The Kingdom of Heaven is like… – Part 5

It has only been a week since my last post in this series. Since then, I have officially graduated! Yes, eight years and two colleges later and I finally have my sheepskin. Well, now that I have my degree, you all have to listen to me… right? Just kidding!

This next post is actually going to be about the next two parables in the list (the Parable of the Hidden Treasure and the Parable of the Merchant):
“The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid again; and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.”
– Matthew 13:44

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls, and upon finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.”
– Matthew 13:45-46

These parables are extremely interesting to me. I have heard them both interpreted in completely different ways. Today, I would like to point out why, I feel, they can only be interpreted one way. We will use the context of both these parables as well as the previous parables to prove the interpretation.

The Parable of the Hidden Treasure may be the harder of the two to deal with. It is with this parable that I have heard people say that Jesus is the treasure and we give up everything for Jesus. This is an excellent thought and we do see Jesus telling people to lose everything to follow him, however, I think the Bible makes it clear that there is nothing we can do to merit gaining our Saviour. Our works and wealth are worthless when it comes to salvation. So, if we continue with our previous designations, we see that there is a Treasure hidden (the sons of the kingdom – much like seeds) in the field (the world). A man comes along and discovers this treasure. The man should represent the Son of God. He takes the treasure and hides it again until he can sell everything he has to buy the field.

This parable, although just one verse, is amazing to me because it completely summarizes the gospel. Jesus (the man in this parable) found a treasure (the people who are the sons of the kingdom) in the world. He gave up his life, lost everything, not to buy just the treasure, but to buy the whole field (or the whole world). Maybe it is just my personal theology leaking out, but it seems like there is definitely a distinction being made here concerning the difference between the elect and the world, and the fact that Jesus still died for the whole world, only to gain the treasure hidden in the world.

The next parable, the Parable of the Merchant, becomes much easier to interpret. Again, we keep the same designations; the merchant – a man – must be the Son of God. He too finds a treasure, this time a pearl of great value. He too sells everything he had and purchased the pearl. Again, an excellent summary of what Jesus did for us all on Calvary.

Thoughts?
Lew

Comments

  1. Alan Knox says

    Lew,

    First of all, congratulations!

    Second, this is an interesting interpretation. I have not heard this before, but it is in context with the other parables. I need a few days to chew on this.

    -Alan