Devotionals Archive

Daybreak: Matthew 13:24-43

Mar 10, 2021

“Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.” (Matthew 13:30)

The Titanic was deemed unsinkable, but on a tragic night in 1912, the massive ship struck an iceberg and rapidly sank beneath the waves of the cold Atlantic Ocean. More than fifteen hundred lives were lost that night. 

As news of the tragedy spread, a great crowd of relatives of those who had been on board thronged the street outside the shipping company’s office in Liverpool. On either side of the main entrance, a large board had been placed. Above one was printed the words, “KNOWN TO BE SAVED.” The words above the opposite board were, “KNOWN TO BE LOST.” From time to time, a man would appear from the office bearing a large piece of cardboard on which was written the name of one of the passengers. As he held up the name, a deathly stillness would sweep over the crowd as they waited to see where he would post the name. There were only two categories there — the saved and the lost.

Unbelievers and Christians exist side by side in this world. However, someday a time of separation will come, and in that day there will be only two categories: the saved and the lost. In today’s focus verse, Jesus referenced that time of separation. 

At times, we may wonder why the wicked seem to continue on without remorse or penalty. However, we do not need to concern ourselves about what God is going to do with them or when judgment will be meted out. That is God’s area. He knows exactly what is going on in each heart. One reason He does not execute judgement immediately is the desire that some will repent and find a real relationship with Him before it is too late.

Our concern is what we do with the truth. We must determine to live for God, no matter what others do. When we encounter “tares” among those around us, we will love these people and pray for them. In the meantime, we will continue to serve God because He — not the individuals who surround us — is our primary emphasis. At God’s harvest time, we know that the tares will be uprooted and destroyed, while the wheat is gathered in, to spend eternity with God himself. Let’s make sure we are ready for that day!


Jesus used many parables — illustrations that compare something familiar to something unfamiliar — as a method of teaching His hearers. In this portion of text, Jesus gave three parables. All of the parables in this chapter taught about God and His kingdom. The kingdom of Heaven, as presented here, means the spiritual realm in which God rules.

The parable of the wheat and tares is told in verses 24-30, and explained in verses 36-43. The “field” represents the world in which the Gospel is preached. The “good seed” was the truths preached by Christ and His Apostles. The point of this story was that God allows unbelievers to remain unpunished for a time, just as a farmer allows weeds to grow up for a time in his field. The farmer knows that uprooting the weeds could destroy some wheat with it, so he allows the two to grow together until harvest. In the spiritual realm, a day of judgment is coming for all mankind, and at that time the believers will be separated from the unbelievers.

The parable of the mustard seed (verses 31-32) illustrates that the kingdom of God has small beginnings but will grow and produce great results in time. The mustard seed is one of the smallest seeds with a diameter of about 2 millimeters and may grow into a tree of six to eight feet tall. It is also notable that mustard is widely considered easy to grow in its proper climate.

The parable of the leaven (verse 33) makes the same point as the preceding parable. While leaven is often used in the Bible as an illustration of sin, in this parable it is a positive symbol, representing the growth of God’s kingdom. 

Amplified Outline

(Hannah’s Bible Outlines – Used by permission per WORDsearch)
IV.   The opposition to the King
        B.   The consequences of the King’s rejection: characteristics of the mystery (interim)
                1.   Parables to the multitudes
                      b.   The wheat and tares: professor and possessor in the kingdom (13:24-30)
                      c.   The mustard seed: growth of the kingdom (13:31-32)
                      d.   The yeast: growth of the kingdom (13:33)
                      e.   Prophecy fulfilled in the parables (13:34-35)
                2.   Parables to the disciples
                      a.   The wheat and tares explained (13:36-43)

A Closer Look

  1. What did the householder say would eventually happen to the tares? 
  2. What does the parable of the weeds teach us about our treatment of non-Christians?
  3. What steps can we take to make sure we are ready to enjoy the blessings of the Kingdom of Heaven?


The Kingdom of Heaven is more valuable than anything on earth. It will be worth any price to make sure it is our final Home!

Reference Materials