Parable of the Hidden Treasure and Pearl: The Joy of Possession and Possessing Joy
February 8, 2022
- There were no banks in 1st century Palestine
- Robbers/bandits would raid
- Homes often burned down
- Armies would scorch earth
- How wealth was preserved:
- Distribute in commerce and foreign assets
- Buy homes, land, or disperse through merchants
- Hide and bury the wealth
- There were professional treasure hunters the Jews called termites, moles, and woodpeckers
- Purchase fine gems to keep it close
- of Kingdom
- Day laborer – poor (Verse 44)
- Merchant – rich (Verse 45-46)
*Last week, Jesus offended with the idea that a woman would be an active agent in the Kingdom of God. Further, He offended by stating that the kingdom will grow with and in unclean things (Gentiles). Now, Jesus completes what Paul mirrors in Galatians 3:28…its also for the rich and poor
- of the Kingdom
- Verse 44: The man was not seeking but found it
- Verse 45: The merchant was looking and found
- Verse 46: Implies the merchant had a storehouse. A gathered wealth already, but still not AS valuable as the pearl. This could allude to a Jew who already possessed the Torah and who’s heart was prepared and actively looking for the Kingdom of God, and when found, was willing to sell all pre-positions of religious systems for the Kingdom system
*The idea is that the kingdom is not obvious and hidden, but if you are sincerely looking you will find it. Some still, are not looking but will still come across it.
- of what is found
- Jesus says the kingdom is the most valuable thing you will ever find
- 1 Peter 1:7 – Faith is more valuable than gold, which Perishes
Example: My 1895 piano I bought for $100
*The Kingdom is more valuable than anything either man had ever possessed. The Kingdom is a big DEAL!
- Must sacrifice everything else to obtain value
- What was borrowed and sold was a minor amount compared to what would be gained.
- 2 Corinthians 4:17, Paul declares: “For this slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all measure.”
- Luke 14:25-35 – Unless you deny everything, carry your cross, deny yourself
Example: Would you sell all you have for a winning powerball lottery ticket?
*Notice it is not much of a sacrifice if you what you receive is better and more valuable than what you give up!
- God is offering salvation, and now, in that hour, it must be seized
- The day laborer and merchant BOTH seize a once in a lifetime opportunity
- God places us in unique situations. With people, especially. Seize it!
Example of Mullah Omar in Afghanistan
*Jesus is telling His listeners that a unique opportunity is upon them. They may have been searching for it or not, BUT they must Respond!
- Overflying with what they found
- Verse 44 says in his joy he sold all he had.
- To freely will what God wills requires us to behold the beauty of Gods cause, and is so seized by joy
- The desire for God and Gods cause must be greater than the summation of our self-desire or focus
*Joy is the longing for a thing. Both men in the parable longed for the treasure they found, the kingdom. When you long for something, you don’t view its pursuit as a dogmatic obligation but willingly and joyfully pursue it
Example: When I first started dating my wife, I gave her everything. I did not feel over-burdened to buy diapers for my children. When I was a boy, I longed for the adventure and possession of buried treasure. Now, I desire the adventure, exploration, and possession of the treasure that is scripture and Jesus.
- Jesus Supreme
- In all Jesus taught, He demonstrates perfectly
28 Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” 29 A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. 30 When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
Questions for Guided Discussion
- In the parable of the hidden treasure and pearl, Jesus uses a rich man and a poor man as two examples of men who found a treasure of immense value. Again, Jesus emphasizes the universality of the kingdom of God, that is for all people across all social, economic, cultural, and religious class. With that in mind, who have you counted out? Any group, or individual person you have given up on?
- Similarly, in this parable Jesus contrasts two examples of how someone comes by this enormous treasure of the kingdom. One man comes across it by accident; the other is actively searching for it. Which man (or woman) were you? Someone searching, or by accident? Are you still searching for the beauty and value of the kingdom?
- Do you value the Kingdom of God the way Jesus describes? Are you willing to sacrifice everything to hold it close as He does? Is the kingdom of God that precious to you?
- Think about the things you sacrifice for. Does it feel like sacrifice? Think about what you do, or do not sacrifice for God. Does that feel like sacrifice? If so, why?
- Jesus emphasizes that with knowledge comes an appropriate response. The merchant could recognize the value of the pearl, and the day laborer had the treasure revealed to him by surprise. Both responded appropriately to the knowledge of that value. Does your current response to the kingdom match your knowledge of it? Do you find the kingdom of God beautiful, or confusing?
- This parable is anchored on joy. Of all the things this parable teaches, none is more central than the joy of the men selling all they have for something of greater value. Do you have joy in life in spite of your circumstances? Do you have joy in faith despite what it requires?
- Jesus is the supreme example of all His teachings. On the cross, he uttered Tetelestai, meaning, paid in full. It is finished. Contract complete. Purchase final. Jesus bought the entire field for the treasure of the kingdom of God. Have you ever meditated on the fact that Jesus, too, finds the kingdom so valuable it is worth giving everything to? What does that reveal about Jesus?