The Red-Letter Words of Yeshua ~ Part 54

Teaching Through Parables ~ Part 3

In our first post in this mini-series on the Parables of Yeshua, we looked at why He spoke in parables. In Part 2, we examined the Parable of the Sower and its explanation. Now, we come to Mattityahu 13:24, The Parable of the Weeds.

The Parable of The Weeds

Yeshua returns to addressing the crowd (as opposed to His talmidim in the boat) and offers them a second parable. Yeshua later offers His talmidim an explanation (vv. 36–43).

24 Yeshua put before them another parable. “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; 25 but while people were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, then went away.

Many of Yeshua’s parables describe the Kingdom of Heaven. He uses experiences common to the people of His day to help them understand the coming and growth of the Kingdom (vv. 11, 33, 44, 45, 47; 20:1; 18:23; 22:1; 25:1).

Weeds, Greek zizanion, transliterating Hebrew zonin, and poisonous ryegrass looks like wheat until the heads appear. Judaism understands zonin to be not a different plant from wheat but a degenerate form. In the light of the fact that when Isra’el turns away from God, the Tanakh repeatedly describes her with a related word, zonah (prostitute), this understanding of zonin has implications for understanding the parable. [1]

26 When the wheat sprouted and formed heads of grain, the weeds also appeared. 27 The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where have the weeds come from?’ 28 He answered, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants asked him, ‘Then do you want us to go and pull them up?’ 29 But he said, ‘No because if you pull up the weeds, you might uproot some of the wheat at the same time. 30 Let them both grow together until the harvest, and at harvest-time, I will tell the reapers to collect the weeds first and tie them in bundles to be burned, but to gather the wheat into my barn.’”  ~ Mattityahu 13:24-30.

The Parable of The Weeds Explained

(Once again, we skip over another parable to which we will come back in my next post.)

There will be non-Believers among those who profess to be Believers. Conclusion: Yeshua puts critics of Messianic Judaism on notice that not everything done within the Kingdom is a product of Believers.

36 Then he left the crowds and went into the house. His talmidim approached him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.” 37 He answered, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man; 38 the field is the world. As for the good seed, these are the people who belong to the Kingdom; and the weeds are the people who belong to the Evil One.

The Kingdom of God is to involve all of humankind, and this was a change of emphasis from what was usually taught.

39 The enemy who sows them is the Adversary, the harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. 40 Just as the weeds are collected and burned up in the fire, so will it be at the end of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send forth his angels, and they will collect out of his Kingdom all the things that cause people to sin and all the people who are far from Torah; 42 and they will throw them into the fiery furnace, where people will wail and grind their teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine forth like the sun in the Kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears, let him hear!” ~ Mattityahu 13:36-43.

In our next post, we continue to focus on Yeshua’sTeaching Through Parables by returning to Mark 4:21-25.

Click here for the PDF version.

[1] David Stern, The Jewish New Testament Commentary.

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