|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
13:24-30, 36-43 This parable represents the present and future state of the gospel church; Christ's care of it, the devil's enmity against it, the mixture there is in it of good and bad in this world, and the separation between them in the other world. So prone is fallen man to sin, that if the enemy sow the tares, he may go his way, they will spring up, and do hurt; whereas, when good seed is sown, it must be tended, watered, and fenced. The servants complained to their master; Sir, didst thou not sow good seed in thy field? No doubt he did; whatever is amiss in the church, we are sure it is not from Christ. Though gross transgressors, and such as openly oppose the gospel, ought to be separated from the society of the faithful, yet no human skill can make an exact separation. Those who oppose must not be cut off, but instructed, and that with meekness. And though good and bad are together in this world, yet at the great day they shall be parted; then the righteous and the wicked shall be plainly known; here sometimes it is hard to distinguish between them. Let us, knowing the terrors of the Lord, not do iniquity. At death, believers shall shine forth to themselves; at the great day they shall shine forth before all the world. They shall shine by reflection, with light borrowed from the Fountain of light. Their sanctification will be made perfect, and their justification published. May we be found of that happy number.
Verse 28. - He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. An enemy (ἔχθρος ἄνθρωπος). Not "my enemy," referring to some one person, for in real life a man can seldom be at once sure, without inquiry, who it is that has injured him secretly. There are so many coincidences in this verse and ver. 39 (ἔχθρος ἄνθρωπος τοῦτο ἐποίησεν, [Ἁμάν] πονηρὸς [οῦτος], ὁ διάβολος) with the LXX. of Esther 7:4-6, that it would almost seem as though the evangelist remembered that passage. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? Omit up (συλλέξωμεν); the servants, in their zeal to separate the tares from the wheat, forget the difficulty connected with pulling them up.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
He said unto them, an enemy has done this,.... This is the answer of the householder to the question of his servants. In the Greek text it is, "an enemy man"; and is so rendered in the several versions; meaning, not that the enemy was a man; for he was the devil, as in Matthew 13:39 but it is an Hebraism; such as in Esther 7:6, , "the man adversary and enemy" is this wicked Haman; and signifies a certain enemy, and one indeed that is an implacable enemy to man.
The servants said unto him, wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? which words express the concern of the ministers of Christ for the true members of the church, comparable to wheat, lest they should receive any damage by the ill examples, and pernicious principles of evil men among them; also their detestation and abhorrence of men of wicked lives and erroneous principles; they cannot bear them which are evil; likewise, they show great regard to the glory of God, and interest of religion, and their readiness to execute any orders Christ should give them; but not willing to proceed of themselves, ask counsel and advice of him.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
28. He said unto them, An enemy hath done this—Kind words these from a good Husbandman, honorably clearing His faithful servants of the wrong done to his field.
The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?—Compare with this the question of James and John (Lu 9:54), "Lord, wilt Thou that we command fire to come down from heaven and consume" those Samaritans? In this kind of zeal there is usually a large mixture of carnal heat. (See Jas 1:20).
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