The Parable of the Wheat and the Tares
Today, I have the privilege of sharing a contemplative reflection on Matthew 13:24-30 36-43 at church, and thought I'd share it here.
Imagine, if you will, a field of wheat. Close your eyes if it helps. Perhaps you have stood in the past on the edge of a field and looked at acre after golden acre stretching out into the distance, waves of light and shadow chasing each other in the gentle breeze. But turn around in your mind's eye and look out at a different field. This one is not yet ready for harvest. It looks like any other field of young wheat, but actually it is full of tares, or Bearded Darnel. Looking at the field now, you wouldn’t know – wheat and Darnel are both grasses and look the same in the early stages. It is only when they are full grown and bear fruit that the difference is plain to see. For the seeds of the Darnel cause symptoms like drunkenness, and they are prone to corruption by a fungus, making them poisonous.
Standing nearby is the Landowner, and around him his slaves are looking at the field. They are saddened by the state of the crop, and urge their master to allow them to clear the field of the tares. But with the wheat and tares looking so similar, many tares would be missed and much wheat would be destroyed, so their master says no, leave them be until the harvest.
Look at the master’s face. You can see how much he cares for the crop. You can see his anger at the enemy for what has been done. You can see how much his heart grieves that crop must struggle for water, nutrients and light. And you can see his joy that despite everything the crop continues to grow.
So he tells his slaves to wait, because he knows that there is always a chance that the stalks his slaves had dismissed as tares might yet turn out to be wheat. The master is patient and always hopeful, and always gives a second chance.
Let us reflect on the fruit we bear, and let us look again at the field through our master’s eyes.