A few weeks back we looked at the 2nd Kingdom Parable on the Wheat and the Tares (Matthew 13:24-30). We discovered that prior to the harvest, there is a season when both the wheat and tares go through a process of maturing. We also noted the danger of harvesting tares before the ripeness of the grain. It is a process that needs to be discerned and properly managed. This week we want to address the Season of Harvest.
The 2nd Kingdom Parable of the Wheat and Tares can be linked to the 7th Kingdom Parable of the Great Net (Matthew 13:24-30, 47-50). The Wheat and Tares demonstrate the process of the harvest while the Great Net showcases the harvest itself. What does this mean for us today in a modern church day context?
1. Discern and Prepare for the Harvest
Hypocrites! You can discern the face of the sky and of the earth, but how is it you do not discern this time (Luke 12:56)?
If a farmer in the northeast section of the USA were to harvest corn in early July, he would have an inferior and underdeveloped crop. The harvesting season for corn would be mid to late August. A proper harvest must be anticipated and planned ahead of time. A farmer does not go through the motions of farming while expecting to reap a bountiful crop. Likewise we cannot afford to go through the motions of Christianity in this Season of Harvest.
What about the coming end-time harvest of souls that will come into the kingdom? Are we able to discern the times and seasons of the Lord? What does the Bible say concerning this Great Ingathering?
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet that was cast into the sea and gathered some of every kind, which, when it was full, they drew to shore; and they sat down and gathered the good into vessels, but threw the bad away (Matthew 13:47-48).
It is interesting to note that this end-time harvest will consist of both good and bad fish (souls). In the parable of the Wheat and Tares, there was to be no separation until the time of the harvest. Harvest Time has now arrived. Is the church prepared for this glorious event? What would happen to our churches if suddenly they became overwhelmed with all kinds of people? How can we tie these two parables together in a way that is practical?
2. The axe is laid to the root
And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire (Matthew 3:10).
The above represents the words of John the Baptist and they apply to our thoughts on the wheat and tares. There is a time for the axe to go to the root and remove the tare. This time and season must be discerned and acted upon. Let’s think of this in both a personal and corporate context. We previously discussed that the Kingdom of God first begins within us (Luke 17:21). This means that there are both wheat and tares that grow within the internalised garden of our hearts. God gives us opportunities to have the axe get to the root of sin issues in our lives. If successful at a personal level we then are better equipped to help facilitate the worldwide church harvest of souls.
The Parable of the Great Net indicates that many will come into the kingdom (good and bad) in the end times. It also indicates that there will be a separation of the good fish from the bad (wheat from the tares).
3. The Harvest is Here
Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision (Joel 3:14).
I personally feel The 7th Kingdom Parable is a picture of a mighty revival to come. We all long for revival but are we able to discern it and to prepare for it? Will our nets be able to contain and establish the multitudes who may one day fill our churches? The keys in helping to ensure a bountiful and long-lasting harvest can be found in these two parables. Understanding the process and timing of the Wheat and Tares will help in our ability to discern and act in the Season of Harvest.
Monday: John 21:11
Simon Peter went up and dragged the net to land, full of large fish, one hundred and fifty-three; and although there were so many, the net was not broken.
Tuesday: Ecclesiastes 3:2
A time to be born, And a time to die; A time to plant, And a time to pluck what is planted;
Wednesday: Romans 13:11
And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.
Thursday: John 15:6
If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.
Friday: Psalm 1:3
He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.
Saturday: Hebrews 5:14
But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
Sunday: Proverbs 17:24
Wisdom is in the sight of him who has understanding, But the eyes of a fool are on the ends of the earth.
All scriptures are quoted from the New King James Version
By Pastor Tim O’Connell