Summary: How the parable of the hidden treasure and the parable of the pearl represent two different ways people come into a relationship with Jesus Christ.
Matthew 13 contains seven parables about the Kingdom of heaven. Today we’re going to examine the short twin parables of the treasure buried in the field and the valuable pearl. As we talk about the Kingdom of heaven, you must remember only thing necessary for a kingdom is a King—and Jesus is that King. When you enthrone Jesus in your heart as ruler and king, then you are part of the Kingdom of heaven.
The title of this message is “Sell Out and Buy Up!” The Bible has a lot to say about being good stewards with God’s money, and sometimes that involves making wise investment choices. Jesus told about 40 classic parables and 17 of them (43%) had to do with money and possessions. Do you know the name of the world’s first financier? His name was Noah. He was floating his stock while everyone else was in liquidation! Or do you know who was the first investor in the Bible? It was Pharaoh’s daughter. She went down to the bank of the Nile and drew out a little prophet—Moses.
What if I told you there was an investment you could make and your return would make you wealthy beyond your wildest dreams? Would you be interested? Of course, you’d probably be skeptical because we all know about Bernie Madoff and the other investment scammers out there with their “get-rich-quick schemes.” But what if I could convince you this investment would really pay off a thousand-fold? How much would you be willing to invest? Would you invest just a little, or would you sell out everything you have and buy up all of that investment you could?
If you have a computer, you’re familiar with Google. Google stock went public in August 2004. A friend told me about a man who was so convinced in the value of Google stock before the IPO, he liquidated all his assets, and even borrowed money to buy as many shares of Google stock as he could. He sold off his house, his cars, and all his personal possessions. He cleaned out his bank account and cashed in all his other investments to buy Google stock. He decided to sell out and buy up Google stock.
This man wasn’t poor, but he wasn’t rich. I don’t know how much cash he was able to raise, but let’s imagine from the sale of his house and his other assets he was able to scrape together $250,000. Google shares started selling for $85 a share and today they sell for about $500 a share. His quarter million investment would be worth about $1.5 million today. So some people would say he was smart to sell out and buy up.
Jesus is going to give us a hot tip on a life investment that is much better than Google, Apple, IBM, and Wal-Mart combined. There really IS an investment we can make that is worth selling out all we have and buying up all we can.
Matthew 13:44-46. Jesus said, “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. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.”
These two parables are similar because they both involved discovering something of great value. Jesus knew the human heart well enough to know it’s exciting for us to even think about finding a buried treasure or a precious pearl. That’s why people pan for gold today in the rivers of California. In East Texas, I think that’s why so many people go to garage sales. We’ve all heard the true story of the man in Pennsylvania who paid $4 for an old painting, only to discover inside the frame was the 25th copy of the original Declaration of Independence. It later sold for $8.1 million.
I read a definition of a garage sale the other day: “A garage sale is when people spend $20 on gas to drive their air conditioned cars around town for the privilege of standing in the hot sun and trying to get a $4 lamp for $3.25.” Now we have cyber-garage sales. You’ve heard it said, “One man’s junk is another man’s treasure.” Today, “one man’s junk is another man’s eBay sale!”
These are twin parables but they aren’t identical twins. In the parable of the hidden treasure, the finder wasn’t looking for treasure, he came upon it accidentally. But in the parable of the pearl, the merchant was diligently searching for just such a pearl. I believe these two parables represent two different ways people come into a relationship with Jesus Christ.