God will sort it all out in the end

Matthew 13:24-43

Jerry A Collins




v                 What will it be like at the end of the age?

v                 Are we to judge the world today?

v                 What can we expect God to do to the tares of the world?


How often have we wished for judgment and justice to prevail right now. When we have been wronged in some significant way, we can hope that for judgment. Jesus speaks of judgment more than any other Bible writer. He came to proclaim the good news of God’s forgiveness and redemption but He punctuated it with insights into God’s judgment. Without judgment there cannot be accountability and without accountability oppression and injustice reign. You may not always experience justice in life but that does not mean there will never be justice and judgment. Our parable of the wheat and tares teaches us that while we are not to judge the world today, God will do that by His angels at harvest time. The use of this parable explains the judgment upon all unbelievers. You can be sure that God will sort it all out in the end.


In this period between Jesus’ rejection and His future return at His Second coming, He the King of this kingdom is absent. However, His kingdom continues on though in a newly revealed form. This age we currently live in is characterized by profession of faith in Jesus Christ from people in this world but no longer of this world. So, out of the people of the world will come professors of Jesus Christ and this will be so until the end of the age in each successive generation until the end with God’s final judgment.

Good seed Unlike the previous parable, the emphasis is not on what happens to the good seed—the good seed are those who have understanding of the Kingdom of God—but rather what happens to the bad seed—the seed his enemy (of the farmer sowing the good seed) who came and sowed alongside the good seed. He did this while men were sleeping at nighttime, when they were oblivious to what was happening in the newly planted field. So as we are sowing the seed of the gospel in the world we can expect that some will receive the word like the parable of the hard, rocky, and weedy soils. There will be deception, opposition, and hostility to turn away from it.

Wheat This good seed assumed to fall on fertile ground, took root, and sprang into a healthy plant vs 26. So, some will receive the gospel like fertile soil receives a seed.

Tares Tares are a variety of weeds, closely resembling wheat and the enemy came and sowed these tares among the wheat. It would be a common occurrence for some weeds to sprout but there were so many tares in this field it was obviously intentional sabotage. The conclusion of the slaves is that an enemy has done this vs 28. This would be a significant problem since these tares would weaken and even ruin the wheat harvest. The slaves wanted to go and gather them up vs 28.

Landowner He tells them not to gather the tares because they would uproot the wheat also. The roots of both plants would become intertwined and even if the good and bad plants could be distinguished from each other, it would be a mistake to uproot now in the growing season (the age in which we currently live). Allow both to grow together until the harvest instead. Only at harvest time could the good and bad plants be distinguished with certainty.

Reapers These reapers were more experienced than the slaves and were qualified to weed out the tares and burn them. Then the harvest could be done and gather the wheat into the landowner’s barn.

1. Believers are sown from within the world. A world in which we are to be salt and light.

2. There will be false professors of Christ throughout the church age and attempts to undermine the progress of the gospel and the growth of the church from within and without.

3. Our job is not to judge the world but to let the gospel play out in each generation until the end. We are to bring the gospel to the world not be a judge of the world.


Before telling the disciples the meaning of this parable, He reminds us that speaking this way had been prophesied hundreds of years earlier Psa 78:2. The Jewish rejection of Christ did not take God by surprise, everything was on schedule and according to the predictions of His Word.

Disciples The fact that the disciples called this the parable of the tares vs 36 indicates they realized the main emphasis was on the tares rather than the wheat. This parable is about judgment and the tares are unbelievers.        The disciples were wondering why the wicked tares allowed to coexist with the good wheat. So the rest of the passage is an explanation of this parable.

Explanation  The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man referring to Jesus Christ Himself. The field is the world. Jesus specifically says so. This is a picture of the church in the world. As for the good seed, these are the sons of the kingdom vs 38. Those who are faithful to the King and reflect His will and standards before a corrupt world Believers are not left in the world by accident. They are placed here on divine assignment from the Lord. The tares are the son of the evil one. This refers to Satan vs 39. He is the enemy and throughout history the tares have outnumbered the wheat by enormous percentages. The harvest represents God’s judgment at the end of the age when the reapers who are angels will execute judgment on unbelievers. The disciples had wanted to put the sickle to the unbelieving tares right away just like the landowner’s slaves. We see this in the attitude of James and John towards the unbelieving Samaritans when they said Lord do you want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them Lk 9:54? Our age is not for judgment of the world 1 Cur 5:13. We are to judge those within the church but the world will be judged at the end of the age. We are to look at unbelievers with compassion and bring the gospel to them to trust Christ. It is the angels sent by Christ vs 41 who will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks and those who commit lawlessness and will cast them into the furnace of fire. At the Great White Throne judgment all unbelievers will be judged according to their deeds, then banished from the Lord’s presence into a fire that is unquenchable and eternal Rev 20:11-15. This is where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth suggesting sorrow and grief—emotional agony of the lost in hell—and of the grinding of one’s teeth in pain—physical agony in hell. This will be the reaction to judgment on these sinners. Their unbelief will be accounted for in judgment. The righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father sounds like the New Jerusalem in Rev 21-22.

1. Don’t judge the world, let the angels do that at the harvest time. The difference between that and the teaching of Israel—it was to judge its world. We are not to do so.

2. There is a day or reckoning for all of us—believer and unbeliever alike.

3. The church and all believers will come from within the world—this wicked one controlled by Satan. He will do all he can to keep his own and deceive as many as possible.