Immediately after relating the Parable of the Sower, Matthew (and only Matthew) has Jesus proceed with the Parable of the Weeds. This was not merely incidental. These parables are companions, each complimenting the other. Apart from one, the other stands incomplete. In the prior paper on The Sower, I made the following comparison between the two:The Parable of the Sower contains a single seed and multiple soils.We can make a second comparison as follows:
The Parable of the Weeds contains multiple seeds and a single soil.
The Parable of the Sower describes one good soil with the bad.Let us now proceed to examine the Parable of the Weeds.
The Parable of the Weeds describes one good seed with the bad.
The Parable of the Weeds
 Another parable he put before them, saying, The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed (sperma) in his field;
 but while men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds (zizanion) among the wheat (sitos), and went away.
 So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds (zizanion) appeared also.
 And the servants of the householder came and said to him, `Sir, did you not sow good seed (sperma) in your field? How then has it weeds (zizanion) ?'
 He said to them, `An enemy has done this.' The servants said to him, `Then do you want us to go and gather them?'
 But he said, `No; lest in gathering the weeds (zizanion) you root up the wheat (sitos) along with them.
\ Let both grow together until the harvest; and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Gather the weeds (zizanion) first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat (sitos) into my barn.'"
 Then he left the crowds and went into the house. And his disciples came to him, saying, "Explain to us the parable of the weeds of the field."
 He answered, He who sows the good seed (sperma) is the Son of man;
 the field is the world, and the good seed (sperma) means the sons of the kingdom, the weeds (zizanion) are the sons of the evil one.
 and the enemy who sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the close of the age, and the reapers are angels.
 Just as the weeds (zizanion) are gathered and burned with fire, so will it be at the close of the age.
 The Son of man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all evildoers,
 and throw them into the furnace of fire; there men will weep and gnash their teeth.
 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.
1. The Sower
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.
2. The Good Seed
Also, in the Parable of the Sower, we learn that the sower sows the Word (Mark 4:14, Luke 8:11), but here the identification differs:
. . .the good seed (sperma) means the sons of the kingdom. . . ..But does this really differ? It is difficult to see how the sower is sowing the sons of the kingdom like seeds, whereas we see the real intent of the whole process is the ingathering into the barn that occurs at the harvest, when
. . . the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father.A comparison of the parable with its interpretation by Jesus above shows that this can only correspond to the ingathering into the barn of the sons of the kingdom. Therefore, I conclude that the Word is the seed, as with the Parable of the Sower, and it is identified with the sons of the kingdom here because that is what, when sowed in the world, produces the sons of the kingdom. There is an essential relation that renders them inseparable in the complete picture. This identification is effective both ways, for as the seed produces the sons of the kingdom, so the Son of Man continues throughout history to sow the seed of the Word through the joint agency of the Holy Spirit and the sons of the kingdom.
The Greek for seed here is sperma, which is the source of our English sperm. This differs from sporos, which is the Greek used by Luke to define the seed in the Parable of the Sower (Luke 8:11). However, both Greek terms spring from speiro, to sow, and it is doubtful whether this difference is significant in these parables. Sperm evolved from the Greek, and it's meaning has not changed. In the Septuagent it is the semen virile (Lev. 15-16-18) and so also is our English word. Jesus made repeated use of this analogy throughout the gospels.
3. The Bad Seed
The inclusion of two kinds of seed here forces us to focus our attention on the seed. This is therefore the primary focus of this parable, and we will miss the the force of it if we do not examine this carefully so as to provide the correct identification for the bad seed, that Jesus identifies as follows:
. . . the weeds (zizanion) are the sons of the evil one.
We find this quest for identification to be an easy one, leading us immediately to this:
John.8 You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
It is a temptation to identify those to whom Jesus addressed these words with the Pharisees, scribes and rulers of the Jews who so often take the brunt of his vitriol. But that is not the identification applied to these sons of the evil one by the evangelist, who carefully states that these were Jews who had believed in Jesus (John 8:31). Yet, as in the parable, these are sons of the evil one, the devil, and therefore must be included in Jesus' identification of the bad seed in the parable. Our most specific and definition of the sons of the evil one, the products of the bad seed, consists of Jews who had believed in Jesus. We will call them the believers.
But are these Jewish believers the only ones who qualify as the sons of the evil ones in this parable? Are they the sole produce of the bad seed?
No, they are not, and I give two reasons for reaching this conclusion. First, this is one of those parables that, although short in itself, nevertheless encompasses the full scope of history. We know this because it describes a process that is ongoing, and that will only find its terminus in the harvest, which is the close of the age. It is therefore clear that other believers are continually being produced to add to this category, even today and forever while the world stands and to the close of the age.
Second, consider the sequence of events in the parable. Some will deny that this is relevant, and I understand their denial comes from their dedication to interpreting a parable as teaching only a single point of doctrine. This is, however, clearly contradicted by Jesus' own interpretation that assigns a meaning to each major element in this parable, making it an allegory. It is therefore reasonable to find meaning in the sequence of events -- indeed, it is unreasonable not to find meaning there! The harvest surely comes after the sowing, in reality and in the parable; therefore sequence is an important marker. The relevant sequence here is precisely this: the bad seed gets sown after the good seed! The clear implication is that this category of sons of the evil one must include believers who are the produce of bad seed that is sown after the good seed. If we set the sowing of the good seed, that is, its beginning, with the proclamation of the gospel of the kingdom in the world by Jesus, then the bad seed must be sown after the sowing of the good seed. But remember -- this parable deals only with those who are believers.
Where are we to look for believers -- for persons who have believed in Jesus -- today? I find it most difficult to find such believers anywhere other than in churches and similar named assemblies that are sowing their bad seed throughout the world this very minute. But I will not settle on this identification quite yet, because Jesus has given us another marker by which to identify them:
 Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word.
 You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
 But, because I tell the truth, you do not believe me.
 Which of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me?
 He who is of God hears the words of God; the reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.
Now here is a strange seeming contradiction! The evangelist has told us plainly that these persons were those who had believed in him (John 8:31) but Jesus now states plainly saying, . . . you do not believe me (what he says). They are said to believe in him, but what they are not believing is what he tells them (v. 45 above).
There is a simple reconciliation for this. Believing in him must mean only believing something about him, whereas actually believing him means to believe his words -- what he says! There is no essential relation between these two ideas -- believing him and believing in him, since the all important thing here is to believe what he said. Even though they believe in him, Jesus clearly specifies that they cannot bear to hear my word. And then he explains (v.47 above):
He who is of God hears the words of God; the reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.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).
For all of these reasons we must conclude that the sons of the evil one, in this parable, are the churchmen who only believe something about Jesus. It also follows, as does the night the day, that the sowing of the bad seed is the gospel as preached by the churchmen that only produces more sons of the evil one. I, who was once in their midst and attempting to preach their gospel against all the forces of the Holy Spirit moving my soul otherewise, count myself as among the most blessed of men to have been liberated from that bondage into the glorious freedom of the True Word.
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.