TEACHER: Ken Hicks
SCRIPTURES: Matthew 13:44-46
BOTTOM LINE: They Laid it ALL down in order to gain the ONE THING they Desired!
QUESTION: What is it that we are still hanging onto that we would not be willing to lay down for the sake of The Kingdom of God? Is it harder now than it was before to lay them down?
Here in Matthew 13, there are 7 Parables total … and for the 1st 2, Matthew was pretty elaborate. He even provided an interpretation for each of them. But the remaining 5, Matthew was much shorter and pretty direct in terms of the Point of the Story so to speak wasn’t he?
The Parable of the Hidden Treasure and the Parable of The Pearl are literally each 2 sentences … and both of them begin w/ The Kingdom of Heaven is like … and then the main point and purpose is in the 2nd sentence here.
THE PARABLE OF THE HIDDEN TREASURE
Matthew 13:44 … “44 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.”
In this Parable, a Treasure has been hidden in a field. Who put it there? How long has it been there? Nobody knows But what we do know, is that in ancient Palestine, war was common! People often hid their treasure, or at least part of it, in a field, because there it was much safer! In the house, Thieves could find it!
However, if the owner happened to die in battle, he would carry the secret location with him to the grave. And THUS, no one would ever know where he had hidden the Treasure.
Jesus’ Parable is once again describing a situation that they could relate to … and sometimes people wrestle w/ the tension about how the man who found the Treasure should have responded. Was he being dishonest?
Maybe, but not necessarily either. Jewish Rabbinic Law states if a man finds scattered fruit or money, it belongs to the finder. So the people listening to the Parable would have not perceived the man’s actions at all as unethical. In fact, he had a Right to what he found.
THE PARABLE OF THE PEARL
Matthew 13:45-46 … “45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. 46 When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.”
In OT times, Pearls apparently were not well known, but by the 1st century of the Christian era Pearls had become a status symbol of wealthy people.
In the times of Jesus and His Apostles, Pearls were in great demand. Merchants had to go to the Red Sea; the Persian Gulf; and even India in order to find them. Inferior Pearls would often come from The Red Sea, but the better ones came from The Persian Gulf and off the coast of Ceylon in India.
We don’t know how far he’s had to travel in this story, but on this day, he finds a Pearl of Great Value. This is the Chance of a Lifetime, and he wouldn’t be satisfied until he had the Pearl.
I LOVE the Word Picture Jesus painted here using a Pearl, because it’s the only gem that can’t be improved by man isn’t it? All other Jewels & Gemstones must be cut and polished by a skilled craftsman before they have retail value as gemstones.
BUT a Pearl, it’s perfect when it’s found and can’t be improved by cutting or polishing. In fact, 1 cut from a human hand and it’s Worthless.
It’s such an appropriate symbol for the Kingdom of God, because the Kingdom of God is divine and designed perfectly by God. From beginning until all eternity.
And any attempts on our part to change or try to improve the Kingdom of God literally rob it of its Perfection.
Both of these guys paid the full, justifiable price on the purchased items … they saw the opportunity, and they were READY to pay the Price!
They Laid It ALL Down in order to Gain the One Thing They Desired!!!!!!