The Parable of the Tares, (also known as the Parable of the Weeds, Parable of the Wheat and Tares, Parable of the Wheat and the Weeds, or the Parable of the Weeds and the Grain), is one of the best known parables of Jesus. However, it appears in only one of the Canonical gospels of the New Testament. According to Matthew 13:24-30 during the final judgment, the angels will separate the "sons of the evil one" (the "tares" or weeds) from the "sons of the kingdom" (the wheat). It follows the Parable of the Sower, and precedes the Parable of the Mustard Seed.
An abbreviated version of the parable also appears in the Gnostic Gospel of Thomas (57). He set another parable before them, saying " The Kingdom of Heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field, but while people slept, his enemy came and sowed darnel weeds also among the wheat, and went away. But when the blade sprang up and brought forth fruit, the darnel weeds appeared also. The servants of the householder came and said to him, "Sir, didn't you sow good seed in your fields? Where did this darnel come from?"
"He said to them, 'An enemy has done this.'
"The servants asked him, 'Do you want us to go and gather them up?'
"But he said, 'No, lest perhaps while you gather up the darnel weeds, you root up the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and in the harvest time I will tell the reapers "First, gather up the darnel weeds, and bind them in bundles to burn them; but gather the wheat into my barn.""
- Matthew 13:24-30, World English Bible
Octavia D. refers to the Wheat and Tares - Conversation of Christly Character -
Evil springs springs up everywhere in closest contact with the good - how shall the good be saved from contamination? The proposal of the servants illustrates the purely human method of dealing with the question, 'wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? Shall we turn from the wheat to the tares? Shall we cease to think about - the good,and concentrate our force and our attention upon the evil - our first impulse in this work is th always negative, to root up, to destroy.
The best way to conquer your vices is to cultivate your virtues. The best way to avoid temptation is to fill your life with active service.
In relation to others our efforts should be positive. The world suffers from negative preaching and from negative striving. There are too many reformers whose only ideal is to root up and tear down. Too many are eager to break the images which others worship while they themselves worship while themselves worship nothing but the breaking.
- Pilgrim Press, Garden and More Press, 1907