Matthew 13:40
As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.
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Matthew 13:40-43. As the tares are gathered — At the command of the owner of the field; and burnt in the fire — So totally destroyed as never to revive and flourish again; so shall it be at the end of the world — With regard to the finally impenitent: their destruction, not their annihilation, shall be complete and eternal; without any hope or possibility of a restoration. See note on Matthew 3:12. The Son of man shall send forth his angels — Who shall all attend him on that solemn occasion, Matthew 25:31. What a high idea does our Lord here give us of himself; representing the holy angels as his attendants, who shall wait on him at the last day, and at his order assemble the whole world before him! And they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend — Whatever had grieved the children of God, or been an obstruction to them in their Christian course; whatever things or persons had hindered the good seed which Christ had sown from taking root or bearing fruit. The Greek, παντα τα σκανδαλα, is, all the scandals, or, stumbling-blocks. And them which do iniquity — Who shall now be perfectly and eternally separated from the righteous, and excluded from Christ’s kingdom. And shall cast them into a furnace of fire — These blessed spirits, as the executioners of the divine vengeance, shall cast them into the unquenchable fire of hell. There shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth — The most extreme torment, attended with the height of anguish, rage, and despair; a despair aggravated by all the privileges they once enjoyed, and the vain hope which, as professors of the true religion, they once entertained. Therefore they shall not be annihilated, nor their misery alleviated by any expectation of being ever restored or delivered from their sufferings. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun — “Being freed from all the humbling circumstances which attend mortality, they shall shine like the sun in the firmament for brightness and beauty and shall find no diminution of their splendour by age. A noble image this to represent the glory and happiness of the righteous with God their Father.” Who hath ears to hear, let him hear — “This exclamation intimates, that truths of greater importance and solemnity cannot be uttered than those which respect the final misery of the wicked, and the inconceivable happiness of the righteous, and that all who have the faculty of reason, ought therefore to regard them with becoming attention.” — Macknight.

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.

39. The enemy that sowed them is the devil—emphatically "His enemy" (Mt 13:25). (See Ge 3:15; 1Jo 3:8). By "tares" is meant, not what in our husbandry is so called, but some noxious plant, probably darnel. "The tares are the children of the wicked one"; and by their being sown "among the wheat" is meant their being deposited within the territory of the visible Church. As they resemble the children of the kingdom, so they are produced, it seems, by a similar process of "sowing"—the seeds of evil being scattered and lodging in the soil of those hearts upon which falls the seed of the world. The enemy, after sowing his "tares," "went his way"—his dark work soon done, but taking time to develop its true character.

The harvest is the end of the world—the period of Christ's second coming, and of the judicial separation of the righteous and the wicked. Till then, no attempt is to be made to effect such separation. But to stretch this so far as to justify allowing openly scandalous persons to remain in the communion of the Church, is to wrest the teaching of this parable to other than its proper design, and go in the teeth of apostolic injunctions (1Co 5:1-13).

And the reapers are the angels—But whose angels are they? "The Son of man shall send forth His angels" (Mt 13:41). Compare 1Pe 3:22, "Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him."

See Poole on "Matthew 13:43".

As therefore the tares are gathered,.... As it is represented in the parable, that in the time of harvest, the tares shall be gathered out from the wheat first; and being bound in bundles, shall burnt in the fire, prepared for that purpose,

so shall it be in the end of this world; hypocritical and heretical men, and all formal professors, shall be gathered out from among the saints, and the several churches, among whom they have been; and shall be together cast into everlasting burnings, prepared for the devil and his angels, whose children they are.

As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.
Matthew 13:40. Καἰεται] not κατακαίεται, but are set on fire. No doubt the tares are consumed by fire (Matthew 13:30); still the point of the comparison does not lie in their being consumed, but in the fact of their being set on fire,—a fact which is intended to illustrate the everlasting punishment now beginning to overtake the wicked in Gehenna. John 15:6; Matthew 25:46.

The wicked (the σκάνδαλα, Matthew 13:41; the σαπρά, Matthew 13:47) are connected with the church as a mere outward institution, but do not belong to the number of its living members (to the body of Christ). Comp. Apol. Conf. A. p. 147 f.; Thomasius, Chr. Pers. u. Werk, III. 2, p. 370.

Matthew 13:40. his and the following verses enlarge on the final separation.

Verse 40. - As therefore. Observe that in vers. 40-43 our Lord dwells at much greater length on the details of the reapers' work than on the preceding stages of the parable. lie wishes to draw special attention to the fact that the tares will, without any doubt, be one day separated, and the wheat appear in full splendour. The tares are gathered and burned in the fire - burned with fire (Revised Version); cf. Matthew 3:10, note - so shall it be in the end of this world (ver. 39, note). Matthew 13:40
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