THE ENEMY SOWING TARES.





A certain man sowed good seed in his field, but in the night, whilst

men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went

his way. When the wheat-blade had sprung up and showed the ear, then

appeared the tares also. So the servants of the householder came to

him and said, "Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? Whence

then come these tares?"



He said unto them, "An enemy hath done this." Then the servants asked,

"Shall we go, then, and gather them up?" But he said, "Nay, lest

whilst you gather up the tares, you root up the wheat with them. Let

both grow together until the harvest, and in that time I will say to

the reapers, 'Gather ye together first the tares and bind them into

bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.'"



Jesus' disciples asked Him to explain this parable to them, and He

said: "The field represents the world, and He that sowed the good seed

is Christ Himself. The good seed is the Word He preached; the wheat

plants are the good people who believe in Christ and do as He teaches.

The enemy who sows the bad seed is Satan, and the tares that spring

from them are wicked people who follow the promptings of the evil one

in their hearts. The harvest is the end of the world, and the reapers

are the angels of God. As therefore the tares are gathered and burned

in the fire, so shall it be in the end of this world with wicked

people. Christ shall send forth His angels, and they shall gather out

of His Kingdom all things that offend and them that do evil, and shall

cast them into a furnace of fire; there shall be wailing and gnashing

of teeth. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the

kingdom of their Father."



"For the Lord our God shall come,

And shall take His harvest home;

From His field shall in that day

All offences purge away;



"Give His angels charge at last

In the fire the tares to cast,

But the fruitful grain to store

In His garner evermore."





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