THERE IS another parable story that Jesus told to the people as he sat in the boat and the people stood on the shore. This is the parable of “The Wheat and the Weeds.”
“There was a man who sowed good wheat in his field; but while people were asleep, an enemy came and scattered the seed of weeds over all the ground. Then the enemy went away, leaving his seed to grow up. When the sprouts of grain began to form into heads of wheat, the men saw that everywhere in the field the weeds were among them; for weeds always grow faster than good seed.
“So the servants of the farmer came to him and said: “‘Did you not, sir, sow good seed in your field? How comes it that it is full of weeds?’
“He said to them, `Some enemy of mine has done this.’
” `Shall we go,’ said the servants, `and pull up the weeds that are growing with the wheat?’
” `No,’ answered the farmer, `for while you are pulling the weeds, you will root up the wheat with them. Let them both grow together until the harvest; and in the time of the harvest, I will say to the reapers, “When you have cut down all the crop, then take out the weeds and put them into bundles to be burned; but gather the wheat into my barn.”‘”
Jesus gave to the people another parable about “The Growing Grain.” He said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should throw seed upon the ground.
The sower will sleep every night, while the seed will spring up, he cannot tell how. The ground bears fruit of itself, first the little shoot, then the ear of grain, and then the full head of grain. But when the heads of grain are ripe, he puts in his sickle and reaps, because the harvest is come.”
His next parable was “The Mustard Seed.” “The kingdom of heaven,” said Jesus, “is like a grain of mustard seed which a man took and sowed in his field. This is the smallest of all seeds; but it grows up to become a bush so large that it is like a tree, putting out great branches, and the birds light upon them and rest under their shadow.”
Jesus gave one more parable, “The Leaven, or Yeast. He said, “The kingdom of God is like the leaven or yeast that a woman uses when she makes bread. She mixes up a very little yeast in a large mass of dough, and leaves it to rise. Presently all the dough is changed by the yeast, and made into good bread. So it is with the truth to those who take it into their hearts.”
After Jesus told these five parables, “The Sower,” “The Wheat and the Weeds,” “The Growing Grain,” “The Mustard Seed,” and “The Leaven,” he sent the crowd away and went into a house with his disciples. When they were alone they said to him, “Tell us what is the meaning of the parable of “The Wheat and the Weeds.”
Jesus answered them, “He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man, whom God has sent into the earth. The field is the world. The good wheat are those who hear his word and are the children of God. The weeds are the children of the wicked one. The enemy that sowed them is the devil, Satan. The harvest is the end of the world and the reapers are the angels of God. Just as the weeds are gathered from among the good grain and burned in the fire, so shall it be at the end of the world. The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all that do evil and cause harm, and shall throw them into the furnace of fire; there men will weep and wail and gnash their teeth., But in that day, the children of God, the true wheat, shall shine like the sun in the kingdom of their heavenly Father.
Then to his disciples, not to the crowd, Jesus gave three more parables. The first was “The Hid Treasure.” He said, “The kingdom of heaven is like a heap of money which a man found while he was working in a field. He hid it again, and told no one about it; but went home, sold all that he had and gladly bought that field, that the treasure might be his own.”
The next parable was that of “The Pearl.” “There was a man who went into many places to find pearls, which he bought to sell to others. In one place he found a pearl of great price, far more precious than any that he had seen before. He went and sold everything that he had, and with the money bought that pearl.”
The last of these parables was “The Drag Net.” “Once more,” said Jesus, “the kingdom of heaven is like a large net that was cast into the sea and took in fishes of every kind, large and small, good and bad. When the net was full they drew it to the shore. There they sat down and took the fishes out,. `one by one. They looked them over and put the good fish, those that were fit to be eaten, into baskets, but those, that were useless they threw away. . So will it be at the end of the world. The angels will come and will take out the people that are wicked from among the good, and shall fling them into the furnace of fire; there men will weep and gnash their teeth.”
After Jesus had finished telling these parables to his disciples, he said to them, “Have you understood all these?”
They said to him, “Yes, we have.”
And he said to them, “Every teacher who has been made a learner in the kingdom of God is like a man who brings out of his store some things that are new and some that are old.”