In Matthew 13 we read the parables of the kingdom. Jesus describes what heaven will be like by telling stories that his listeners can relate to. He often uses agricultural illustrations because he was speaking to those living in an agricultural economy. Beginning in verses 24-30, we read the parable of the wheat and the tares. The enemy plants weeds amongst the good crop of wheat. The farmer allows them to grow up together until the harvest. The parable teaches us that the kingdom of heaven will be preceded by an age in which good and evil coexist.

The tares in this parable is often understood to refer to unbelievers who infiltrate the church and sow seeds of discord and disunity. That’s certainly one valid understanding. But in truth, there are “tare” tendencies in all of us. The one who does the planting of the weeds is also busy in the lives of believers also. There are no perfect Christians. We all slip and fall at times.

Have you ever been discouraged by the imperfections of people in the church? Of course you have! But, we must realize that the mystery form of God’s kingdom, the church, is not perfect and it won’t be until the end when Jesus returns and separates the wheat from the tares. He will remove the false professors from the true, and He will also remove the “tare” tendencies from the lives of true believers. But, until that time, we have to learn to live in an imperfect world and an imperfect church with imperfect people.

I’m thankful that Jesus loved “imperfect” people. Aren’t you?

“He who has ears, let him hear.” Matthew 13:9