Matthew 13:36
Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field.
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(36) Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field.—The question was asked privately, probably in the house of Peter, to which our Lord had retired with the disciples after the listening crowd upon the beach had been dismissed. It implies that the disciples had thought over the parable, and had found it harder to understand than those of the Mustard-seed and the Leaven.

Matthew 13:36-39. Then Jesus sent the multitude away — The evening probably drawing on, for the people had now been long collected together: and went — From the vessel where he had been preaching; into the house — Probably a friend’s house, that he might refresh himself a little: and his disciples came, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares — They say nothing of the two other parables, because, probably, they understood them; or, perhaps, this parable affected them more than either of the others, in regard of its dreadful conclusion. Jesus readily granted their request, pleased, doubtless, that they were desirous of understanding every part of his doctrine. He answered, He that soweth the good seed, is the Son of man — Christ sowed the good seed of truth by preaching the gospel, and thereby, through the influences of his Spirit, forming and raising up real Christians, with whom to plant his church. The field is the world — To enlighten and save the world is the great end for which the gospel is preached, and out of it believers are gathered. Or rather, as appears from the parable itself, the church in the world is meant by the field. The good seed are the children of the kingdom — That is, the children of God, the righteous. But the tares [or darnel] are the children of the wicked one — How much soever they may have of the form of godliness, and however unblameable they may appear in their outward conduct, not being justified by grace, nor renewed in the spirit of their minds, but still in a state of guilt and depravity, they are not the genuine children of God, but those of the wicked one. “The good seed,” says Baxter, “as sown, is the gospel; but as springing up in fruit, it is the faithful, who are properly the members of the Church of Christ. The tares, as sown, are evil doctrines and temptations; but as sprung up in fruit, are the children of the devil, who is the father of wickedness, and that enemy of God and man who sowed them.” The harvest is the end of the world — Even the day of final judgment and retribution; the reapers are the angels — Who shall be employed in the services of that day, and especially in gathering together the saints, and separating them from the rest of mankind, in order to their eternal salvation, and in executing the sentence of condemnation passed on the ungodly.

13:31-35 The scope of the parable of the seed sown, is to show that the beginnings of the gospel would be small, but its latter end would greatly increase; in this way the work of grace in the heart, the kingdom of God within us, would be carried on. In the soul where grace truly is, it will grow really; though perhaps at first not to be discerned, it will at last come to great strength and usefulness. The preaching of the gospel works like leaven in the hearts of those who receive it. The leaven works certainly, so does the word, yet gradually. It works silently, and without being seen, Mr 4:26-29, yet strongly; without noise, for so is the way of the Spirit, but without fail. Thus it was in the world. The apostles, by preaching the gospel, hid a handful of leaven in the great mass of mankind. It was made powerful by the Spirit of the Lord of hosts, who works, and none can hinder. Thus it is in the heart. When the gospel comes into the soul, it works a thorough change; it spreads itself into all the powers and faculties of the soul, and alters the property even of the members of the body, Ro 6:13. From these parables we are taught to expect a gradual progress; therefore let us inquire, Are we growing in grace? and in holy principles and habits?Declare unto us - That is, explain the meaning of the parable. This was done in so plain a manner as to render comment unnecessary. The Son of man, the Lord Jesus, sows the good seed - that is, preaches the gospel. This he did personally, and does now by his ministers, his providence, and his Spirit, by all the means of conveying "truth" to the mind. This seed was, by various means, to be carried over all the world. It was to be confined to no particular nation or people. The good seed was the children of the kingdom; that is, of the kingdom of God, or Christians. For these the Saviour toiled and died. They are the fruit of his labors. Yet amid them were wicked people; and all hypocrites and unbelievers in the church are the work of Satan. Yet they must remain together until the end, when they shall be separated, and the righteous saved and the wicked lost. The one shall shine clear as the sun, the other be cast into a furnace of fire - a most expressive image of suffering.

We have no idea of more acute suffering than to be thrown into the fire, and to have our bodies made capable of bearing the burning heat, and living on m this burning heat forever and forever. It is not certain that our Saviour meant to teach here that hell is made up of "material" fire; but it is certain that he meant to teach that this would be a proper "representation" of the sufferings of the lost. We may be further assured that the Redeemer would not deceive us, or use words to torment and tantalize us. He would not talk of hell-fire which had no existence, nor would the Saviour of people hold out frightful images merely to terrify mankind. If he has spoken of hell, then there is a hell. If he meant to say that the wicked shall suffer, then they will suffer. If he did not mean to deceive mankind, then there is a hell, and then the wicked will be punished. The impenitent, therefore, should be alarmed. And the righteous, however much wickedness they may see, and however many hypocrites there may be in the church, should be cheered with the prospect that soon the just will be separated from the unjust, and that they shall shine as the sun in the kingdom of their Father.

36-38. Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field, &c.—In the parable of the Sower, "the seed is the word of God" (Lu 8:11). But here that word has been received into the heart, and has converted him that received it into a new creature, a "child of the kingdom," according to that saying of James (Jas 1:18), "Of His own will begat He us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first-fruits of His creatures." It is worthy of notice that this vast field of the world is here said to be Christ's own—"His field," says the parable. (See Ps 2:8). The multitude went away (as most people do from sermons) never the wiser, understanding nothing of what they heard, nor caring to understand it. But there was a more conscientious part of our Saviour’s auditory, who could not thus satisfy themselves; they follow Christ into the house, and entreat him to open to them

the parable of the tares of the field; they say nothing of the other two parables, because probably they understood them, and it may be this parable did more affect them, in regard of the dreadful conclusion of it.

Then Jesus sent the multitude away,.... That his disciples might have the opportunity of conversing with him alone, about the sense of the parables he had delivered; and that he might instruct them by some others hereafter mentioned,

And went into the house: left the ship in which he had been preaching to the multitude, came on shore, and returned to the house he came out of, Matthew 13:1.

and his disciples came to him; and being alone, make an humble request to him,

saying, declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field: by which they mean, not a rehearsal of it, but an explication of the sense and meaning of it: they ask nothing about the parables of the mustard seed and leaven, either because they better understood them; or because there were some things very remarkable and striking in this, which made them very desirous to be particularly informed of the several parts of it, and their meaning.

Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field.
Matthew 13:36. Τὴν οἰκίαν] the house mentioned in Matthew 13:1.

φράσον; comp. Matthew 15:15. Occurs nowhere else in the New Testament. It denotes speaking in the way of explaining, unfolding anything. Plat. Gorg. p. 463 E, Theaet. p. 180 B; Soph. Trach. 158, Phil. 555. The reading διασάφησον (Lachmann, after B א and Origen once) is a correct gloss.

Matthew 13:36-43. Interpretation of the Tares. Not in Apostolic Document; style that of evangelist; misses the point of the parable—so Weiss (Matt.-Evang., p. 351). But if there was any private talk between Jesus and the Twelve as to the meaning of His parables, this one was sure to be the subject of conversation. It is more abstruse than the Sower, its lesson deeper, the fact it points to more mysterious. The interpretation given may of course be very freely reproduced.

36–43. Explanation of the Parable of the Tares, in St Matthew only

39. the end of the world] Literally, the completion of this æon, “the point where one æon ends and another begins.” The expression is found also in Matthew 13:40; Matthew 13:49 of this chapter, and in ch. Matthew 24:3, Matthew 28:20, and in Hebrews 9:26, “the completion of the æons,” not elsewhere in N. T.

Matthew 13:36. Φράσον, explain) The disciples, being teachable, ask for further instruction.

Verses 36-52. - Christ alone with his disciples. He explains to them at their request the parable of the tares (vers. 36-43), and adds three parables - the treasure, the pearl, the dragnet - the first two calculated to urge them to full renunciation of everything for Christ, the third to save them from presumption (vers. 44-50). Upon their acknowledging progress in spiritual understanding, he shows them further possibilities (vers. 51, 52). Verses 36-43. - The explanation of the parable of the tares of the field. Verse 36. - Then Jesus sent the multitude away; then he left the multitudes (Revised Version, ἀφείς); cf. Matthew 26:44. And went into the house (ver. 1, note): and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare; explain (Revised Version, διασάφησον); i.e. make it thoroughly clear. The verb is found elsewhere in the New Testament only in Matthew 18:31, where the thought is that the man's fellow servants brought his behaviour fully before their lord's knowledge (cf. also 2 Macc. 1:18). As compared with φράσον (Received Text, and Matthew 15:15), it leaves room for the disciples having already partially understood it. Unto us the parable of the tares of the field. The addition, "of the field," indicates the point of the parable, considered even as a mere story, that the tares grew in no chance place, but in a piece of cultivated ground already allotted to other produce. Matthew 13:36
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