The Choice of Being Wheat or Tares (Article 17-15)
Our Savior often used parables to teach the people during His ministry. Given the agrarian life style of the common man in His time, Christ often instructed people on the truth by connecting them with circumstances that they could relate. One of the messages He taught was the parable of the “Wheat and the Tares (Matthew 13:24-30)". In this parable, Christ compares the Kingdom of Heaven to be like a man who sowed good wheat seed in His fields, but when he fell asleep, an evil person came in the night and sowed tare seeds among the good wheat seed. The Tare plant, referred to in botany terms as Darnel or Lolium Temulentum, is a grassy weed that looks very much like wheat until it is mature. It is at the point of maturation can one distinguish the difference between the two plants. In Israel during the time of Christ, tare seeds and plants had little utility. As such, they were an unwanted plant species when they grew. For this reason, the sower’s servants came forth to tell him what had happened and recommended that the tares be pulled up. The sower, however, said no and to let the tares grow among the wheat. His reasoning was based on his concern that the pulling up of the tares would uproot the wheat. He said, “Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn” (Matthew 13:30). Christ explains the meaning of the parable in Matthew 13:36-43.
Understanding the Meaning of the Parable
This parable represents the present and future state of believers in Christ and the church and Satan’s enmity against them. The mixture of the two seeds represent the good and evil in the world that live side-by-side and the separation between them. Man’s propensity to sin (disobey God) is so great that Satan plants tares to entice us away from God. Unlike the wheat which receives its spiritual nourishment from God, the fleshly nature of the tare is nourished by the world. The tares, which look similar in appearance to the wheat, will grow among us and openly oppose the gospel. However, Christ tells us not to seek them out and destroy them for if we do so, we must pass judgment, thus exercising an authority we do not have and hurt ourselves and our oneness with God. Instead, Christ calls us to instruct those who oppose the gospel and to do so with a meek heart. Although there is bad and good together in this world, we must be patient for there is to be a great harvest at the end of time. For those who choose to be a tare, they will be separated and destroyed. However, the wheat will be harvested (judged), separated (sanctified) and put in the barn (Heaven) for safe keeping.
In The End The Wheat Will Glisten
At death, believers (the glistening wheat), will shine forth before all the world. And when they do, they will reflect the light from the eternal light; the light of the world; the light that no darkness or shadow can evade; the light that brings forth the truth for all to see and the light that shows our justification and sanctification. It is the light of Jesus Christ. So, as believers, we are called to be patient and wait for our Lord and Savior. The action we are to take requires great strength: Strength which can only be obtained from the fruit of His Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). We cannot do it on our own accord or abilities, for if we try, we will fail and end up like the tares. We are to exhibit the Fruits of the Spirit in times of servitude: love, peace, forbearance, kindness, gentleness, and self-control. Above all we must show our love, for it is the icon of our faith – trust, hope, protect, and preserve what is true and good.
Even as Wheat, We May be Living Like Tares
So great is our propensity to sin, we often forget that as believers we are to like the wheat. We may appear to others to be like wheat by our words; however, our actions suggest otherwise. We are so tied to the world and all that we deceived to believe it offers; we often find ourselves still turning to it for our answers and happiness. However, we will never prevail, for the world has nothing to offer the believer. As wheat, our nourishment to grow, to be healthy and happy is spiritual in nature. For it is to Christ that we turn to our nourishment and not the world. If we continue to turn to the world for our answers, our roots will grow deep and thick into the ground making it that much harder to separate ourselves from it. Like the tare, we will become stubborn and insistent on doing it our way. We must strive to live as wheat with shallow roots that can be easily be uprooted and separated from the ground (world). We want to live like wheat that patiently desires to be harvested and stored in the barn for safekeeping for all eternity.
We Must Choose
Meaningful change can only come from repentance, that being a change in thinking. As spiritual beings, we must recognize what we are and who we are to Christ. It is what He thinks of us that matters the most and not the world. We must remind ourselves each day that we choose to be "wheat" and exist as it does. We must choose to turn to the Christ in Us to give us needed light and nourishment to grow. We must oppose the unrighteous not by the sword, but by way of the fruit and the attributes of love. Yes, as “wheat” we must not be weak, but strong, determined, and committed to oppose the tares and not let the tares and its evil roots lure us to live as it does.