What harvest?

Update: I was wrong in this post. Read why.

An extremely tardy post on my observation from the gospel of Matthew.

Here’s a familiar passage:

Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” (Matt 9:37-38)

I was taught that ‘the harvest’ here implies all the people who are to come to faith in Jesus Christ. So, I was a little puzzled when I encountered this other use of ‘harvest’ a few chapters later:

“ ‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may root up the wheat with them. 30Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’ ”

The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. (Matt 13:29-30, 39)

So, here we have the same author (Matthew) using the same word (harvest, therismos in Greek) within the space of a few pages. In one instance, the word is explained and int he other it isn’t. Does this mean that all I know about Matt 9:37-38 is wrong? If the answer is ‘yes’, does that change anything? No. Jesus said to pray, and that stands. However, knowing that I’m praying for the final judgment to come does put a different spin on things…