Who can deny the beauty of a wheat field as the wind makes the stalks move like waves on the sea?
The mission of Jesus was larger than any single field of grain. When the disciples asked Him to explain the parable of the tares, Jesus said this:

“The field is the world…”

As wonderful as the personal ministry of Jesus is to each of us, He is also ministering to the whole world. This is not some local event; it is cosmic, universal, majestic, and mighty. The Lord has the ability to care for each of us as he does the sparrows and to tend the garden of each heart the way He does the lilies of the field and at the same time deal with nations, peoples, and generations. Neither the individual nor the people groups are lost to His care. Just as gravity pulls on everything on the surface of the earth, the love of God pulls on every beating heart.

  • Some have never heard the truth about God but He is working on someone’s heart to go and tell them.
  • Some have heard the Good News and filed it away as if it were just a legend or a myth. His Spirit is convicting them of its truth.
  • Some have heard and believe but are distracted by lesser concerns that seem to be more pressing. His Spirit is convicting them to reorder their lives around what is really important.
  • Others have heard the Word, believed it, and set about to live it. There is no way to count the number of true believers in the world; only heaven knows. There is no particular color to them, or shape of the eyes, or language on their lips. John heard the hosts of heaven declare that we are from “every tribe and tongue and nation.”

And there are the tares, the fakes, the enemy agents standing with us, waving in the same wind as if they, too, were followers of Christ.

Tares and Wheat
The field of the world contains the genuine and the imitation, the real and the fake. Jesus did not leave us to their devices. He told us how to recognize the fake—by the fruit of their lives—a bad tree yields bad fruit. He said listen to what people say. Eventually, the contents of their hearts will come spewing out of their mouths. Our first instinct is to grab the scythe and chop away, cutting them down and casting them away. The church is instructed on how to do this in the correct way. When the divisive deceivers are revealed they are to be cast from the fellowship. But if they are believers who are carnal, we must treat them in a way to restore them to the faith.

What about the tares?
Tares were a particular kind of weed that looked very similar to a stalk of wheat. Jesus said let them grow in the field until the Day of Judgment when the truth shall be revealed. We cannot be distracted by them. None of us is called to be the judge—that is a job for angels and there are none of those among us. Jesus made it abundantly clear what would happen to them. Our job is to keep on being good wheat—catching every nuance of the winds of the Spirit—beautiful and fruitful as we are changing the world. His field is our field and each of us has a place in it.

Matthew 13:36-43
Then Jesus sent the multitude away and went into the house. And His disciples came to Him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field.” He answered and said to them: “He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one. The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels. Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age. The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!
2 Thessalonians 3:6;13-15
But we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw from every brother who walks disorderly and not according to the tradition which he* received from us. …But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary in doing good. And if anyone does not obey our word in this epistle, note that person and do not keep company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet do not count him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.
1 Corinthians 15:33-34
Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.” Awake to righteousness, and do not sin; for some do not have the knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame.
Jude 16-19
These are grumblers, complainers, walking according to their own lusts; and they mouth great swelling words, flattering people to gain advantage. But you, beloved, remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ: how they told you that there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts. These are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit.

Lord Jesus, I want to realize this day that Your field is wide; it is the world itself, not just my little world. Lord give me wisdom to follow You when others choose not to. Give me discernment to sense when someone who should be genuine is not. Lord, if they are a brother or sister who have been deceived, use me to help them find their way back to You. If they are from the evil one, I pray against them in Your Holy Name! Amen and amen.

A Pure Heart
Words and Music: Rusty Nelson

A pure heart, that’s what I long for.
A heart that follows hard after Thee.
A pure heart, that’s what I long for.
A heart that follows hard after Thee.

A heart that hides Your Word
So that sin will not come in,
A heart that’s undivided
But one You rule and reign.
A heart that beats compassion,
That pleases You, my Lord.
A sweet aroma of worship
That rises to Your throne.

Semper Reformanda!
Stephen Phifer

© 2018 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved

TheJesusStory devotions are also found at

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.