Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and will gather the wheat into his garner…
Christ did not go out of His way to choose His followers; the call itself was the fan He bore in His hand. That call imposed upon men the necessity of making a great resolution, of sacrificing a good deal. On the other hand, what did it offer? What equivalent could be expected by those who made the sacrifice? The call, which had acted as a test upon some directly by requiring from them an effort which they were not prepared to make, would winnow away others more gradually as soon as it was understood to offer no prospects which could tempt a worldly mind. In this way, without excluding any, Christ suffered the unworthy to exclude themselves. He kept them aloof by offering them nothing which they could find attractive. And all those who found Christ's call attractive were such as were worthy to receive it. Such a winnowing of men as He accomplished is not unique in its kind. Every high-minded leader who gathers followers round him for any great purpose, when he calls to selfsacrifice and has no worldly rewards to offer, does something similar. And, therefore, in tracing the history of many other movements which have agitated great numbers, we are often reminded of those parables of Christ that begin, "The kingdom of heaven is like ." The quality which carries a man through the ordeal is faith. Such then, is the new test, and it will be found the only one which could answer Christ's purpose. Every other good quality which we may wish to make the test of a man implies either too little or too much.
Parallel VersesKJV: Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and will gather the wheat into his garner; but the chaff he will burn with fire unquenchable.