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14. WHEAT AND WEEDS (Matt.13:24-30 and 36-43)

BACKGROUND: The weeds refer to darnel, which looks very much like wheat while it is young. Because the seed of darnel often contains poisonous fungus it is carefully kept apart from wheat at harvest time.
  1. THE PARABLE (verses 24-30)
    • What is the difference between attending to a field, which only grows wheat, and attending to a field, which grows both wheat and darnel?
    • What possible motives might a person have who sows weeds among the wheat of his neighbor?
    • How would you take it if somebody sabotaged your work in a similar way?
    • What is surprising about how the owner of the field takes the sabotage (vs.28-30)?)
    • Why was every head/ear of the wheat so important to this farmer (vs.29)?
    • What is the relation between the seed and the fruit it produces?
  2. THE INTERPRETATION OF THE PARABLE (verses 36-34). Note that the word "field" has two meanings: "the world" (verse 38) and "the kingdom of the Son of Man" (verse 41), i.e. the Christian church.
    • Earlier on Jesus had called the word of God the seed. Why does he now call people as seeds (vs.38)?
    • Who sows people and how (vs.37,39)?
    • What does this parable teach us about the way the Devil is working?
    • What is the goal of Satan when sowing his sons inside the Christian church, of all the places?
    • How would God's congregation look, if it didn't contain any imposters?
    • Why can't we always know who is God's son and who is Satan's?
    • Why is it not allowed to throw "the sons of the Devil" out of the church before the last judgment?
    • Apply the message of this parable into your own Christian fellowship.
    • Which seed do you consider yourself to be: wheat or weed? (You can answer in your heart.)
    • According to this parable, do you think it possible that a person is half wheat, half weed? Give your reasons.
    • What will the end of the world be like (vs.41-43)?
    • What is the harvest that God is expecting from this world?
  3. THE RIGHTEOUS (verse 43)
    • Why does Jesus all of a sudden use the word "righteous" in the interpretation of his parable?
    • The leader should read Romans 4:5. How do we become righteous?
    • What is the basic difference between a true believer and an impostor?
    • What do you think Jesus wants to say to you personally through this parable?

GLAD TIDINGS: Although he was the best wheat there ever was on this earth, Jesus was "pulled up and thrown into the fiery furnace" like a weed. That is why he can now change weeds into wheat and harvest it into his kingdom at the end of the age.

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