‘The Parable of the treasure and the parable of the pearl’
The word is the seed, the soil is my heart. Give me a soft heart Lord! This next secret consists of two parables found in Matthew 13:44-46. In the language of the Bible, repetition is a literary device that says, ‘Listen up! Pay attention!’. It’s intention is to bring strong emphasis to the point being made. In verses 44 and 45 we have an example of this, Jesus is essentially saying the very same thing twice.
[Mat 13:44-46 ESV] 44 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. 45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, 46 who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.
I feel I can say with confidence that this is one of the biggest and best secrets of the Kingdom. If you get this one figured out, all the others will fall into place. As a pastor, I meet a lot of people who claim relationship with Jesus, it kind of comes with the job. In our circles, we talk of ‘love for Jesus’. Given the language of the New Testament, where love is a woven theme, it is natural that we use this language. But, as a pastor, I meet a lot of people who say they ‘love Jesus’ and don’t give Him any time or attention. Let me share a story with you from my experience. Last summer my wife and I were invited to visit a friend who was camping at a lake near by us.(Beautiful country here!) When we arrived they had found another Christian couple and made fast friends. This couple had recently moved into the area and were looking for a church to attend so my friend was excited to introduce us. So we talked. He was very polite, asked about church and we had a very short polite conversation about Jesus. He seemed quite interested in our church and our story. Then the conversation turned to hockey(just so you know, I’m not a big fan, sorry.)and it just so happened that my friend was a professional level player when he was a young man, so he was more than happy to carry the conversation since my hockey knowledge runs out pretty fast. Our new friend’s young son, it turns out, is a very gifted hockey player. It was then that I saw first hand what this man’s treasure was. His countenance changed, his eyes lit up, he became very animated, he may have even salivated a bit, and he was on the edge of his chair. All of the sudden this guy had boundless, endless ability to converse about the ins and outs of the game. Concerning Jesus and church, his saviour and closest friend, a two minute ‘pleasant’ conversation. Hockey. Half hour? Forty five minutes maybe of purely ecstatic praise, um, I mean, conversation. As a pastor, I often wish people would talk about Jesus like that. I think that this is a glimpse of what it means to have something as a treasure. This also happens to be a Kingdom ‘secret’ that Jesus double emphasized. If you desire to enter into the Kingdom, make it your ‘treasure’. Many people don’t understand that the Kingdom is a value system and as a result don’t give the Kingdom proper(or any) value. The language of value is all over the New Testament. Consider, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.’ or ‘Any one who doesn’t hate his mother or father, wife and children(compared to the Kingdom) is not fit to be my disciple’. Jesus declared to the Samaritan woman than God is ‘looking for worshippers’. Worship is a declaration of worth. It’s a word that means ‘worth-ship’. It’s easy to see what is of value to you, what makes your eyes ‘light up’. If you desire to be good soil for God to invest in, make Him your treasure, your ‘pearl of great price’.