B i b l e   S t u d y




Rev. Ronald C. Purkey, an ordained Baptist minister, claims no originality for this Bible study outline.

However, every Bible study posted on this website has been taught by Rev. Purkey.

To see more Bible study outlines go to page two: More Bible Study Outlines.



June 10, 2018


SCRIPTURE: Matthew 13:24-33


KEY VERSE: Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn (Matthew 13:30).


INTRODUCTION: Jesus began to teach using parables. Prior to this point in His ministry He taught openly for all to hear, but most of the people didn’t want to hear the truth. (Not so much different from today.) What had happened is that the Jews, for the most part, had rejected Him and His message. They had said that He did miracles by the power of Satan, not by the power of God! (See: Matthew 12:24; Mark 3:22)


Jesus now turns His attention to a more personal and individual approach to reaching people. Only those who really wanted to hear would inquire and find the truth. (See: Mark 4:11-12. Compare with Matthew 13:15)


INSIGHT: When we look at a parable we should do three basic things: (1) Consider the picture as our Lord gave it in its setting and surroundings. (2) Next we need to pay attention to the Lord’s explanation. (3) We draw application for ourselves today.


We will look first at the parable of sowing. This one is only included in Matthew’s account. It is “The parable of the tares and wheat.”


I. THE TARES AND THE WHEAT. (Matthew 13:24-26)


A. Many People Are False Christians.


Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field. (Matthew 13:24).


Jesus said: “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” (Matthew 7:13-14).


In our parables today (See: Matthew 13: 24-43) our Lord picks up where He left off in the parable of the sower (See: Matthew 13:1-23). He has told us that only one-fourth of the sown seed ever got into good ground. The other three-fourths never did produce anything because the people who heard the Word of God did not respond to it. In other words, they were NOT SAVED. Of the people who heard the Word of God, only one-fourth were truly saved.


But now we see another facet of the kingdom-of-heaven condition in the world today. It is a picture of a man who sowed good seed in his field.


B. Tares Were Sowed Among The Wheat.


But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way (Matthew 13:25).


Notice who is asleep. While men slept, the enemy came. Remember, the sower is the Lord, and He neither slumbers nor sleeps. Satan is the enemy, and he sows tares (i.e., false Christians) among the wheat. The seed of tares is false doctrine. There’s a great deal of that type of sowing today.


C. False Christians Are The Fruit Of False Doctrine.


But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also (Matthew 13:26).


As wheat and tares first begin to grow, it is difficult to distinguish between them. Frankly, a lot of cults and “isms” also sound good at first. You cannot tell them from the real thing until about the twelfth or thirteenth lesson. Those are the lessons in which they introduce their false doctrine.


INSIGHT: Someone once said to Dr. Vernon McGee, “You should not criticize so-and-so. I listened to him, and he preached the gospel.” Dr. McGee answered, “Well, he does preach the gospel EVERY NOW AND THEN. But it is the other things he says that are in error. You see, he sows tares among the wheat.”


II. WAIT UNTIL THE HARVEST. (Matthew 13:27-30)


So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn (Matthew 13:27–30).


Next we will see that the sower knew who was responsible for the tares. This is a very important picture to see and to interpret. Our Lord says, “Don’t try to pull up the tares. Let them both grow together, and when they finally head up, you will be able to recognize which are tares and which are wheat.”


The angels are the reapers at the end of the age. “The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels” (Matthew 13:39).


INSIGHT: Somebody comes to me and says, “Ron Purkey, do you think the world is getting better?” I reply that I do think it is getting better. Someone else asks me, “Do you think the world is getting worse?” I tell him that I do believe the world is getting worse. A third party who heard me give both answers, says, “Ron, what are you trying to do -- ride the fence? It is not like you to try to please everybody.” Right! But actually, both are true. The wheat is growing and the tares are growing.


A. The World Is Getting Better -- The Wheat Is Heading Up.


Never has there been so much Bible teaching as there is today. I thank God for that. And there are many wonderful saints of God who love His Word and who would die defending it. That wheat is growing, my friend!


B. However, The World Is Also Getting Worse.


There are a lot of tares growing. I have been a preacher for nearly sixty years. When I began my ministry in 1960, I was thankful to find out from this passage, and related passages, that my business was to preach and teach the Word of God.


INSIGHT: Ron Purkey shouldn’t go around pulling up tares because I have found that when I pull up tares, I also pull up some wheat with them. I may hurt and discourage other true Christians. I know that my business is not to pull up tares but to sow the wheat. Sowing the Word is my responsibility -- rightly dividing the Word of God!


C. Both Tares And Wheat Are Growing In This World.


This is a kingdom-of-heaven situation in Christianity during this interval between Christ’s rejection and His return to establish His kingdom upon the earth. It is NOT a picture of Christ’s church.


“Well,” you say, “it certainly is a picture of the organized church.” That is true, but the organized church is NOT His church. The Lord’s church is composed of that invisible number of saints. When I say invisible, I mean that they are not confined to an organization.


The true church is made up of true believers, irrespective of any denomination. True Christians are (1) those who have trusted Jesus Christ as Savior, (2) those who are resting in Him, and (3) those who love the Word of God, (the Bible). This is the real test.


INSIGHT: Don’t be disturbed that the wheat and tares are growing together. One day the Lord will put in His sickle and separate the tares and wheat. I am thankful it will not be my job because I am afraid I would pull up some of the wheat.


III. A SMALL SEED. (Matthew 13:31-33)


A. The Mustard Seed -- False Growth.


Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof (Matthew 13:31-32).


INSIGHT: In the Middle East, the mustard seed symbolizes something small and insignificant. It produces a large plant, but not a “tree” in the strictest sense. However, the plant is large enough for birds to sit in the branches.


1. The birds in the Parable represented Satan.


Since Jesus did not explain this parable, we must use what He did explain in the other parables to find its meaning. The birds in the Parable of the Sower represented Satan (Matthew 13:19).


2. A tree is symbolic of world power.


Passages like Daniel 4:12 and Ezekiel 17:23 indicate that a tree is a symbol of a world power. These facts suggest that the parable teaches an abnormal growth of the kingdom of heaven, one that makes it possible for Satan to work in it.


INSIGHT: Certainly “Christianity” has become a worldwide power with a complex organization of many branches. What started in a humble manner today boasts of material possessions and political influences.


B. The Leaven -- False Doctrine.


Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened (Matthew 13:33).


1. Leaven is a symbol of evil.


The mustard seed illustrates the false outward expansion of the kingdom, while the leaven illustrates the inward development of false doctrine and false living. Throughout the Bible, leaven is a symbol of evil. It even had to be removed from the Jewish homes during Passover (See: Exodus 12:15-19, 13:7). It was excluded from the sacrifices (See: Exodus 34:35), with the exception of the loaves used at the Feast of Pentecost (See: Leviticus 23:15-21). But there the loaves symbolized Jews and Gentiles in the church, and there is sin in the church.


2. Leaven corrupts and puffs up.


Jesus used leaven to picture (1) hypocrisy (See: Luke 12:1), (2) false teaching (See: Matthew 16:6-12), and (3) worldly compromise (See: Matthew 22:16-21).


The apostle Paul used leaven to picture (1) carnality in the church (See: 1 Corinthians 5:6-8) as well as (2) false doctrine (See: Galatians 5:9). Sin is like leaven (yeast): It quietly grows, it corrupts, and it “puffs up.”


INSIGHT: Satan has worked hard to introduce (1) false doctrine and (2) false living into the church. The kingdom of heaven began with the sowing of the Word of God in the hearts of men and women. Much of the seed did not bear fruit; but some was fruitful. Satan opposed the work of God (1) by sowing counterfeit Christians, (2) by encouraging a false growth, and (3) by introducing false doctrine. It would seem like Satan is winning! But the test is AT THE END of the age, NOT DURING the age.


The Viral Gospel
By David C. McCasland


Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word. (Acts 8:4)


The term “viral video” refers to a short clip posted on the Internet that spreads rapidly as the link is sent from one person to another. The video may be funny, inspiring, or thought provoking, and it can quickly spread around the world and be seen by millions of people. It’s an advertiser’s dream, but few marketing experts are able to exploit it.


Lacy Kemp wrote: “How do you make something spread like wildfire? The answer is that you can’t. It’s not something to plan for or else everyone would be doing it. It has to be awesome enough on its own to get there.”


The gospel of Jesus Christ is “viral” in the way it spreads from one person to another. After Stephen, a leader in the early church, was stoned for his faith, the followers of Jesus in Jerusalem were persecuted and forced to leave their homes (Acts 8:1-3). Instead of fearfully holding back, these Christians told people about Him wherever they went. “Those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the Word” (Acts 8:4).


When we truly know Christ we cannot keep the good news about Him to ourselves. Even in the most challenging circumstances, we want to keep on telling others about our Savior and Lord.


Lord, You have been so gracious to save us
and give us eternal life. We love You and want
to tell everyone we can
about Your amazing grace. Lead us, we pray.


 -- Adapted from David C. McCasland, Our Daily Bread, July 8, 2012


CONCLUSION: Here are some “questions” from our Bible study today?


·         Is your profession of Christ authentic? Or will you be seen as a counterfeit at the end of the age? (See: Matthew 7:21–29.)


·        Does your heart receive the Word of God? The seed has life and power and can produce a harvest of blessing in your life. Do you hear it?


·        Can God “plant you” where He wants you? You are a seed containing His divine life, but a seed must be planted to produce fruit (See: John 12:23–28).


·         Do you share with others what He teaches you? Truth must not be hoarded; it must be shared so that others can be saved and built up in the faith. (See: Matthew 13:51–52)


THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: “Spread the gospel; it’s contagious!”


* * *


REFERENCES: References used in these Bible studies are the King James Bible (KJV), The Moody Bible Commentary, Dr. J. Vernon McGee © Thru the Bible Radio Network ( www.ttb.org ), the Scofield Study Bible, the Believer’s Bible Commentary, Dr. Charles J. Woodbridge Bible Outlines, Dr. Lee Roberson’s Sermons, Dr. Charles Stanley: ( http://www.intouch.org/ ), Don Robinson’s Bible Outlines, Women’s Study Bible, The Bible Reader’s Companion Ed. 3, The Nelson Study Bible: New King James Version, KJV Bible Commentary, Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines of the New Testament ed. 4, Dr. David Jeremiah: ( http://www.davidjeremiah.org/site/ ), Dr. Cliff Robinson’s Bible Outlines, Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines of the Old Testament, Dr. Alan Carr’s The Sermon Notebook ( www.sermonnotebook.org ), With the Word Bible Commentary, Wiersbe’s “Be” Series: Old & New Testaments, RBC Ministries ( http://rbc.org/ ), selected illustrations, and other references.



E-mail: Ronald Purkey


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