A group of people gathered beside the Sea of Galilee to listen to Jesus teach. They sat on the beach while He told them parables, which were simple stories meant to symbolize spiritual things.
One parable was about a farmer who planted seeds. Jesus began, “There was a farmer who planted good seeds in his field. But when he fell asleep after his long day of work, an enemy came and planted weeds mixed in with the wheat. The weeds grew with the wheat, looking the same until the wheat matured with grain.
“The farmer’s servants were confused.
‘Didn’t you plant good seeds? Where did the weeds come from?’ one asked the farmer. The farmer looked over his field of mixed plants.
“’My enemy has planted the weeds,’ he said sadly.
“’Should we go and pull out the weeds?’ asked the servant.
“’No,’ said the farmer. ‘They are so closely grown to the wheat that pulling them will likely pull up the wheat with it, and we will lose our crop. We will wait until harvest. Then we will sort the weeds into the fire, and store the wheat safely in the barn.’”
When Jesus finished telling this story, the disciples sat in silence, wondering what the parable meant.
Later that night, when Jesus and His disciples returned home, they asked Him, “Master, what did you mean to say with the parable of the farmer?”
Jesus looked around the room at His disciples, still young in their understanding of spiritual things.
He smiled and explained, “I am the farmer; the field is the world. The good seeds that I plant are the righteous, and the weeds are the devil’s workers. Satan is the enemy that plants his minions next to my righteous followers. The harvest is the end of the world, and the angels are those who will help me harvest. The barn is the kingdom of my Father, where the righteous shall safely and happily live. The weeds will be cast into the fires of hell, and there burn forever. Whoever has ears to hear, let him hear.”