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, there appeared the tares also. So the servants of the householder came to him and said, "Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in the 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."
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