Summary: A sermon that looks at Jesus’ parables about the kingdom of heaven - the buried treasure and the pearl of great price. Calls folk to rediscover it’s significance.
When I was a child a treasure was????
What was a treasure when you were a child?
For me it was a new packet of crayons and a colouring in book.
A toy gun or a metal tractor?
A tree hut.
These were all treasures.
When I was fourteen I was in the local milk bar when my Father’s wrecked car was towed into town covered with his blood..
Then I discovered with tears a greater treasure –
When I got older I got a brand new car from my company – I didn’t treasure it –
I didn’t look after it – and through recklessness I crashed it – I flipped it upside down and landed upside down on top of the local Ambulance drivers letter box.
It was then – when I lost it I treasured my car.
When the company I worked for bought me another brand new car – I treasured that.
A few short years later – the ambulance driver’s son was killed in a Motorcycle accident through no fault of his own. I was jolted – I realised that whilst my accident was my own fault – his was not – yet he had lost his life – all I had lost was my pride, my license and my car – all of which were soon restored.
So often we fail to treasure that which is really important that which is most valuable.
One of the chief causes for the failure of families is – as I understand it – neglect.
James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, had these words to share: “The issues before us are so very critical. I mean, it’s now or never. I really believe that the institution of the family is going to survive or fail in the next year – and probably this year. It is hanging on the ropes, literally. And so many people of faith, so many good people have sat around – sometimes myself included – for 35 years and let everything we care about erode away. And it’s time to say, ‘Enough is enough!”
One of the great problems we face is the problem of managing to accentuate what is important.
Neglecting the important for the temporary or trivial is a common human trait.
I read about two wealthy Christians, a professional and a merchant, who traveled with a group that was going around the world. As they were visiting in Korea, they saw by the side of the road, a field in which a boy was pulling a crude plow and an old man held the plow handles and guided it. The professional was amused and took a snapshot of the scene.
He turned to the missionary, who served as their interpreter and guide, and he said, "That’s a curious picture. I suppose they are very poor." The guide replied, "Yes, that is the family of Chi Noue. When the place of worship was being built, they were eager to give something to it, but they had no money, so they sold their only ox and gave the money to the church. This spring, they are pulling the plow themselves."
The men were silent for several moments, then the businessman replied, "That must have been a real sacrifice." The guide said, "They do not call it that. They thought it was fortunate that they had an ox to sell."
A lot depends on what you consider is important.
What do you treasure??
Let us look at a bible reading that explores this issue.
MT 13:44 "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.
MT 13:45 "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.
MT 13:47 "Once again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was let down into the lake and caught all kinds of fish. 48 When it was full, the fishermen pulled it up on the shore. Then they sat down and collected the good fish in baskets, but threw the bad away. 49 This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous 50 and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
MT 13:51 "Have you understood all these things?" Jesus asked.
"Yes," they replied.
MT 13:52 He said to them, "Therefore every teacher of the law who has been instructed about the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old."