Two short Parables

The Hidden Treasure

Matt 13:44 "The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid; and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has, and buys that field."

Compare this parable with the statement of Paul found in Colossians 2:2-3 "....and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God's mystery, that is, Christ Himself, {3}in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

There are several descriptions and interpretations to which this has been ascribed. Some intrepretations are rejected because it might violate some human doctrine, some are rejected because some human doctrine is promoted, and some are rejected because the truth presented is just too hard to bear or measure up to.

Some people go through life not knowing where they are going or why they are here or there. They feel some sort of emptiness that nothing this world has to offer can fill. A treasure is described as a thing of highly estimated value. Money, gold, jewels, land, or other possessions. Some things carry a greater value. Love, honor, truth, and integrity. One thing surpasses them all. The great love that God has shown for us and our response to that love.

In this parable we find a person not knowing what they are looking for that just, in a sense, stumbles across it. Although the principle of "finders-keepers" was recognized by that society, this person wanting to make sure that this posession is rightfully, legally his, so that there are no contestants of opposition, decides how to make sure this treasure becomes his. By hiding it, he stores it in a perceived safe place, making sure that he would remember where it is, but not allowing someone else to stumble across it. He is so excited about this that nothing else in the world seems to matter. He is filled with joy. Joy is an emotion that is described in full detail in scripture. It only comes when we perceive our relationship with God and His acceptance of us, thus producing joy on our part and glory on His part. He then pays the great price of all of his posessions in order to buy that field. Notice that the price was steep but also within possibilities for this individual.

The man in this parable is represented by two different thoughts.

One thought is that the man is Jesus Christ who finds the church in the midst of the world and hides it in secret until He can pay the ultimate price and take posession of it.

Jesus purchased the church with his own blood. (Acts 20:28)

The other thought applies to us more than to Christ. This is the person of the world who enters the field which is descriptive of the Bible. As the truths are put forth by the written scripture, joy and excitement come over those who perceive their lost condition and start to learn how to be saved. Upon completion of the requirements of the plan which God set forth, [namely---hear, believe, repent, confess, be baptized] joy is truly realized. If you notice all of the acts of conversion in the book of Acts, we find that only after baptism, concluding this plan, are the people found to rejoice.

The price paid is the forsaking of all things and people and our own pride. As we humble ourselves in obedient submission, we turn our lives over to God and Christ and we serve them. In our obedience, our service is extended to our fellow man in the pattern that God gives us through His word.

Proverbs 23:23 "Buy truth, and do not sell it, Get wisdom and instruction and understanding."

Psalms 105:3 "Glory in His holy name; Let the heart of those who seek the Lord be glad."

The Pearl of Great Price

Matt 13:45 "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls, {46} and upon finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had, and bought it.

Unlike the previous parable where the person stumbles across the great treasure, here the person is shown to be committed to this treasure. The picture here is of a merchant of pearls. Someone who makes their living buying and selling and trading pearls. This person is involved in their livelihood. They are dedicated to their profession.

This represents a person who might be described as a believer in Jesus Christ, as the son of God, and our savior. But because there are many religions that recognize Jesus, one must be careful to select the one of the greatest value.

There is value in a belief, but there is greater value in a belief based upon the truth. This is the person who reads their bible on a regular basis, and believe that they are right in the sight of God, but upon study of the truth, they are exposed to the truth, therefore they must make the change from their previous condition. Just like the unbeliever, they must give up all and submit to the will of Christ. They learn that they must repent, confess, and be baptized for the remission of sins. Then they can enter into a relationship with God and His people.

Jesus is the pearl of great price, a jewel of inestimable value, which will make those who have it rich, truly rich, rich toward God; in having him, we have enough to make us happy here and for ever.

What good will it be to just know Christ, but to know Him as ours. Whatever stands in opposition or in competition with Him for our love and service, we must part with it, though ever so dear to us. Jesus said that whoever loved brother or sister or father or mother more that Him was not worthy to bear His cross. We must forsake all in order to gain Christ. We must forsake our relationships and put Christ above them all. We must forsake our error and put the truth as top priority. We must change our thinking of emotional standards and start to follow that pattern found in book,chapter, and verse.

We must follow the instructions that were given to Joshua, that we might have success in what we do.

Joshua 1:7 "Only be strong and very courageous; be careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may have success wherever you go. {8} This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success."

Jesus Christ is the greatest treasure that the world has known. We can, by obedience, come into posession of Christ. Actually we submit and make ourselves, His. Then we have the promise and hope of salvation for our continous obedience and service for His cause.

Putting this into perspective

Just what does this have to do with kingdom growth and development. What does this have to do with making the church grow. We must learn the following lessons.

  1. There are people out there who are in need of salvation.
  2. These people are lost and someone or something needs to show them the way. For many people, we are the only bible that they will ever read. We must be a good influence and must set the right examples, and teach the right lessons by the way we live and talk.
  3. If we make the effort to lead people to Christ, then God has promised to give the increase.
  4. There are many of our friends who think that they are saved, when in reality, they are servants of Satan. We must have enough boldness and love for them, that we are not afraid to expose their error, yet do it in a meek fashion.
  5. The church is Christ's great posession. Christ is the worlds great treasure, We must bring the world to Christ so that He can claim His church and present it to God.

This is all given with the intent of bringing lost souls to Christ. We need to work together to accomplish the task set before us.

Like I said last week, Either bear fruit, or burn!

Are you doing your part?

Examine yourselves.

See if you are in the faith.

See if you measure up to God's desire for you.

Commit yourselves unto the Lord, and He will bless you.

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