Posted by: missionventureministries | November 22, 2018

THE PARABLES OF THE HIDDEN TREASURE AND THE PEARL OF GREAT PRICE – Matthew 13:44-46

“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.”

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.”

The similarities of these two short parables make it clear they teach that the kingdom of heaven is of great value. Both parables involve a man who sold all he had to possess the kingdom. The treasure and the pearl represent Jesus Christ and the salvation He offers.  

Jesus began His parable with the words, “The kingdom of heaven is like…” The kingdom of God is wherever the will of God is done. Jesus compared the kingdom of God to the hidden treasure; meaning that the kingdom of God is the treasure.  

Jesus is telling us that the kingdom of God is far more valuable than anything in this world. There is nothing that even compares to a loving relationship with the Creator of the universe!

The kingdom of heaven is knowing the Father and the King. It is listening to His voice; it is having His peace, His joy, His love, and His power. Jesus said, “I have come so they can have life. I want them to have it in the fullest possible way” (John 10:10).

Life outside of the kingdom of God is not what God intended it to be. It is a life that is separate from God (Isaiah 59:2).

Jesus came and offered the kingdom. Everyone who chooses to trust in Him has kingdom life, which is life to its fullest!

He is telling His disciples what compares in value to the new life that the He wants to give them. If you belong to the kingdom, you have the greatest treasure! This treasure is freely given by God, the King, to everyone who trusts in Him.

In both parables, the treasures are hidden, indicating that spiritual truth is concealed and cannot be found by worldly wisdom. Matthew 13:11-17 and 1 Corinthians 2:14 make it clear that the mysteries of the kingdom are hidden from some who are unable to hear, see, and comprehend these truths. Therefore, the disobedient reap the natural consequences of their unbelief, which is spiritual blindness. On the contrary, those whose eyes are opened by the Spirit do discern spiritual truth, understand its great value. 

In Jesus’ day pearls were especially valuable. So Jesus continues the parable refereeing to a man who found a very valuable pearl. This man unlike the other one was actively looking for treasures. This man was like the people who had heard and listened to God’s prophecies, and were waiting for the Messiah, the Savior, to come. Even though these people had been looking for God’s kingdom, when they finally found it, it was far more precious than what they had ever expected.

Just as in the first parable, the man gladly gave up everything he owned to get the pearl. He, too, knew that nothing he owned could compare to the great treasure he had finally found. 

Notice that the merchant stopped seeking pearls when he found the pearl of great price. Eternal life, the incorruptible inheritance, and the love of God through Christ constitute the pearl which, once found, makes further searching unnecessary.  

Christ fulfills our greatest needs, satisfies our longings, makes us whole and clean before God, calms and quiets our hearts, and gives us hope for the future. The “great price,” of course, is that which was paid by Christ for our redemption. He emptied Himself of His glory, came to earth in the form of a lowly man and shed His precious blood on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins. 

The Kingdom of God is worth far more than anything else. The emphasis is not on what we give up, but on the unfathomable new life that is being offered to us. 

The point of these two parables is the great value of being a part of God’s kingdom. Both men gladly and joyfully gave up everything else to claim their new found treasure. Jesus makes it clear that we should not let anything keep us from entering the kingdom of God.  

It is true, that the kingdom is available to us only by grace through faith; but genuine faith means genuinely embracing and yielding to God’s reign, not simply acknowledging it and then passing it by as if it did not exist. The Kingdom is a treasure, and those who truly believe will sacrifice everything in their lives to possess it.

To further clarify this parable, we see in the first parable, where the man finds the treasure purely by accident. He just came across it while working in someone else’s field. That is the way that Christ comes into some people’s lives. They are living their lives with or without problems and all of a sudden, they hear the gospel message which turns their whole life around.

In the second case, the man is looking for something of great value and he has a very definite goal in mind, the perfect pearl. Similarly, a person can be looking for real meaning in their life. They may have tried many things already with only partial satisfaction. Then they come across the Gospel of Jesus and they know that here is the answer they have been looking for. Everything else is abandoned as they now focus entirely on following the way of Jesus.

Once we truly understand what it really means to live under the Lordship of God, once we have a full understanding of the vision of life that Jesus proposes, then everything else pales into insignificance. And, whatever enticements may come our way, we know that there is no other way to go. Jesus is the Way, Jesus is Truth and Jesus is Life; and we would not exchange His way for anything.

“But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, 10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; 11 in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead” (Philippians 3:7-11)

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