The Parables of the Hidden Treasure and the Pearl
“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 looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.
What do you think Jesus is trying to say through these short parables? ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Why do both of the people sell everything in order to buy the field and the fine pearls? ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Are there any differences between the two parables?
The Kingdom of Heaven
It is about God’s reign, rule, and governance over the world.
And in the hearts of those who come to believe.
This reign creates a realm and a people.
God’s purpose is to save people from the brokenness of the world.
God’s saving rule to bring relationships back to God by winning over sin, satan, and death.
This is why when Jesus came and brought this good news and lived into this good news.
This Kingdom was not about a powerful and war hungry King, but one that is marked by the weak and those who society deems to be useless.
You live in this Kingdom when you respond to evil by loving your enemies and caring for the poor. This is an upside down Kingdom.
God’s reign over the world through Jesus’ act of sacrificial love and death on behalf of all of us.
Jesus reigns as King as he has overcome evil and death.
And now all his followers are to announce this good news and tell of the Kingdom of God who has defeated the death with love.
Those who do not know Christ or the good news of Jesus.
But when they hear the good news, that Jesus died for their sin and brokenness, they consider it to be a great discovery.
Something that changes their entire life.
Something that is worth giving up everything that they had in this life for it.
Treasures were often hidden in fields, because there were no formal banks as we know them today (cf. 25:25).
It was not uncommon for people to hide valuables when a marauding army approached. If the homeowner did not survive the invasion, the treasure would be forgotten and unclaimed.
The land could change hands several times without anyone being aware of hidden treasure.
The emphasis is on the supreme worth of the treasure that is unseen by others; it is worth far more than any sacrifice one might make to acquire it.
No sacrifice is too great to live in God’s will and experience a discipleship relationship with Jesus as Master.
This tells us about the role that sacrifice does play in the life of a Christian. We will need to sacrifice some things in this life to follow Jesus faithfully.
How would you have responded if you were the man who stumbled on the treasure?
Instead of simply stumbling across a hidden treasure, the merchant is doing a diligent search by one well qualified to know its value will ultimately lead to the kingdom.
As an expert, the merchant knows that even if he sells all that he has, the pearl he possesses surpasses all his former accumulated wealth.
We have a merchant who is out deliberately searching. He is apparently a wholesale pearl dealer on a professional trip looking for fine pearls for his business
Jesus’ disciples are to understand that there is nothing more valuable in all of the world than possession of a life with Jesus.
The gospel of Jesus, and following God, isn’t a pleasant religious idea that you might like to explore some time when you’ve got an hour or two to spare.
It isn’t like an attractive object in a museum that you might visit and look at admiringly the next time you’re in the district.
It’s like a fabulous hoard of treasure, yours for the taking—if you’ll sell everything else to buy the field where it’s hidden. It’s like the biggest, finest, purest pearl that any jeweller ever imagined, and it’s yours for the taking—if you’ll sell everything else, including all the other pearls you’ve ever owned, in order to purchase it.
In order to live a fulfilling life as a Christ follower, you cannot go in 10% or 25% or even 50%, a life as a Christ follower influences 100% of your life!
How does this idea of committing yourself 100% make you feel when you think about the life of faith?
Understanding & Action
The parables in this chapter are a challenge to us at two levels: understanding and action.
Understanding without action is sterile; action without understanding is exhausting and useless.
We can know all there is to know about Jesus as a historic figure, or about Christianity as a religion.
But without action, without a personal choice to follow Jesus and to live in love, for justice, and putting ourselves all in, we risk never committing and experiencing the joy and fullness of life with Christ.
Instead we always stand on the outside, thinking about religion as an idea as opposed to a lived reality met with the overwhelming love and forgiveness only found in God.
Faith and Deeds - James 2:14-20
14 What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? 15 Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, 16 and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do?
17 So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.
18 Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds.” But I say, “How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.”
19 You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God.[a] Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror. 20 How foolish! Can’t you see that faith without good deeds is useless?
“Faith without deeds is dead and useless.” What do you think about this statement in verse 17? How have you experienced someone with faith, but whose life did not look like Jesus? ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
What Does This Mean Us Today?
We can learn and learn, but there comes a point when each of us on our spiritual journey is called to make a conscious decision.
A decision, once we find the good news of Jesus Christ and His love and forgiveness, that we give our lives to God once and for all.
That we give up the worldly pursuits that we know do not offer lasting fulfillment, and we go all in when we discover the good news of the Gospel for ourselves.
That we not become those who just have a sense of knowledge of God, but do not change how we love others, love God, and love ourselves in response.
That we have some sense of faith, but do not have a life that responds to that life.