Summary: Have you ever had to disguise a secret to keep someone from discovering it too soon? Well the parables are in some way like that. They tell of something that you know is important but you can’t quite figure it all out. The answers seem elusive.
A Buried Treasure and a Pearl
44 “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.
45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. 46 When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.
Last week we examined Jesus parable about the sower and the four kinds of soil. In that passage we discovered a statement that Jesus made concerning why He was speaking in parables to His disciples.
That through this “knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of Heaven” regarding the parables we Seekers would receive something that other listeners would not. Matthew 13:11
We would know secrets or mysteries that could change our eternal address as future citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven. Not that we were more deserving but that our hearts, eyes and ears are open to the spiritual truths of God as shared by Messiah Jesus.
Jesus explained this using the Old Testament book of Isaiah 6:9-10 that foretold that people would not be able to comprehend these things because of their calloused hearts. Now that we know how to discover these secrets let’s see if we can unravel the parables in today’s scripture passage.
Both these parables are only two sentences long yet they shed light on many great eternal things.
Have you ever had to disguise a secret to keep someone from discovering it too soon?
Well the parables are in some way like that. They tell of something that you know is important but you can’t quite figure it all out. The answers seem elusive. But those with open hearts, eyes and ears can know these things.
You see friend our God has a plan to save the Nation of Israel and to save the whole world.
That plan is dependent on Jesus. There are many factors involved in Jesus ministry and the timing of many, many things is very important. God does not want to expose His plan ahead of time to the enemy. So God the Father has his son Jesus speak in these parables.
O.K. let’s look at the parable of the hidden treasure in the field. Let’s break it down. Jesus identifies the parts of the story; we have hidden treasure, we have a man, we have a field and we have a joyous discovery that causes the man to rebury the treasure and then sets out to buy the field.
In our Bible Study group we identified the parts of the parable using our hearts and our heads. We also turned to some eminent Bible scholars to help put us on the right track. The parable we discovered is actually all about Jesus and His ministry to the nation of Israel.
Dr. James MacDonald puts it this way…
“These two parables show that there will be two classes of righteous subjects in the Kingdom of Heaven.
“The treasure represents the godly remnant of believing Jews such as existed during Jesus earthly ministry and will exist again after the church is raptured. They are hidden in a field in that they are dispersed throughout the world and in a real sense unknown to any but God.”
“Jesus is pictured as discovering this treasure, then going to the cross and giving all that He had in order to buy the world where the treasure was hidden.” “Redeemed Israel will come out of hiding when her Deliverer comes out of Zion and sets up the long-awaited Messianic Kingdom.”
Source: Believers Commentary Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville Tennessee, ©1980 – 1990 William MacDonald pg.1258 I.
You may wonder why Jesus didn’t just say it like that. The thing is if Israel had recognized Jesus as the Messiah then and there countless millions of Gentiles might never have been saved.
Immediately after the parable about the hidden treasure and the field Jesus starts into another one but this time He introduces us to a merchant and a pearl of great price.
Again things in the parables are not what they seem. People and things can represent different things. For this reason we must avoid rushing to conclusions and let the scriptures speak for themselves. In the second parable we see a merchant. Who do you think the merchant represents in this parable?
Yes, the merchant is Jesus. Our Bible Study group began to catch on at this point as well. But what about the pearl of great price what could it possibly represent?
The pearl of great price represents the Church of Christ which includes all believers from Jesus day to now. Again in the parable we see that the merchant sold all he had to acquire the pearl of great price. Jesus is eluding once again to His own sacrifice for the souls of the redeemed.