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.

MEMORY VERSE: For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. —II Corinthians 5:10

CENTRAL THOUGHT: As pseudo-wheat is sown by an enemy among the crop of true grain, so hypocrites, false Christs, and false prophets abound in and around true Christians in the world. In the judgment, all shall be judged by their fruits and a separation will be made between the righteous and the unrighteous for all eternity.


Matthew 13:25 “Tares”: “The bearded darnel. It is the Lolium temulentum, a species of rye-grass, the seeds of which are a strong soporific [sleep-inducing] poison. It bears the closest resemblance to wheat till the ear appears, and only then the difference is discovered. It grows plentifully in Syria and Palestine” (Easton’s Bible Dictionary).

Matthew 13:41 “Offend”: the bait stick of a trap; snare; means of stumbling. “Iniquity”: lawlessness; utter contempt and disregard for God’s law.


Immediately following the parable of the sower, Matthew records the second parable Jesus told about sowing grain. Later when Jesus sent the multitudes away and retired into a house, His disciples came and inquired of the meaning of the parable. Jesus clearly identified each part of the parable with its spiritual application. The focus of the story seems to be the assurance that although evil people are allowed to exist in the world alongside the children of God, there will be no mistake made in the judgment, which will be according to fruits of the heart and not appearance. The righteous will “shine forth” or “stand” (as in Psalm 1), and the wicked will be cast into eternal fire.

In the explanation given by Christ, the good seed are the “children of the kingdom” and the tares are the “children of the wicked one.” We can find references to these terms in other places in Scripture. In Genesis, the world before the flood was divided between the few sons “of God” and the many sons or daughters “of men,” referring to those who believed in and called upon the Lord God in contrast to those whose hearts were violent, corrupt, imagined only evil continually and were mighty men of renown.

Jesus spoke to those who served sin in John 8:38-44. “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do.”

Paul, writing to the Ephesians, speaks of how we all walked according to the spirit that “now worketh in the children of disobedience” and were dead in trespasses and sins.

In I John 3:10 we read, “In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.”

The difference between corrupt trees or plants and good trees is also explained by the Savior in the Sermon on the Mount: “Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.”

A passage in Isaiah 61 refers to those to whom the gospel would be preached, those who would be liberated by the good tidings, as “trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord.” In contrast, Jesus, speaking of the Pharisees, said, “Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up” (Matthew 15:13).

Clearly, Scripture teaches there are only two kinds of people: the righteous and the unrighteous. It is not always easy to tell between the two, because those who appear righteous may not have pure hearts. How comforting is this promise: “The Lord knoweth them that are his” (II Timothy 2:19).

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck


  1. The field is the _____________.
  2. The enemy is the ________.
  3. The good seed are the ____________of the _____________.
  4. The tares are the _______________ of the ______________ _______.
  5. The reapers are the ___________.
  6. The harvest is the ______ of the ___________.


We have the opportunity before that final judgment to examine ourselves and determine: am I the true wheat of God’s planting, or am I really a child of disobedience, a degenerate weed masquerading as true grain? We can know by putting ourselves under the scrutiny of God’s eternal Word and passing under His judgment now, while we have life and breath. The gospel message is one of condemnation and judgment upon all sin; of finding out just where we stand and just how we measure. But the gospel message is also one of repentance, and that brings hope.

We asked the question in an earlier lesson: Is it possible for someone who is hard, or shallow, or thorn-choked to ever change and become good ground? And I ask the question now: Is it possible to bow under the assessment of God’s Word and acknowledge, “I am a child of satan. I stand in danger of hell fire,” and allow God, in a spiritual sense, to weed you out right now and then plant you as a righteous seed into His kingdom? Why not, and why not today, as you hear His voice? Surely God’s waiting in this parable signifies His mercy and tenderness toward you!

Our lesson also shows God’s tenderness toward those true plants who might be damaged by pick and hoe if the workers went in and attacked that weedy mess, snatching up the tares and pitching them into the fire. God, give us wisdom and prudent discernment of both the time and the method of dealing with souls around us!

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck


Not everyone who claims to be a Christian displays the fruit of one. The Bible is very clear in its identification of the true people of God. Ye shall know them by their fruit. In nature we identify each plant by sight. We can determine whether it is an orange or an apple tree simply by examining the fruit that it produces. It would be foolish to insist that the tree is different from the fruit that plainly identifies it.

Yet, when it comes to Christianity, this is done daily. Too often we suspend the identification process and embrace the claim even though the fruit doesn’t match. Is it wheat or is it a tare? They may resemble each other but each is true to its character and is clearly identifiable by what it produces.

God expects us to be different and for that difference to be clearly and easily discerned. It is not merely by an outward display but by an inward work of the heart. It is when a person is changed from the inside out. It is a hidden work that consistently reveals the same fruit in all circumstances and under all conditions.

We are all producing fruit that identifies our true nature and our true status before God. It is not for us to redefine the description of a Christian. It is for us to critically examine our lives to verify that we meet the criteria plainly defined in the Word of God.

If we neglect to do so there are eternal consequences. Many people identify themselves as Christians but are Christians in name only. God’s final separation will not be by the name we identify with, but by the fruit that identifies us.

—Bro. Darrell Johnson