and become found!

Your once was lost, but now I am found sister,

Pastor Kris Belfils

www.KrisBelfils.com
www.HopeFellowshipSpokane.com
www.KrisBelfils.WordPress.com

 

 

 

 

 

Resources: Pastor Kris Belfils and “All the Parables of the Bible” by Herbert Lockyer

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Parables of Lost Things – The Father and the Lost Son

Parables of Lost Things – The Father and the Lost Son

Parables - Lost and Found Mini SeriesWords are powerful. With our words we can speak life or death. With our speech we can put people in bondage or set them free. With the words we think or say we can bring healing or torment. James talks about the tongue being a rudder that steers the whole ship, or a bit in the horse’s mouth.

James 3:2 – 12 (Amplified Bible)
“For we all often stumble and fall and offend in many things. And if anyone does not offend in speech [never says the wrong things], he is a fully developed character and a perfect man, able to control his whole body and to curb his entire nature. If we set bits in the horses’ mouths to make them obey us, we can turn their whole bodies about. Likewise, look at the ships: though they are so great and are driven by rough winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the impulse of the helmsman determines. Even so the tongue is a little member, and it can boast of great things. See how much wood or how great a forest a tiny spark can set ablaze! And the tongue is a fire. [The tongue is a] world of wickedness set among our members, contaminating and depraving the whole body and setting on fire the wheel of birth (the cycle of man’s nature), being itself ignited by hell (Gehenna). For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea animal, can be tamed and has been tamed by human genius (nature). But the human tongue can be tamed by no man. It is a restless (undisciplined, irreconcilable) evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse men who were made in God’s likeness! Out of the same mouth come forth blessing and cursing. These things, my brethren, ought not to be so. Does a fountain send forth [simultaneously] from the same opening fresh water and bitter? Can a fig tree, my brethren, bear olives, or a grapevine figs? Neither can a salt spring furnish fresh water.”

We can take a look at one of the parable’s of Jesus to see how much power words really have. In the parable of the Prodigal Son, there are three characters. Each one speaks words and acts upon them.

Luke 15:11 – 32 (Amplified Bible)
“And He said, There was a certain man who had two sons; And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the part of the property that falls [to me]. And he divided the estate between them. And not many days after that, the younger son gathered up all that he had and journeyed into a distant country, and there he wasted his fortune in reckless and loose [from restraint] living. And when he had spent all he had, a mighty famine came upon that country, and he began to fall behind and be in want. So he went and forced (glued) himself upon one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed hogs. And he would gladly have fed on and filled his belly with the carob pods that the hogs were eating, but [they could not satisfy his hunger and] nobody gave him anything [better]. Then when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father have enough food, and [even food] to spare, but I am perishing (dying) here of hunger! I will get up and go to my father, and I will say to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; [just] make me like one of your hired servants. So he got up and came to his [own] father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was moved with pity and tenderness [for him]; and he ran and embraced him and kissed him [fervently]. And the son said to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son [I no longer deserve to be recognized as a son of yours]! But the father said to his bond servants, Bring quickly the best robe (the festive robe of honor) and put it on him; and give him a ring for his hand and sandals for his feet. And bring out that [wheat-]fattened calf and kill it; and let us revel and feast and be happy and make merry, Because this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found! And they began to revel and feast and make merry. But his older son was in the field; and as he returned and came near the house, he heard music and dancing. And having called one of the servant [boys] to him, he began to ask what this meant. And he said to him, Your brother has come, and your father has killed that [wheat-]fattened calf, because he has received him back safe and well. But [the elder brother] was angry [with deep-seated wrath] and resolved not to go in. Then his father came out and began to plead with him, But he answered his father, Look! These many years I have served you, and I have never disobeyed your command. Yet you never gave me [so much as] a [little] kid, that I might revel and feast and be happy and make merry with my friends; But when this son of yours arrived, who has devoured your estate with immoral women, you have killed for him that [wheat-] fattened calf! And the father said to him, Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. But it was fitting to make merry, to revel and feast and rejoice, for this brother of yours was dead and is alive again! He was lost and is found!”

This is the story of The Prodigal Son.

Prodigal in the dictionary means, “Wastefully, or recklessly extravagant, giving or yielding profusely; lavish, lavishly abundant, profuse, a person who spends, or has spent his or her money or substance with wasteful extravagance.”

We act upon what we say:

1. Younger son spoke – Younger son dwelt on what was going to be his “someday.” He asked his father: “… give me the part of the property that falls [to me].”( Luke 15:12)

The younger son had been thinking about this for some time and planned on asking his father for what was rightfully his… but this only comes when the father has passed away.

Action of his words:

“And not many days after that, the younger son gathered up all that he had and journeyed into a distant country, and there he wasted his fortune in reckless and loose [from restraint] living.” (Luke 15:13)

He wanted to go out and live his own life the way he wanted to live it. His actions reflected what he was thinking and again he acted upon it. He spent his money recklessly extravagantly. This is being a prodigal.

2. He came to himself

He spoke words to himself again:

“How many hired servants of my father have enough food, and [even food] to spare, but I am perishing (dying) here of hunger! I will get up and go to my father, and I will say to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; [just] make me like one of your hired servants.” (Luke 15:17-19 Amp)

Action of his words:

“So he got up and came to his own father.” (Luke 15:20 Amp)

He acted on his words and left for home. But this time he had “come to himself.”

We Come To Ourself

We come to our self when we realize we can’t make it on our own. We come to our self when we see that all our choices have made big mistakes in our life. We come to our self when we give up control and give it back to our Heavenly Father. We come to our self when we go to the Father and ask Him to forgive us of our wrong we have done.

We all need to “come to ourselves” from time to time. If we don’t we will lead ourselves astray. We will “self-destruct” without God! We, as sinners, are slow to come to our self and go back to God, but God is quick to run to us as He sees our brokenness and repentive heart.

3. The Father saw his son from a far off and ran to him.

The Father always was waiting and looking for the son to come home. He longed for him to be home. For the father to see him from a far off, you know he was constantly thinking about the way-word son and looking for his return.

God always has His eye on us, waiting for us to move towards Him!
You might feel far away from God.
You may have distance yourself from Him for some reason. Know this; God has his eye on you, waiting for you to draw near.

“I do not know that the prodigal saw his father, but his father saw him. The eyes of mercy are quicker than the eyes of repentance. Even the eyes of our faithWhy are you down in the dumps, dear soul? Why are you crying the blues? Fix my eyes on God— soon I’ll be praising again. He puts a smile on my face. He’s my God. (Psalm 42:5 MSG) are dim compared with the eye of God’s love. He sees a sinner long before a sinner sees Him…. He was resolve to come, yet he was half afraid. But we read that his father ran. Slow are the steps of repentance, but swift are the feet of forgiveness. God can run where we scarcely limp, and if we are limping towards Him, He will run towards us. The father “saw” his son. There is a great deal in that word, “saw.” He saw who it was; saw where he had come from; saw the swineherd’s dress; saw the filth upon his hands and feet; saw his rags; saw his penitent look; saw what he had been; saw what he was; and saw what he would soon be. His father saw him.” God has a way of seeing men and women in a way you and I cannot understand. He sees right through us at a glance, as if we were made of glass; He sees all our past, present and future.”
C.H. Spurgeon (wrote in a sermon on the Prodigal Son)

The Father had prodigal love towards his son as he was moved with pity and tenderness [for him]; and he ran and embraced him and kissed him [fervently]. (Luke 15:20)

Other translations read:

“… fell upon his neck and affectionately kissed him.” (New Testament In Modern English)

His father extravagantly kissed him and loved on him. He was waiting and anticipating his son to come home. I am sure the father always had his son on his mind. Any loving father would.

His father showed more extravagant love for his son as he said to bring the best robe (festive robe of honor) and put it on him; and give him a ring for his hand and sandals for his feet. This signifies kingship, authority, rule and reign. I am sure the son didn’t feel like he deserved it. He knew what he did and where he came from. His father gave him all that, and a fatten cow to eat, and celebrate the homecoming with his friends. We act upon what we say!

The father spoke: 

“Bring quickly the best robe (the festive robe of honor and put it on him; and give him a ring for his hand and sandals for his feet. And bring out that [wheat-] fattened calf and kill it; and let us revel and feast and be happy and make merry, Because this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found!” (Luke 15:22 – 24 Amplified Bible)

When we stray it hurts the Father. The Father will mourn like someone is dead. He will ache in His heart until we come back like someone who has lost a precious jewel and longs to find it.

Action He took:

He lavished His love on the prodigal son and gave him even more than before! The Father sees you! He knows where you have been. He knows what you have done. He knows what you have spoken, and He knows your name!

We don’t have to worry about the past. God has wiped it all away the moment we repent. We don’t have to worry about our future because God has prepared ahead of time what we will need. All we have to do is trust God with our lives and allow Him to be the Father.

Anger and jealously will make us act first…

4. The older son’s actions:

“But [the elder brother] was angry [with deep-seated wrath] and resolved not to go in.” (Luke 15:28 Amp)

In this case, he took action before he spoke to his father. But his “actions spoke louder than words,” as the father pleaded with him to join in the celebration.

The older son spoke:

“Look! These many years I have served you, and I have never disobeyed your command. Yet you never gave me [so much as] a [little] kid, that I might revel and feast and be happy and make merry with my friends; But when this son of yours arrived, who has devoured your estate with immoral women, you have killed for him that [wheat-] fattened calf!” (Luke 15:29-30 Amp)

The older son spoke with jealously and anger. He didn’t understand why his father would lavish so much love on his younger brother after all the WRONG that he did. It didn’t make sense to him.

Mercy and grace never makes sense to someone who is not the receiver, only the one who receives.

When jealously and anger grips our hearts it paralyzes us. It makes us do things that are selfish. The older son was offended because all he could see is the “good” he had done and the “bad” his brother did.

Being critical or judgmental towards others is a sin. The older brother was just as guilty of wrong as the younger brother.

5. The father spoke:

“And the father said to him, Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. But it was fitting to make merry, to revel and feast and rejoice, for this brother of yours was dead and is alive again! He was lost and is found!” (Luke 15:31-32 Amp)

This parable was spoken to the tax collectors and Scribes and Pharisees.

Luke 15:1-2
“Now all the tax collectors and the sinners were coming near Him to listen to Him. Both the Pharisees and the scribes began to grumble, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.” (Luke 15:1-2 Amp.)

The church is likened to that of the older son. Maybe you have been a child of God most of your life. Do you get critical towards sinners? Do you cast a judgmental eye towards those that have fallen or that keep falling? We can get judgmental towards the lost ones that come in as they may not talk like us or walk like us. We can think of them as “less then” because of their past. This is sin! God wants us to let go of the judgment and celebrate the change in people’s lives. We need to rejoice over one lost sinner that comes to Jesus and treat them with respect and love. Love will always receive; jealously and judgment always pushes away.

What have you been speaking to yourself lately? Are they words of hope or discouragement? What have you been speaking about people lately? Are they words of hope or judgment?

Maybe you can relate more with the Prodigal son. Do you feel like you can’t come back to God because of your past? Do you feel lost and all alone? Do you identify with the prodigal son? Do you identify with the older brother?

God sees everything. He knows your name! We can come to God and ask for forgiveness no matter what we have thought, spoke, or have done. No matter what actions you have taken with your words, God is there waiting for you to embrace Him.

There is power in our words. Let’s do the right thing with our actions and run to God and experience His extravagant love He has waiting for you!

Prayer:
Lord, I need You. I am sorry for leaving You and doing my own thing, going my own way. Please run to me. I come back to you. I don’t deserve your acceptance, but I am so thankful you always give it to me. Today I turn from going my own way, and choose Your way. Thank you for Your forgiveness. Thank You for a new start. Amen!

Your sister in Christ,

Pastor Kris Belfils

www.KrisBelfils.com
www.HopeFellowshipSpokane.com
www.KrisBelfils.WordPress.com

Parables: Discerning Wheat and Weeds

Parables: Discerning Wheat and Weeds

Parable - Discerning Wheat and weedsRead Matthew 13:24 – 30

I love when Jesus explains the parable He just told, and in this case, He does just that.

Matthew 13:36 – 43 NKJV.

This is a powerful parable. It is a truth seldom people want to hear. In the parable of the Wheat and the tares we see mixed growth: wheat vs. the tares. We can likened it to mixed character in the church or in this world and absolute separation of all people into two classes

Will everyone who attends Hope Fellowship make it? I would like to think that if the rapture occurred on a Sunday morning during our service, that the room would be completely emptied, but according to this parable that would be highly unlikely.

Tares: “an injurious weed resembling wheat when young” (Matt. 13:24–30) [google.com]]

The word translated “tares” in the King James Version is ζιζάνια (zizania), plural of ζιζάνιον (zizanion). This word is thought to mean darnel (Lolium temulentum), a ryegrass which looks much like wheat in its early stages of growth.

Roman law prohibited sowing darnel among the wheat of an enemy, suggesting that the scenario presented here is realistic. Many translations use “weeds” instead of “tares”.

Similar metaphors are wheat and chaff, replacing (growing) tares by (waste) chaff, and in other places in the Bible “wicked ones” are likened to chaff.

Tares look like wheat, but tares hinder the wheat. It makes for a lush look at harvest time but there is no fruit in a tare. They are weeds.

This parable and message is not an easy one, in fact this is a wake up call for everyone to see where they stand, either being a Wheat or a weed. We have to discern our own spiritual condition today hearing this parable.

We can go to church and sing the songs and even give in the offering but that doesn’t get you to heaven. It is a heart condition and a lifestyle, I believe, that will differentiate you from being wheat or weeds.

In the Parable of the Sower we looked at previous to this parable, the seed is the Word of God.

Luke 8:11 NKJV
Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.

Those who received that word into their hearts and proved it to be the transforming Word, are now “children of the kingdom.”

James 1:18 NKJV
Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of first fruits of His creatures.

This parable presents the problem of evil. The fact of the mingling of the evil with the good is a condition of things confronting us in all levels of society, all forms of government, in the home and in the church. No matter how we separate or look at it, seeds of corruption seem to find their home and grow to huge weeds in good fields.

The real and the counterfeit are ever with us. Good and evil are inextricably interwoven in our society.

In the Parable of the soils, there was one sower, one kind of seed, and several results. In the Parable of the Tares and Wheat there are two sowers, two kinds of seed, and two harvests: one good, and the other bad. In the first parable there are four kinds of soil; here the forth kind, the good soil is before us.

The Parable of the Tares (Weeds) and the Wheat

1. The Field.

Why does the field yield both wheat and tares? Some Bible commentaries have assumed because of the reference to “wheat” that our Lord taught the field to represent the Church or Christendom. It shows that the church today is an imperfect body. Jesus taught that the field is the world — His field.

Matthew 13:38 NKJV
The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one.

It is safe to say the field is the world, and also the church. We can not deny that within the church or in the church as a whole, there are tares and wheat. We, as the church, need to be aware and wake up to this fact. Some of us will go to heaven and some will not. This is a hard saying. Also, the church is a light in this world. We have to shine brightly for the world to see the way. How brightly are you shinning for God’s Kingdom?

Note the expressions, His field, and Thy field, which assert that the Master is the Owner, Lord, Husbandman of this world of man.

Psalm 24: 1 – 2 NKJV
The earth is the LORD’s, and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein. For He has founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the waters.

This field is therefore a world that God loved, and yet the enemy catches away the good seed, and also sows tares.

John 3:16 NKJV
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

I want to have everlasting life! How about you?

2. The Two Sowers.

The audience receiving this further parable is the same as before, namely, the crowd assembled on the shore, as well as the disciples in the boat. To these Jesus described the two sowers so different in character and purpose.

a. The Householder. There was the “man” revealed as the “householder”, and as “the Son of Man” (Matthew 13:24, 27 and 37).

In the previous parable “the sower” stands for all proclaimers of the Gospel, even Jesus Himself. Here, “the sower” is Jesus only. As the Creator, He made man upright, created him in His own likeness, that is, planted within him holy principles and aspirations.

b. His enemy. The other sower is referred to as “his enemy,” or “an enemy,” and “the wicked one,” “The devil” (Matthew 13:25, 28, 38, 39).

Think about it, it was not long before Satan sowed tares in God’s wheat; Adam and Eve. The word Jesus used for His enemy was diabolos, the traducer (to expose to shame or blame by means of falsehood and misrepresentation), the liar, the one who is against all that is true, high and noble. This enemy is Christ’s enemy.

Jesus has always been the object of satan’s hatred. Jesus is the bright and morning star. He is the lily of the valley. He is more precious than anything in heaven or on earth. Satan hates Jesus and all that is good.

Throughout history the trinity of good and the trinity of evil stand opposed to one another:

*Father God and the world:

1 John 2:15 – 17 NKJV
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world — the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life — is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.

*The Spirit and the flesh:

Galatians 5:17 NKJV
For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.

*Christ and Satan

Genesis 3:15 NKJV
And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between our seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.

In this parable his enemy sowed in a field that was not his. In this world people think it is okay to do what they want, where they want, with whom and what they want to do it with. These are characteristics of Satan. In spite of prevailing evil in the world, it is still Christ’s world and when He returns to it as “the Prince of the kings of the earth,” it will be a purer world in which to live.

The cunning and scheming of the enemy is seen in his action of sowing his tares among the wheat while the servants slept. It wasn’t the fault of the servants who slept. They are not to blame. It was night time and people slept during this time. This really shows the cowardly nature of the devil, in choosing the darkness for his terrible work. Evil is sown secretly, and the enemy loves darkness because he is evil.

3. The Two Products.

The Son of Man sows wheat in His field and “his enemy” sows weeds among the wheat.” The enemy would never think of sowing the wicked among the wicked. He sows the wicked among the good, and the two together constitute Christendom, what are we to understand about the products in this parable?

a. The Tares (Weeds).

The devil’s action was motivated by pure malice, for tares, like weeds, have never been a marketable product. Tares are “darnel,” a seed scarcely distinguishable from wheat seed (and not until it is sprung up can the difference be detected).

Tares are not what we understand by the term but some obnoxious form of plant, or wild corn, and poisonous as food. Tares! The enemy is vigilant and unresting who has so many to sow; tares of fleshly wisdom, of pride, of procrastination, of sin, and the list goes on.

Because it is hard to tell the difference between tares and wheat when they are not mature, this gives us insight into Satan’s subtle working. His method or weapon here is “opposition by imitation.” The bad are sown among the good, and the difference is not always discernible. Many who are not the Lord’s yet resemble those who are: they go to church, pray, read the Bible like Christians, but are, Christless not Christlike.

Sowing tares among wheat is a form of revenge. The object of this revenge was to poison of some of the wheat, and much labor would have to happen to get rid of it. How wicked men become when they give way to revenge.

Tares are the children of the wicked one.

Matthew 13:38 NKJV
The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one.

What a difference of nature between the “children of the kingdom” and “children of the wicked one.” The latter do not draw their origin from the wicked one, but many mould their character by his promptings, and are therefore called his children.

John 8:44 NKJV
You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.

These are the ones whom Satan sows among “the children of the kingdom.”

b. The Wheat.

“The good seed,” “the wheat,” “the children of the kingdom” all these represent the same thing. In the previous parable “the seed” was the word of the kingdom, here. “the good seed” is the product of that precious word received, understood and obeyed, namely, those who through such become “children of the kingdom.”

The Son of Man, as the sower or householder sows only good seed: lives transformed by, and embodying the word of truth. It is the Redeemer’s purpose to sow His redeemed ones in this world of sin and misery in order that there may be fruit for His glory and satisfaction for His travailed soul.

This is why He has sown you where you live and labor. As one bought with a price and born of His Spirit, and a new creation in Him and heir of eternal life, He expects you to bear fruit in the corner of the field of this world, in which he sowed you.

The two questions

The servants of the Householder or the owner of the field asked Him two general questions:

1. “Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?” (Matthew 13:27b NKJV)

The first question is in two parts, with the first part acknowledging that the field was the Householder’s and that He had done the sowing, and that He had sown only good seed.

The earth is the Lord’s. He also originated and first spread the Gospel, and nothing but the gospel. But the second part of the first question brings us to the deepest of all mysteries namely, the origin of evil and how it continues in the world.

This problem of the parable is as old as the human race. Why was Judas permitted to be counted among the twelve? Why was the early church almost wrecked by false brothers? Why does God allow the sin and sorrow blemishing His world today?

Jesus said, “An enemy has done this.” But why is the enemy so active, after almost two millenniums of Christianity, sowing more tares than ever in God’s field? This is one of the mysteries to be revealed. Christians should be mainly concerned with victory over evil rather than a full explanation of it. One of the main reasons is that the enemy knows his fate. He knows he will not win so he is trying to mess with God’s world and deceive as many people as he can before the end of the age. Don’t let it be you that he deceives.

2. The second question, “Do you want us then to go and gather them up?” (Matthew 13:28b NKJV)

Suggest that the servants were eager to rid the field of its obnoxious weeds at once. The Householder’s reply is in two parts:

First of all, he refers to the growth of the wheat and the darnel. In its unripe condition the wheat and the darnel looked alike, and to try and destroy the one, would be beyond the wisdom of servants.

The Second part of the answer is taken up with the final harvest. “Let both grow together until the harvest.” Not forever will the good seed and the tares be intermingled. The time of separation will come, when angels, and not men, will come, when angels, and not men will secure the wheat and burn the tares.

Mathew 13:39, 41 – 42 NKJV
The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels… The son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

The Two Harvests.

Describing the time of harvest, Jesus said that the reapers will be able to distinguish between wheat and tares, and that the separation between them will be effected in this way: “First, gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.” (Matthew 13:30b NKJV)

Such a harvest of destruction for the tares/weeds is to take place at “the end of this world.”

The destruction of the tares are to be bound up in bundles. As the gathering together of the tares into bundles takes place in the field, it is interesting to watch how this process of binding the tares into bundles is very fast and speedily.

After the gathering and binding of the weeds, there comes their destruction by fire. The time of such a harvest is appointed a day in which he will judge the world.

Acts 17:31 NKJV
Because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.

We will be judged for all that we have done. No one will escape it.

As to the time the reapers obey the summons of the Householder to deal with the tares, Jesus said it would be at “the end of the world,” or age – the end of the Gentile age when Christ returns to earth as King and gathers out from His Kingdom all things that cause stumbling. The final judgment upon Satan, evil angels, and all who died outside of Christ.

Let’s look at Matthew 13:40 – 42 NKJV
Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age. The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

“Burned in the fire” is a most solemn phrase. As the “tares” symbolize all lost souls, we cannot make light of their future after such a declared fate. Jesus affirmed the utter destruction of the tares.

The “furnace of fire” and “wailing and gnashing of teeth” described the horrors of Hell, and of the final home of the wicked, the Lake of Fire. These words that describe hell are hard to contemplate and absorb.

Trust me it will be a quick thing for those who are not children of God to be thrown into the lake of fire.

The words, “cast” or “thrown” into the lake of fire has a deeper meaning. The flinging expresses indignation, abhorrence and contempt. God has given all of us numerous chances to change our lifestyle and thinking. He has wooed and drawn us with His lovingkindness and some of us are still resisting. When judgement comes, there will be no more mercy and grace. Judgement will happen quickly and speedily.

The “furnace of fire” denotes the fierceness of the torment: the “wailing” signifies the anguish this causes: while “the gnashing of teeth” is a graphic way of expressing the despair of all who go there.

Matthew 8:12 NKJV
But the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

They will be castaways with no one to rescue them because the judgement has come.

The doom of the wicked will be fearful!

Revelation 20:11 NKJV
Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.

What Jesus said about the bundles burning was not words to a parable but a solemn revelation and declaration of fate.

Hebrews 2:1 – 3 NKJV
Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him.

But what a different harvest that waits the wheat, which is to be gathered into the divine barn. There will be no tares in that barn, just as there will be no wheat in the furnace of fire.

The question is, When will the gathering of the wheat of the Son of Man take place? When Jesus returns to the air then there will be gathered out all His wheat from the field of this world. What a gathering of the ransomed that will be!!!

1 Thessalonians 4:15 – 17 NKJV
For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.

Is not His Father’s House the Barn He will gather us into?

John 14:1 – 3 NKJV
Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.

God’s chosen are gathered from the four winds are to be where He is!

Matthew 24:30 – 31 NKJV
Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

What a glorious destination awaits the righteous, who are to shine as the stars forever. Exaltation and blessedness are to be theirs throughout eternity!

Matthew 13:43 NKJV
Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!

They have been called to God’s eternal glory in Christ!

1 Peter 5:10 NKJV
But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.

A ravishing prospect is the portion of all who have been saved by grace.

Daniel 12:1 – 3 NKJV
At that time Michael shall stand up, the great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people; and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation, even to that time. And at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone who is found written in the book. And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament, and those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever.

2 Timothy 2:12 NKJV
If we endure, we shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us.

There is a further thought to stress as we come to the conclusion of looking at the Parable of the Wheat and Tares, namely, we still live in an age of grace when tares can become wheat, or sinners can become righteous. The parable doesn’t say there can’t be a change for those tares. By Jesus’ power the enemy can be defeated, and his enemies slaves made into God’s servants. Children of the devil, they can yet become children of the Kingdom, and thus be saved from the final, terrible judgment of the wicked.

Counterfeit members in the Church can be changed into genuine and profitable members. We have to remember that we are wheat and will be sifted by Satan. Jesus told Peter that he was wheat and that as such he was to be sifted by Satan, and that in the sifting the chaff, or tares, would disappear.

Luke 22:31 – 33 NKJV
And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.”

Let’s search the field of our heart and see whether the enemy has sown any tares in it. The more the Lord has of our heart, the less the devil will have. Today, turn from any worldly way of thinking and give your life fully over to Jesus. Walk in His ways and stay close to Him. Don’t be one of the tares at the end that will be bundled up and thrown into the furnace of fire for eternity!

Your sister in Christ,

Pastor Kris Belfils

www.KrisBelfils.com
www.HopeFellowshipSpokane.com
www.KrisBelfils.Wordpress.com

Resources: Pastor Kris Belfils and Herbert Lockyer “All the Parables of the Bible”