You are in for a treat! One PODCAST consisting of two precious parables.
Why these two parables don’t get more attention, I’ll never know. For contained within them are two of the most blessed truths of our faith.
The two parables of which I speak: The Parable of the Buried Treasure, and the Parable of the Pearl of Great Price.
Two parables that, despite their similarities, reveal two totally distinct but equally precious truths.
If you need a jolt of overwhelming encouragement, you need look no further.
Let’s start out by reading Matthew 13:44-46 –
44 “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure that a man discovered hidden in a field. In his excitement, he hid it again and sold everything he owned to get enough money to buy the field.
45 “Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant on the lookout for choice pearls. 46 When he discovered a pearl of great value, he sold everything he owned and bought it!
These two (too often overlooked or undervalued) parables are intended on being looked at and taken in side-by-side. However, they don’t teach the exact same lesson. The two parables are similar in many ways, but their underlying truths are actually quite different.
Let’s start with the similarities. There is an element of excitement in both parables. Also, both parables invoke a very important phrase: “…sold everything he owned…”. Therefore, both the treasure and the pearl are priceless.
That being said, that is where the similarities end.
Jesus did not compare the Kingdom of Heaven both to a treasure and to a pearl of great value. When you read them carefully, you see that He compares the Kingdom to a treasure and a merchant! Now, if we miss this subtle yet significant difference, we miss the whole deal.
In the first parable, you and I are like the guy who discovered the treasure. In other words, Heaven = treasure. And, having discovered this treasure, we have a grand and glorious future. We have a future that is grounded in the unshakable reality that Heaven is ours. This provides for us a safe and secure hope. Too often, we use the word “hope” as something that we really want, but we may or may not receive. However, when the Biblical writers use the word “hope”, they mean it with a certainty that has no doubt whatsoever!
For example, look at what Paul wrote in Ephesians 1:18-
I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called
It’s not just a hope, but a confident, assured reality. You see, when the Bible speaks of Heaven, it’s as if we own it even now in the present. Heaven is ours and awaits our arrival! Remember, in the first parable, Heaven is the treasure and you and I are the guy who found it.
Also remember the context in which Jesus shared these parables. The first four in Matthew 13 that we have covered in weeks past were offered in public to the masses. These two that we are looking at today (and one other) were told to Jesus’ disciples in private, during what could be called a “family meeting”, meant for committed Christ followers only. Jesus wanted his followers to know that although the upcoming days will appear more bleak than they could ever imagine (He was but a short time away from being betrayed and killed, after all), yet still their future hope was more glorious than could be described. In other words, what we suffer through now is nothing compared to the glories that lie ahead of us in Heaven.
Yet, getting back to Jesus’ first parable, we are in possession of Heaven – an amazing treasure – that no one can ever take from us.
All this to say, that when we understand what we have found in Heaven, we should find it so exciting that we would be willing to give up everything in order to take hold of it, just like the man who found the treasure in the field.
Now, moving on to the second parable:
“…the Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant on the lookout for choice pearls. When he discovered a pearl of great value, he sold everything he owned and bought it!”
In this parable, Heaven, and God who lives there are now doing the searching. We are the pearl of great value. This shows what God thinks of each of us when He sees us – a priceless pearl!
Jesus said this again in Luke 19:10 –
For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.
Jesus is the seeker, seeking us! He is the merchant who searches the world over, looking for pearls of great value.
But, what exactly is this great value? We find out in Acts 20:28 –
… the church of God, which He purchased with His own blood.
There is no higher price in the universe than the blood of God’s only begotten Son. Which explains Jesus’ enigmatic cry when he died on the cross. It’s most often translated “It is finished”. But when we literally translate the Aramaic words Christ uttered, it would mean “Paid in full.”
He bought the pearl.
You see, prior to Jesus’ sacrifice we were slaves. Slaves to our sinful flesh that needed to be purchased at that incredibly high price. Jesus said as much in John 8:34 –
“I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave of sin. 35 A slave is not a permanent member of the family, but a son is part of the family forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.
We are free. We are priceless. We are sought after. We are redeemed.
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