There is yet another confirmation of this identification of the bad seed. The Greek for the bad seed (weeds) here is zizanion. Thayer informs us that this is a plant that looks much like wheat, but is a “kind of darnell, bastard wheat, resembling wheat except that the grains are black.” These weeds are not just any weeds, but are specifically designed to look like the wheat to a superficial eye! This once again identifies them with the churchmen, who display themselves to the world as disciples of Jesus but who, on close examination, are black! The Greek for the good seed is sitos, wheat.
The Parable of the Sower describes one good soil with the bad.
The Parable of the Weeds describes one good seed with the bad.
The sower of the good seed is the son of man, which is Jesus. This corresponds with the implicit identification of the sower in the Parable of the Sower, although Jesus, in interpreting that parable, does not identify the sower. We will not err in identifying the two. In addition, Jesus has, through his Word, so fully identified himself with his disciples that today, as his disciples continue to sow the good seed in the world, it is the Son of Man who sows.
If we had only this Parable of the Weeds, where the soil is not differentiated, we might conclude that the soil, or the seed receptical, is all the same, and that the same soil produces different kinds of plants. That is indeed what we find on the farm and in the garden, and for the purpose of this parable, that is a sufficient interpretation, since the focus is on the differing seeds.
4. The Other Elements
Jesus identified all of the other significant elements, and I see no need to provide further identification. The ones that I have identified above were needed because the circumstances in the modern world, in Christendom, are such as to cloud the real identity of the bad seed and this needs clarification.
Not being of God, they are sons of the evil one. The final determinant is the ability to hear and believe what Jesus says — and not just something about Jesus , as I have asserted and explained elsewhere (see the April 1 Home Page Edition of voiceofjesus.org).
"As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears, let them hear" (Matthew 13:37–43).
Bearded darnel is a noxious weed that mimics many of the characteristics of wheat—for a while. Before they mature, the two plants are almost identical, but as they grow, the differences become apparent in the fruit. Unfortunately, darnel is poisonous and in big enough doses will kill a person. So it’s not something a farmer wants mixed up in their harvest.
After Jesus and the disciples leave the crowds, they ask Him to interpret the parable for them:
The servants asked him, "Do you want us to go and pull them up?"
When Jesus first introduces the parable, He says, "The kingdom of heaven is like. "
First century Jews lived in an agrarian culture, so it’s no wonder that a lot of Jesus’s teaching used the example of crops and farmers. In the Parable of the Sower, Jesus talks about how people respond to the gospel. In the Parable of the Tenants, He used the story of a vineyard to address the ways Israel had consistently worked against God.
The concerned servants want to remove the darnel, but the farmer is afraid they’ll mistakenly throw out perfectly good wheat. He instructs them to leave the separation to the harvesters whose job it is to remove the darnel.