Both of these parables tell of a joy in finding peace with God. Both men, the one who stumbled upon the kingdom and the one who was seeking the kingdom, realize when they find it that it is the answer to their hopes and dreams. There is a tremendous value in becoming a true citizen of the kingdom of God.
“These are two more “kingdom” parables in which Jesus continues to tell us what the kingdom of heaven/kingdom of God is like. Let’s look in context first at the “Parable of the Hidden Treasure” found only in the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 13, verse 44:
Matthew 13:44 (TNIV)
“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. [emphasis added]
According to rabbinic law, if a laborer came across buried treasure in someone else’s field and lifted it out, the treasure would belong to the owner. In this parable, the man leaves the treasure in the ground. So that he might keep the treasure, the man goes out and sells all that he has so that he can purchase the field, thereby obtaining the treasure. Notice that “all he had” was not as valuable as the treasure . Notice also that he did this joyfully.
We are discovering the true meaning of the “kingdom of heaven”……..I know that for myself I have stumbled upon this teaching almost by accident. In some ways…..it was hidden. I do not believe that Jesus was teaching a moral lesson here, rather, He was merely showing the value of this treasure that is worth every sacrifice and commitment to obtain. The kingdom of heaven is more valuable than anything else we can have, and a person must be willing to give up everything to obtain it. The key here is that it is obviously worth sacrificing and giving up to achieve the kingdom of heaven as he did this with joy.
Jesus continues with the “Parable of the Pearl” Found also only in Matthew, Chapter 13, Verses 45 and 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. [emphasis added]
Notice that Jesus says, “Again”. This shows clearly that these two parables are linked. In the parable of the treasure, the man stumbles upon the kingdom. Here, a pearl merchant is looking and recognizes the kingdom when he finds it. Both realize that the kingdom is worth the sacrifice and is valuable in their lives. Both realize that the kingdom calls for a total investment from those who find it.
Today’s CLUE: Both of these parables tell of a joy in finding peace with God. Both men, the one who stumbled upon the kingdom and the one who was seeking the kingdom, realize when they find it that it is the answer to their hopes and dreams. There is a tremendous value in becoming a true citizen of the kingdom of God.
What do you think?
My friend, RonLawHouston commented: To me, Jesus is saying that while we can obtain glimpses of the kingdom, we can only obtain it through “negation.” To obtain the kingdom, you have to give up the things of this world and surrender to God.
Philotheosopher commented: The parables take on a whole new shade of meaning if you look at the one seeking the treasure as God himself.
So often we think of these parables in relationship to ourselves, and there is truth there — the aspect of the value of our salvation being so great as to require a willingness to sacrifice all to find it. But if there is no one who seeks after God, there is none righteous, no not one, then is it not reasonable to read this in light of God’s seeking us out — to make for himself a kingdom, a nation of people called by his name? And did he not, in sending his Son, and for that matter did not Christ himself as God the Son, “pay” the highest price?……The whole earth is his, but the treasure is his redeemed……
(I have the same impulse to interpret the parables about “counting the cost” the same way — because the context is in terms of a Contractor first “counting the cost” before he begins work on his building, or a King first “counting the cost” before he engages in battle — and who is more rightly referred to as the Builder or the King? Us? *shrug* I never used to even think of these in light of God’s sovereignty, of HIS pursuing US, of HIS counting the cost to save us — that is not in any way a suggestion on my part that we somehow have “worth” or that his seeking us says anything about us, intrinsically — But I think it says something very revealing, and marvellously amazing about HIM that he would count the cost, pay it, and thereby establish in US his kingdom!!)
just some thoughts. 🙂
ryc Ron: I would have to agree
ryc Philotheosopher: Thank you for joining the discussion I appreciate your reflection. I don’t quite understand “But if there is no one who seeks after God, there is none righteous, no not one,…” I do believe that God passionately pursues us. I also believe that we can choose to seek God or reject Him. God created in us that will of choice. At any rate, I can certainly see and respect this interpretation of these parables (I have seen this explanation before as well as others). I appreciate your comments
lane0129 commented: I agree with you that Jesus used these two parables, among others probably, to specifically define the value of the gift He has offered us. I don’t believe that He wants us to sell all that we have, to buy the gift–as it is a free gift to all who accept it. Unfortunately, I think this is misinterpreted sometimes by extremists. I think He was illustrating that it is worth more than all that we own–and that we should cherish it that way.
ryc lane0129: I agree that Jesus was illustrating the kingdom is worth more than all that we own—and that we should cherish it that way. Thanks for your comment.