Bill Campbell

Thoughts of Life and Ministry


Today in my devotional time I encountered the parable of Jesus on the wheat and tares (see Matthew 13:24-30; 36-43). After reading it I spent some time in reflection on the message it was seeking to convey.

Allow me to briefly narrate the story for you. It concerns a man who sowed good seed in his field. But as he slept an enemy appeared and sowed tares. It wasn’t until the grain began to grow that the evil was revealed. For the tares had grown up alongside the wheat.

The owner of the vineyard was instantly aware that an enemy had done this. The servants wanted to remove the tares. But the owner was opposed to this procedure. This was because if the tares were removed, there was the danger of also uprooting the wheat with the tares. Not until harvest time, the owner insisted, will the separation be made, and the tares removed.

What was being conveyed by Jesus in this parable? His original disciples wanted to know. And so do I. Jesus is the sower of good seed. The devil is the sower of evil seed. In the world, which is the field, both seeds are being sown then and now. And not until the end of the present evil age, however, will God’s angelic messengers appear and fulfill their ministry of separating the good wheat from the evil tares. The evil tares will then be destroyed, and the good wheat will endure forever in the eternal kingdom of the Father.

I have often ruminated about this parable. Thought deeply about its implications. Its underlying meaning. While there are many interpretive directions to be considered, one meaning stands out clearly to me: good and evil will remain in the world and church for as long as we continue life on earth.

As one recognizes this problem, there is a human tendency that wants to lure one into the effort of identifying the evil tares and then removing them. Eradicate them as quickly as possible from the scene.

I believe this parable teaches the folly of such human intervention. For if a church engages in heresy hunting, they will also fall victim to destroying many good persons with the supposed bad ones.

So, how does a congregation deal with those individuals who have seemingly been planted by the devil in the sacred precincts of the Lord’s church?

I am referring here, for example, to ill intentioned leaders who have been politically positioned to achieve a behind-the-scenes, or, behind-closed-doors agenda; to those who are constantly busy with sowing discord; and even with those who have chosen to move a church away from its original Divine purpose, in order to erect their own reasons and motives for a congregations existence.

It is not our task to remove them. But our response is to know they are present. Around. Always in operation. But we must wait for the Lord’s timing to “kick-in,” which will bring an end to all the sordid evil on earth. It will nonetheless be replaced by HIS eternal kingdom having finally arrived.

And then: ” … The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever” (Revelation 11:15 – NKJV)


April 28, 2011 - Posted by | Celebration, Christ, Christian Life, Church, Church and Family, Church and Ministry, Church Health, Church Leadership, Church Unity, Coaching, Discipleship, God, Heaven, Preaching, Relationships, Scripture, Service, Spirituality, The Devil, The Tongue

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