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Commentary » Matthew 13:36-Matthew 13:43 »

The Story About The Weeds

A great army, many years ago, invaded Scotland. They crept on stealthily over the border, and prepared to make a night attack on the Scottish forces. There lay the camp, all silently in the starlight, never dreaming that danger was so near. The Danes, to make their advance more n … More


When the disciples get Jesus by himself they ask him to explain the story of the weeds in the field (v. 36). He had already given the parable of the tares (vv. 24-30). He explains how He is the farmer who sows the good seed (v. 37). The field is the world, not the church (v. 38). We may not like it, but God allows the righteous and the wicked to live alongside one another. This is why we need to preach the gospel in the church as well as outside the church. The gospel is to be sown where lost people are and where converts need to be made in the world. The situation will change one day, but for now, we must remember that, “not all have faith” (I Thess. 3:2).

The children of the kingdom are the saved believers of the Church, who are Christ’s true followers. The harvest is the end of the world and the reapers are angels (v. 39). The fire represents hell which is the destination for all unbelievers and false professors who deny Christ (vv. 40-42). Jesus often used these terms to describe the coming judgment. The waiting indicates sorrow or remorse and the gnashing of teeth shows extreme anxiety or pain. Those who say they don’t care what happens to them after they die don’t realize what they are saying. They will be punished for living a selfish and indifferent life.

At the end of the world, angels will separate the evil from the good. By contrast the righteous shall enjoy the eternal kingdom of their father (v. 43). There are true and false believers in churches today, but we should be cautious in our judgments because only Christ is qualified to make the final separation. If we start pulling out weeds we may damage some of the good “plants.” It is more important to judge our own response to God than to analyze others responses. 


It is very easy for me to be over zealous in my judgment of other Christians and their participation in the world. I just need to be more sensitive to my own selfishness and indifference.

Matthew 13:36-43 (English Standard Version)

Then he left the crowds and went into the house. And his disciples came to him, saying, "Explain to us the parable of the weeds of the field." He answered, "The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, and the good seed is the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, and the enemy who sowed them is the devil. The harvest is the close of the age, and the reapers are angels. Just as the weeds are gathered and burned with fire, so will it be at the close of the age. The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers, and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear."

View this passage in NIV (Bible Gateway) »