THEME: Kingdom of Heaven
The treasure that we seek is found in the Son of God.
“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. “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding aone pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.
In the pursuit of the prize is where the main lessons of the two parables are to be found, for although the man and the merchant were different up to the point at which the gospel treasure was before them, from then on their thoughts and actions were identical. What did they do? First, they recognized the value of what they had found. Second, they determined to have it. Third, they sold everything in order to make their purchase. Fourth, they acquired the treasure.
It is not surprising that the merchant recognized the value of that special pearl, for he had been seeking pearls and had presumably learned their value (or lack of value) through his seeking. Nor is it surprising that the man who discovered the hidden treasure saw its value. He was not seeking but we can hardly imagine him casually kicking at the treasure with his foot and then walking on. A treasure is valuable, after all. We are inclined to say that a person who discovers treasure anywhere or in any form and then walks away from it is a fool. But many do that with the gospel. The gospel is preached; it is shown to be the answer to our individual and community needs, for this life and for eternity. Despite that fact, millions simply walk away and continue in their spiritual poverty.
Do you want to know the character of one who has been made alive by God? He says with David, “I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked” (Ps.84:10). He says of God’s laws, “They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold” (Ps.19:10). He declares, “Because I love your commands more than gold, more than pure gold, and because I consider all your precepts right, I hate every wrong path” (Ps.119:127-128). He cried,“Forgetting what is behind and straining toward What is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:13-l4). A person like that has already had a change of values. He has recognized the poverty of all that comes from men and women and has seen the true splendor of the gospel.
The second thing that characterized both the man who found the treasure and the merchant who discovered the pearl was their determination to have them once they had been discovered. The stories do not spell it out, but imagine the contrast. A person sees the value of his discovery but decides, as he reflects on it, that it would be too much trouble to acquire the treasure or the pearl for himself. He would have to adjust his priorities, change his lifestyle. That would take time and effort. It might be misunderstood by his family or friends. True, it would make him a rich man, but it would be too much trouble. We may imagine situations like that, but such is not the case of the ones described in those parables.
May I interject a parenthesis at this point? The parables do not speak about those who owned the field and pearl originally. We are not told anything of their attitudes. But it is clear that they were willing to sell. God does not sell his favors, of course. The stories are not teaching that. But the point is, if you are determined to have what by the grace of God you perceive to be of inestimable value, then you may be sure that God is more than willing for you to have it. You may have it now. The price is only that you be willing to come to God in God’s way. You must forget your own righteousness. You must be willing to trust in Christ alone. If you will come that way, turning from your sin to Jesus, then the treasure is yours. Christ has become your portion. God does not need to be persuaded. You are the one who needs persuasion. So wait no longer; believe today.
How did both men respond they discovered the gospel treasure?
What is the character of one made alive by God?
What price do we pay for the gift of the gospel?
How can the treasure be yours?
How have you changed since coming to Christ?
Do you hold dear now what you did in the past?
The price is only that you be willing to come to God in God’s way. You must forget your own righteousness. You must be willing to trust in Christ alone.