Thrive: The Parable of the Wheat and the Tares – Kyndall Rae Rothaus


Matthew 13:24-30; 36-43

Dream with me. Let’s say, you are a Christian. But you are sometimes embarrassed by this. Those other Christians have given you a bad reputation, you feel. You are inclined to use clarifying statements where’er you go, such as, “I am a Christian, but a nice one,” or, “I am a Baptist . . . but not that kind . . .”

You wish you could wear an “I am real wheat” sign around your neck, complete with an arrow pointing towards Mr. Hot Head, “And he is tare (even though we belong to the same church).”

Let’s say, one day you meet a tare (yet again), but this one seriously challenges your commitment to nonviolence. You’d like to cut him right out of the field with a very scarp scythe; you’d relish the job, in fact. But as a spiritual practice, you breathe deep instead and look him in the eye. Let’s say, after gazing long enough to make yourself uncomfortable you notice he’s got a freckle right where you’ve got a freckle. He’s got a deep wrinkle in the same place as you, a similar twitch and a matching chin hair. It’s like you are looking at a reflection in the mirror.

Let’s say this shocking discovery means that even inside the wheat of you, there is tare, that there is a tear in your heart that divides. Let’s say you and I don’t get to be responsible for the big fields and what happens there, but that we are meant to tend to our own grasses, gathering our wheat for the barns and collecting our inner tares for the fire. Let’s say it won’t be immediately obvious which is which—if you’re too hard on your tares, you’re liable to rip up the wheat too. Let’s say patience and humility are the harvesting tools Jesus is recommending.

Rothaus_pic_bench_smKyndall Rae Rothaus is the pastor of Covenant Baptist Church in San Antonio, Texas. She is a graduate of George W. Truett Theological Seminary in Waco. Kyndall is a poet and a writer, and her first book, Preacher Breath, will be released in the summer of 2014 by Smyth & Helwys. She blogs at

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  1. You paint a beautiful, thought-provoking picture, Kyndall. Thank you!

  2. Charity Roberson says

    What a great challenge. To realize I have to face my own tares but I am given permission, even commanded, to be gentle in the process….

  3. LeAnn Gunter Johns says

    “Let’s say patience and humility are the harvesting tools Jesus is recommending.”

    Thanks for being my teacher today, Kyndall. Beautiful words.

  4. Melanie Storie says

    Oh, how I needed to read this today. Thank you for allowing God to speak through you.

  5. Jody Griffin says

    I read this, re-read it and then read it once more and each time I sat back and wondered how different the world might be, how different the Body might be if everyone of us could hear this in the ‘place’ where God molds us. Thank you so much Kyndall, and thank you Lord for Your servant’s gift to speak Your Truth!