“The Kingdom of Heaven”

Matthew 13

24 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: 25 But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. 26 But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.

27 So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?

28 He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?

29 But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.

36 Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field.

37 He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; 38 The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; 39 The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.

40 As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. 41 The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; 42 And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.

Here the Lord Jesus speaks to the people through parables. To His disciples He explained the parable, but the people heard His parables but did not understand it.

The servants noticed the tares among the wheat and wanted to remove them, but the owner told them to let both grow together till the harvest and then they will be separated.

Here the Lord Jesus uses an example from agriculture. Many people don’t like agriculture and farming. They want to work in offices. But those working in the soil are blessed, for they can understand better what the Lord Jesus is saying here.

It’s a pity when people live on farms and valuable ground but they don’t grow crops, but simply have livestock and then many times have the goats etc. to slaughter for the ancestral spirits.

When the government takes farms from those who are producing and give it to others who simply let the farms go to ruins they are inviting famine in the country. South Africa already has to import food on a regular basis, and one can just imagine what that does to the inflation in food prices.

1) “The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field”:

This is not an earthly kingdom but the Kingdom of Heaven. Where is this Kingdom? It is the Church of Christ on earth, where true Christians are together, there where Christ reigns.

The Kingdom of Heaven came down to this earth and those who accept it and make Christ King in their lives are where the Kingdom of Heaven is.

These Christians experience the Kingdom of Heaven even while they are on this earth, and when they pass from this earth they go to heaven where God is. The difference is just that while we are on this earth experiencing the Kingdom of Heaven we are still in a battle, whereas those in heaven have already been victorious and achieved victory.

Here we as the children of God have fellowship with Christ and with one another. Do you enjoy that fellowship of the Kingdom of Heaven? Not that you withdraw from other Christians. If you withdraw from God’s children then you’re not in the Kingdom of Heaven, but in the kingdom of satan.

In the Kingdom of Heaven God’s Word is proclaimed – God’s Word that is alive and sharp.

2) “But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.”:

What does it mean that the enemy sowed tares among the wheat?

The owner of the field is the Lord Jesus Christ, while the enemy is the devil.

Are the tares anger or irritability? No, in this case it is none of those, but are actually people that are wicked from the devil, just as the good seed are people of the Kingdom of God.

How then do these evil people come among the children of God?

The Owner sowed the good seed during the day, in the light, while the devil sowed his seed at night, in the dark when no one noticed.

The bad seed is manifest in people who go to someone in secret and tells that person something secretly, slandering others.

The devil comes in secret and does his work secretly and by the morning there’s no sign of him. But he has done his evil work and sowed his evil seed.

The devil came at night and put his people there among God’s children and positioned them there.

Often the Lord Jesus refers to Himself as the Son of Man. That should give us great joy that He identifies Himself with us in that way. Had He been just an angel, even Gabriel, he could not save us.

Daniel 7

13 I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.

14 And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.

This Word is sweeter than honey! Even here Jesus is already called the Son of Man Who came to God, the Ancient of days.

It is most wonderful to hear this Word, that the Owner of the field who sows the seed is the Son of Man. Jesus became like us. What type of people ought we as Christians therefore to be!

A certain Iraqi woman prayed to Allah to heal her son. Then she heard a voice, “don’t pray to Allah but pray to Jesus”. As soon as she cried to the Lord Jesus her son was healed. She wanted to read more about Jesus. She read in the dictionary that Jesus is the Saviour and Redeemer, and she was amazed for He had healed her son. When someone told her that certain people were Christians and pointed to them, she stared at them, amazed at people who actually bore the name of Christ, being followers of Jesus. She prayed and asked God to lead her to other Christians. Eventually she came to KwaSizabantu and shared her story with us.

3) Who is the enemy? It is satan. You can read about him in Isaiah. It seems that he might even have been the greatest angel made by God. The nations trembled before him and he was exalted above the other angels.

But he became proud. He wanted to be equal with God.

When the devil came to Eve that’s how he came to her; he tempted her with the possibility of becoming like God.

Lucifer became proud and if you allow pride in your life you will become like him. Beware of pride. The greater God exalts you, the smaller you should become in your own eyes and humble yourself.

Even if thousands or a million should get saved through you in a year, you should humble yourself and be nothing in your own eyes, else you will become a devil, even as Lucifer.

Some even become proud while they have nothing to be proud about.

Great was the fall of Lucifer, that he even became satan. And he had such a great hatred against God that he decided that he will fight against God till death, till his end.

Satan also desire to get you and destroy you. You need to watch and pray that the devil gets no foothold in your life.

4) When the Son of Man sowed His seed the devil opposed God’s work and sowed his seed. The servants wanted to remove the tares, but the Owner prevented them and told them to only separate them at harvest lest they damage the good plants while removing the tares.

The wheat will be gathered into God’s storehouse, while the tares will be bound in bundles and burned.

Do you notice that while they grow the good and bad seed seem similar and it’s difficult to distinguish between them? But they will be separated at the Judgement.

However, there is such a case that someone sins openly like an adulterer or drunkard, and one can remove such a one.

But there’s also the situation where it’s not so easy to distinguish. A person slips in, but one cannot see something obviously wrong. The person might even be in a choir or a co-worker. Everything might look good, and we cannot easily see whether this person is from God’s Kingdom or the devil’s. In such a case Jesus said don’t remove them as you might also remove the good people, but rather let them remain and God will remove them. You be faithful to God’s calling for your life.

Either they will be revealed as we read in 1John 2:19, “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us.”, or they will be revealed at the final Judgement. Of course if such a person lives in open sin, remove such a one.

So we must expect tares to be among the wheat and do their dirty work among God’s people.

Matthew 13

41 The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;

42 And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

43 Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.

Do you hear? Pray earnestly that you will not think that you are working for God and doing His will, while one day you find that you were just a hypocrite and be found among the tares. You will regret it for eternity.