The parable of wheat and poisonous weeds
I am still intrigued at an interpretation of the parable of the wheat and chaff I read a while ago.
In the parable, a weed is spotted by the servants growing among the wheat. Apparently this particular weed was poisonous and was well-known to the farmers in Israel at the time who knew that it was essential to remove it as fast as possible to stop it contaminating and destroying the entire wheat crop.
In the parable, the landowner orders the servants not to remove the weeds in case they accidentally remove a bit of wheat too. Here the landowner exemplifies two attributes: greed, and ignorance of sensible farming practices.
Israel at the time of Jesus had a serious economic problem of mortgagee sales, where farming families lost their ancestral land to rich and greedy landowners (and then would often be the servants on that land). So, imagine the parable ended here, and consider what Jesus' hearers would think. They would see him as describing such a landowner who has gained control of some land and that as a result of greed and ignorance has given a stupid command that results in his entire crop becoming contaminated by poisonous weeds.
If the story ended there, Jesus' listeners (presumably farmers) would have laughed at the stupidity of such landowners and the genre of the parable would be essentially a political parody as Jesus reinforced the stupidity of what was happening within Israel.
Of course, in the gospels as we have them, the story doesn't end there and gets interpreted as being about God and final judgment. A lot of scholars believe that the gospels misinterpret several of Jesus' parables in this manner, reinterpreting them to be about God
when originally they were political/economic parodies. Given that such a massive proportion of Jesus' ministry (80% or so?) is about economics anyway, offhand it would seem unsurprising if these parables were too.