Session #097 PRVW
Scripture Matthew 13:44-46
Summary Through the parables in Matthew 13, Jesus gives us a glimpse, a PReVieW, of the kingdom of God. The next two parables in Matthew 13:44-46 describe the radical responses of those who discovered the treasure and the pearl of great price. Why then does not everyone respond in the same way? Henson dives more deeply to consider the PRice and the Value of the kingdom of God, leaving the individual to determine its Worth for himself or herself.
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it. Matthew 13:44-46
Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. What is considered to be of worth to someone may not hold the same attraction to others. But what about the kingdom of God? Is it of worth to us?
Matthew 13:44-46 covers this critical question by focusing on two parables: the Hidden Treasure and the Pearl of Great Price.
Two Parables. One Theme.
Just like the Parables of the Mustard Seed and the Leaven, the Parables of the Hidden Treasure and Pearl of Great Price are different and yet similar in theme and message.
Let’s first look at the differences between the two parables
Elements of Parable
Matt 13:44 (Parables of the Hidden Treasure)
Matt 13:45-46 (Pearl of Great Price)
(business & commerce)
State of treasure
Buried & hidden
Mode of Discovery
Stumbled upon (this man is not looking for the treasure)
Of great price
Sells ALL to buy it
Despite the differences in these parables, they end with the same response! Here is the summary of the key learning points from these parables:
The kingdom of God is for EVERYONE
No one is excluded regardless of status, the position of life, money and gender.
The kingdom of God can be DISCOVERED
Although the kingdom of God can either be seemingly hidden or openly displayed, it is there for us to discover. Some may chance or stumble upon it, while others may find it after deliberately seeking it.
The kingdom of God is of GREAT VALUE to all.
It is not a matter of personal preference or even market trend. It does not matter what the situation is, the kingdom of God is of great value to everyone. Therefore, the response should be the same for everyone, and everyone should be ready to give up their all for the sake of the kingdom!
But is this the response of every believer? No! In fact, some among us may still be in PREVIEW mode, and we are not yet fully convinced of the worth of the kingdom. Perhaps, a clarification about PRICE, VALUE AND WORTH would be helpful.
Value depends on how ‘valuable’ the item/commodity and service (regardless of actual or perceived). The value of something is represented primarily by the offerings that the person or item can enable. We have to look inside the item or person to determine the value. For example, wearing a pearl can make one beautiful and the centre of attention. It represents admiration and status. That is the value of the pearl.
Price is a function of the cost, and it aims to reflect the value as accurately as possible. For example, pearls are rare and need lots of resources and time to find and process. There is lots of workmanship involved, as well as retail, marketing and security costs. All these may be pumped up to “increase” the perceived value.
The worth indicates what it means to the individual considering the item/service/offering. It is less on the item/person itself/himself, but rather what it really means to this person. A pearl necklace may be beautiful, but if it means nothing to the individual, then it is not of much worth. Similarly, even if the kingdom of God is like treasure and a pearl of great price, it will be worth nothing if it means nothing to you.
Let’s consider all these in the light of the King and His kingdom.
PRICE: A Function of the Cost.
For us to have the kingdom of God, it had costs God and Jesus dearly. Jesus had to be the Lamb, the Sacrifice; our King himself died for us to save us! When we believe in the work and sacrifice of the King, we are born again and we can now see and enter the kingdom (John 3:3-5). We are redeemed (buyback) by the precious blood (the cost to buy us back!), and we are now forgiven and justified to qualify into righteousness. Only then we are gifted with eternal life in Jesus Christ!
So how do we begin to determine the price of the kingdom of God? The King Himself gave His life to save ours so that we have access to His kingdom. The kingdom of God is PRICELESS! We can’t acquire it by selling all we have; we can’t have it by good deeds or habits. We can only be in the kingdom by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8).
Value is not just about monetary or economic factors; the value of an item is often determined by the price (cost), name (brand) and features (product specification).
What are the features of the kingdom of God?
- The kingdom of God is free for us. We enter by grace; it is undeserved! The cost is the sacrifice of Jesus and this must not be taken for granted. We need to always have a fresh revelation of the Cross; this will guard against the devaluation of God’s amazing grace.
- When we enter the kingdom, we are in the rule and reign of the King, and this is good news for us! God’s kingdom is governed by His righteousness (Matthew 6:33) and His commandments for us are for our good (Deuteronomy 6:24). Many may feel that the King’s commandments are burdensome, but in reality, He sets the right boundaries for us in His love for us (1 John 5:3). The Spirit of the Law leads to life and is not about legalism or religiosity, but righteousness, peace and joy in the Spirit (Romans 14:17). However, we often value the ways and things of the world (the “freedom” to do whatever we want) more than the wisdom of God (1 John 2:15-17).
- Within the kingdom, we are empowered by the name of Jesus. We are called ambassadors of Jesus Christ, and now we have the power of His name (Acts 4:7). We are His kingdom representatives, we receive kingdom connections and kingdom partnerships. It is an honour to be on kingdom assignment with and for Jesus!
- We receive the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will point us to Jesus, guide us into all truths and bring to remembrance all these things. The Holy Spirit is our comforter and it gives us power for signs and wonders (gifts of Holy Spirit), as well as for changes to be like the King (fruit of the Holy Spirit)
- We have the accessibility of kingdom resources. We have the power to use spiritual resources, as well as physical resources (1 Corinthians 4:20; Matthew 6:33). When we are being sent to kingdom assignments, the King will give us our daily bread.
- We have the certainty, stability and absolute rule of the kingdom. We are receiving a kingdom that can neither be shaken nor destroyed (Hebrews 12:28; Daniel 2:44). Jesus will rule over all of His kingdom and He will reign forever and ever (Revelations 11:15)!
- The kingdom of God is eternal! His dominions endure throughout all generations (Psalm 145:13; Daniel 4:3; Daniel 4:34). In 2 Peter 1:10-11, Peter beseeched us to be diligent to make our call and election sure, so that we can be in the everlasting kingdom of Jesus Christ.
The kingdom is priceless and of great value, but does it mean anything to you?
- Is it worth our full devotion and allegiance? Jesus called us to deny ourselves, take up the cross and follow him. Being in the kingdom is about discipleship; it is a life dedicated to the purposes of the King and the kingdom.
- Is it worth the shifting of priorities? A life devoted to the kingdom entails sacrifice that must be made and investments that we are challenged to. There are many inconveniences that will accompany the Christian walk.
- Is it worth the realigning of time, schedules, effort, money, comfort, personal agenda, family, relationships, business and even “churchy-ness”? (Matthew 12:46-50; 13:22; 6:19-21; 6:24; 6:25-34; 19:24)
- Is it worth the trials we go through? Is it worth the scorn, ridicule, rejection and persecutions that we might face? Is the kingdom worth living and dying for? Can we face the risk of the loss of our friends and family members? Are we willing to risk the loss of our jobs to stand for righteousness? Are we ready to risk our lives to declare Jesus?
Yes! The kingdom is definitely worth the scorn, ridicules, persecution and sacrifices. It is worth living for and dying for. Jesus said that those who are persecuted and who face tribulations can enter the kingdom of God! (Matthew 5:10-12; Acts 14:21-22).
The kingdom of God is priceless and of great value, but we must consider it to be of worth to give up everything for the sake of gaining the kingdom! The kingdom is only as good as the King of the kingdom, Jesus. Who is Jesus to us and how is he worth to us? Is He worth our everything, our full devotion and allegiance? If so, are we walking worthy of Jesus and His kingdom?
Jesus has given us different perspectives of the kingdom of God (PREVIEW) through the parables in Matthew 13. How do we respond? Only those who respond rightly will get the fullness of the kingdom.