(37) He answered and said to them: "He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. (38) The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one. (39) The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels. (40) Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age. New King James VersionChange your email Bible version
Besides providing the instruction in His parable, Jesus Christ provides the perfect example of how to treat and interact with a tare. He had to deal with a tare close to Him throughout His ministry. In John 6:70-71, John writes, "Jesus answered [His disciples], 'Did I not choose you, the twelve, and one of you is a devil?' He spoke of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, for it was he who would betray Him, being one of the twelve."
How Christ dealt with Judas sets the example for how we ought to deal with recognized tares. Jesus knew Judas; He knew his character and heart after traveling with him throughout His three-and-a-half years of ministry. Yet, Judas was allowed responsibilities and given duties just as the other disciples were. Judas worked and prayed, appearing just as religious as the other eleven—but Judas was only like them in appearance, not in character.
However, Jesus never revealed to the other disciples that Judas was a tare. Even in John 6, specifically identifying who He meant, Christ only mentions the presence of a tare, forcing the disciples to look inward and evaluate their own hearts. It is clear the disciples were unaware of Judas' corrupt character even after spending more than three years with him. At the final Passover, the disciples had no idea who would betray the Master. Each of them began to say to Christ, "Lord, is it I?" (Matthew 26:22). If He had revealed Judas' nature to them, or had the disciples been wise enough to guess, they would have had no need to ask this question.
Instead of singling out Judas and treating Him poorly, Jesus showed love and kindness to him, His own disciple who would betray Him and cause His death. Christ showed His enemy courtesy, respect, and humility, and even in a position of servitude, washed Judas' feet. He never revealed the tare among them, but instead allowed Judas to expose his own character through his actions. Perhaps Jesus knew that if He revealed Judas' character, He would risk uprooting some of His other disciples. Loving the eleven so strongly, Christ would not risk losing one of them on account of Judas.
As we mature as Christians, it is our responsibility to judge. We are training to be priests and kings in the coming Kingdom of God, and in both of these positions, judging plays a major role. In preparation, we are constantly forced to evaluate and recognize sinin order to avoid it, though with care not to presume to know the heart of whoever sins. In addition, we must actively judge our own lives, recognizing the sin within ourselves. But when we recognize sin in others, and even correctly identify a tare in the church, we must still show love and kindness.
God has not given us the responsibility of removing the tares; He has reserved that job solely for Himself. In fact, from Jesus' example, He has not even given us the job of exposing who they may be. God, in wisdom infinitely greater than our own, will separate the wheat from the tares. Besides, wheat cannot reap even itself, much less the tare—only the reaper can reap.
As wheat, our responsibility is to grow in kindness, patience, and godly love, producing healthy and good fruit. This requires an attitude of meek, humble, and godly service. Most importantly, we have the responsibility to grow into the perfect image of our Savior, Jesus Christ.