Hey folks! This is the last part of the “Division in the Body of Christ” series. If you missed the previous three, or just want to re-read, click below.
Division in the Body of Christ – Part 4, Wheat and Tares
There’s a really critical portion of scripture that gives us believers a major clue on how we are to handle people who we think might be “false prophets” or “wolves in sheeps’ clothing.” Often times we think we need to spread the word about such persons. I used to think that. Then I got some revelation. And then some more. The piece of revelation that got to me most was the passage where Jesus tells the parable of the wheat and the tares. Let’s take a look in Matthew 13:24-30.
24 Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; 25 but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way.”
Okay, so here we see some good wheat gets planted (believers). Then, an enemy comes in (the devil) and plants nasty tares (not believers) among the wheat. It takes a bit for anyone to notice that something isn’t quite right…
26″ But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. 27 So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ 28 He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’”
The servants ask an important question. “Boss, do you want us to get those tares outta there for you?” One would think that having weeds cropping up in your garden means it’s time to grab your trowel or weed killer and get to work. But that’s not what the owner tells them to do.
29 “But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them.”
He tells them to leave them alone! But why?
“Lest…you also uproot the wheat with them.”
Sure, the tares are bad, but the biggest danger here was obviously not the tares harming the wheat by sucking up nutrients and such. Nope. The biggest concern was that the wheat might be disturbed if someone were to rip up the tares. This is exactly the sort of thing I was talking about when I said we need to quit judging so we don’t harm others (you can read the previous posts by clicking the links above).
In the next verse, Jesus makes it very clear when the tares will be dealt with, and by whom (and it’s not us):
30 “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.’”
At the harvest, the reapers (angels) will gather together the tares to be burned, but the wheat will be gathered into the barn.
The last thing I want to note here is that not once does a believer have any role to play in this parable except to grow, grow, grow. The wheat wasn’t standing in the field having a panic attack over the tares. So, let’s stop worrying about what other believers are doing, or how they believe, and focus on your own growth in the Lord. If we don’t agree with or like a certain person’s teaching, then we don’t have to listen to it! 🙂 Instead of “warning” people about those we don’t agree with, let’s put that energy into encouraging them in their walk with the Lord instead. The result will be the advancement of the Kingdom of God—which is what we’re here for!