Summary: Jesus used the metaphors of treasure and a pearl to indicate the value of the Kingdom and lifestyle that He came to implement. If the Kingdom is everything that he said it was, we should not stop until we know what it is and how we can find it.
Opening Statement: Today, we all have our search. If you are a normal human being, you are engaged in some kind search or quest this morning. It may be a place, a person, a purchase, a dream, an experience, a position, an achievement, or your first million, but it is some kind of treasure that you believe will make life worth living.
Transition: Jesus used the metaphors of treasure and a pearl to indicate the value of the Kingdom and lifestyle that He came to implement. If the Kingdom is everything that he said it was, we should not stop until we know what it is and how we can find it.
Title: Discovering Jesus: The Treasure and the Pearl
Text: Matthew 13:44-46
Opening Statement: Have you ever wondered what it would be like to discover a hidden treasure? Many dream of buying that .50 cent picture at a garage sale, and discovering that behind the cheap poster inside was an original unpublished Norman Rockwell painting.
Background: Jesus is with his disciples (Matt.13:36) and he is explaining what it is like when a person finally discovers the Kingdom of Heaven, as it was presently being offered to them in Jesus. The point of these twin stories is one of discovering the immense value of the Kingdom. Discovering Jesus and the Kingdom lifestyle that He came to offer is the greatest discovery that people can make because of it’s value.
Question: The key question that we’ll have in front of us today is “Why would Jesus describe His Kingdom like this? What makes His Kingdom so valuable, so priceless?”
Recitation: Matthew 13:44 “The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure, hidden in a field, that a person found and hid. [Picture the plowman plowing the field as a common laborer. Feel the hot sun beating down, the sweat rolling off his brow, the weary and calloused hands gripping the plow handles. Then suddenly… thud! “Probably another rock that has to be pulled out and discarded,” he must have initially thought. He bent down to investigate. The name that comes to mind is Jed Clampet who was “shootin’ at some food and up from the ground came a bubbling crude…” Jed was just doin’ his Hillbilly job of rustling up some grub when he struck oil. This plowman was just doin’ his job, when the plow hit something odd. The earth was still hard, so he had to dig down and around this strange object. Finally, he broke through the hardened soil, to discover the top edge of a chest. The more he dug, the faster his heartbeat. Could it really be something of value? Banks weren’t common in those days. War and calamity often prompted people to quickly bury things of value in hopes of returning to retrieve them at a later, more opportune time. Of course, if the owner of some buried treasure were killed during a war, he would carry his secret to the grave with him. Could it be some lost, forgotten treasure that now this worker could rightfully claim? He managed to break the lid open and there he found jewels, gold coins, and precious stones in abundance. He quickly placed the lid back on the chest and reburied this treasure, hoping that no one had seen him. The style and condition of the treasure chest and perhaps the dates on some of the gold coins indicated that the present owner of this piece of property could not have put them there. He knew nothing of this treasure. It far outdated anything that he could have hidden. The plowman immediately knew what he would do.] Then because of joy he went and sold all that he had and bought that field. [He would liquidate all of his assets and use the cash to buy this property because of what the field contained.] 13:45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant searching for fine pearls. [He knew pearls. He had studied them for a lifetime. He bought and sold hundreds of these. These beautiful gems began their existence as a simple irritant, a piece of grit or sand buried deep in the mantle of an oyster, and then the miracle began. Slowly ever so slowly the oyster began to secrete the very substance that made up its shell. One layer was added to the grit, and then another and another until finally a lowly piece of sand had become one of the worlds most beautiful gems. Perhaps, he had traveled to the Red Sea, the Persian Gulf, and even to India in search of these pearls.] 13:46 When he found a pearl of great value, [And one day, he finally saw it, the finest pearl he had ever seen. He didn’t necessarily go looking for it, but he found it. It was perfect. Flawless. Beautiful. It was the mother of all Pearls.] he went out and sold everything he had and bought it. [He knew this would be the purchase of a lifetime. He calculated, evaluated, and finally concluded that selling everything in order to buy that one perfect pearl would be the right thing for him to do.]