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Tuesday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time. The reading is from Gospel of Matthew 13:36-43.

The Explanation of the Parable of the Weeds – Matthew 13:36-43

Then, dismissing the crowds, he went into the house. His disciples approached him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.”

He said in reply, “He who sows good seed is the Son of Man, the field is the world, the good seed the children of the kingdom. The weeds are the children of the evil one, and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.

Just as weeds are collected and burned [up] with fire, so will it be at the end of the age.

The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his kingdom all who cause others to sin and all evildoers.

They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.

Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears ought to hear.

In this verse

  • Then, dismissing the crowds, he went into the house. His disciples approached him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.” (Matthew 13:36)

the return of Jesus to the house marks a break with the crowds, who represent unbelieving Israel. From now on his attention is directed more and more to his disciples and to their instruction. The rest of the discourse is addressed to them alone.

In the explanation of the parable of the weeds emphasis lies on the fearful end of the wicked, whereas the parable itself (Matthew 13:24-30) concentrates on patience with them until judgment time.

The phrase “the field is the world” in

  • the field is the world, the good seed the children of the kingdom. The weeds are the children of the evil one, (Matthew 13:38)

presupposes the resurrection of Jesus and the granting to him of “all power in heaven and on earth

  • Then Jesus approached and said to them, “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. (Matthew 28:18).

The phrase “the end of the age” in

  • and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. (Matthew 13:39)

is found only in

  • Just as weeds are collected and burned [up] with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. (Matthew 13:40)
  • Thus it will be at the end of the age. The angels will go out and separate the wicked from the righteous (Matthew 13:49)
  • As he was sitting on the Mount of Olives,* the disciples approached him privately and said, “Tell us, when will this happen, and what sign will there be of your coming, and of the end of the age?” (Matthew 24:3)
  • teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20)

The kingdom of the Son of Man in

  • The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his kingdom all who cause others to sin and all evildoers. (Matthew 13:41)

is distinguished from that of the Father

  • Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears ought to hear. (Matthew 13:43)
  • then comes the end, when he hands over the kingdom to his God and Father, when he has destroyed every sovereignty and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. (1 Cor 15:24–25)
  • But those with insight shall shine brightly like the splendor of the firmament, And those who lead the many to justice shall be like the stars forever. (Daniel 12:3)

The church is the place where Jesus’ kingdom is manifested, but his royal authority embraces the entire world.

  • They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth. (Matthew 13:42)

Mathew repeats what he had already written earlier.

  • but the children of the kingdom will be driven out into the outer darkness, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.” (Matthew 8:12)

This is echoed in Revelations thus

  • But as for cowards, the unfaithful, the depraved, murderers, the unchaste, sorcerers, idol-worshipers, and deceivers of every sort, their lot is in the burning pool of fire and sulfur, which is the second death.” (Revelation 21:8)

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