Matthew 13:38 “The tares are the sons of the wicked one.” Satan has sons too?
In John 8:44, Jesus tells those listening to Him, “You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning,” and so on. Satan has sons! He not only has sons, he has servants, ministers, even apostles (II Corinthians 11:13-15).
This parable says that Satan has secret agents! He has spies, moles, and plants right in the church! We just saw them – ministers, apostles, servants, sons – smack-dab amongst us, and they are so cleverly disguised that we cannot tell the difference between them and true Christians. They are so well disguised that they do not know who they are!
hey look converted, talk converted, and seem so pure and righteous oftentimes. Paul tells us in II Corinthians 11:15 that they “transform themselves into ministers of righteousness.” They look so good, they say the right things, they serve, and they teach just like the good seed. But they are evil! How subtle Satan is (Genesis 3:1)!
These evil, enemy agents, as good as they look, work to destroy the good seed after the initial period covered in the Parable of the Tares. If Satan fails to get us immediately, he has his plants try to dissuade us from the right way, while we are in church, in our own neighborhoods, when we are feeling relaxed and amongst friends and brethren!
JJesus tells His angels (His servants or messengers) just to leave them there until harvest time. The Bible says elsewhere that those agents help to prove who the truly good seed are (see I Corinthians 11:19; I John 2:19). If we can resist the secret agents, we are doing a pretty good job.
In this chapter’s first ten verses, Paul is showing that the children of God—us—who were once objects of God’s wrath, are by His grace legally and spiritually freed from the clutches of Satan’s dominion. However, the influences of the world Satan has fashioned remain to be dealt with and overcome.
Satan is described as a spirit who is “prince of the power of the air.” This phrase has a familiar ring to it, but alternative translations may be better suited to understanding. The New English Bible calls him “commander of the spiritual powers of the air now at work among God’s rebel subjects.” The Concordat Literal New Testament renders it as “chief of the jurisdiction of the air, the spirit now operating in the sons of stubbornness.”
Webster’s gives as one of the usages for jurisdiction, “the limits, or territory within which authority may be exercised.” This particular jurisdiction is where air exists, tying in with the word “heavenly” in Ephesians 6:12: “[We wrestle] against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Here, “heavenly” refers, not to the place of God’s throne, but to the first heaven, the air surrounding the earth in which birds fly. This also links with Revelation 18:2 and its “unclean and hated birds,” symbolizing demons. Birds operate in the same heaven Satan commands.
Prior to the rebellion, God gave Satan and his demon assistants substantial authority over everything from the earth’s atmosphere on down to the earth itself, which includes us, its inhabitants. We must never forget that, in large part, our wrestling, as Paul terms it, is with these spirits. We inhabit the same space they do.
These evil spirits indeed use deceived people to carry out their plans to destroy those in whom God lives. These people are likely under the strong influence of those spirit authorities, and because they are deceived, they are unaware that they are being used! They are not necessarily possessed, as the Bible shows some are, but influenced by demons to act against our best interests.
A factor God wants us to realize more completely and fully is that we are not alone in this ocean of air. Even as vicious sharks and barracuda prowl the water, their demonic counterparts, symbolized as foul and unclean raptors and carrion-eaters, inhabit the ocean of air right along with us. It is essential to our spiritual well-being to heed Paul’s warning in Ephesians 6:10-12 that our battles are against these creatures, and they are fighting tooth-and-toenail to hang on to what they believe is theirs by first-occupancy rights. Earth, the Bible plainly tells us, was “their first estate” (Jude 6, KJV). They hate us because we are becoming like the Father and Son, and because they know this earth, our inheritance, will be taken from them and given to the sons of God, those who are in His image.
On the surface, they have advantages over us because they are invisible to our eyes. In addition, they can, without our even being aware, communicate their thoughts and attitudes to our minds through the very air that supports our lives. Most people in this world do not know they are deceived or how they became deceived. Satan and his demons have not sat us all down to tell us, “We are here to deceive you.” We know only because God’s Word reveals this truth to us, and we believe it. Despite this happening in our lives, deception can still be communicated to us unless we are astute enough to take care that it does not happen again.
Nevertheless, deception and its resulting behaviors have been communicated to us through the culture we were born into. The culture, the world around us, is the medium of this corrupting communication. We have been freed from deception by God’s revelation of Himself, but the urgent admonition from our Lord and Savior is, “Don’t be passive concerning the responsibilities your liberation has imposed. Take action because the communication can be reabsorbed, enslaving you once again.”