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Summary: What, then, do the parables teach? Church fathers such as Irenaeus and Augustine identified the treasure and the Pearl with Christ. The recent convert to Christianity says exactly the same thing: "I found Christ." Yes, it seems like we did find Christ.

In his series of seven parables in Chapter 13, Matthew is quite elaborate ....... on the first two, providing an interpretation for each.

The other five are shorter and more pointed in content.

The parables of the hidden treasure and of the pearl consists of two sentences each.

And in the first sentence of each parable is the familiar introductory phrase, "The kingdom of heaven is like..."

The main point of the parable, of course, is found in the second sentence.

These parables occur only in Matthew's Gospel and form a pair.

Whether Jesus taught the two parables in sequence or whether Matthew topically placed them together is unknown ..... the fact remains that the two belong together.

Strictly speaking, ..... the introductory sentences of the two parables are not quite balanced

In the one the kingdom of heaven is like a treasure, and in the other the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant.

We should not, however, approach the two parables with an analytic Western mind.

Instead, ..... we should try to grasp the basic meaning of the parables as understood by the disciples who first heard them. (Pause)

Now, Jesus told the parable of a man who found a treasure hidden in a field.

BIBLE "The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, someone found and hid; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field." END ( Matthew 13:44 ). (Pause).

Children often fantasize that in some field or old building or barn they will discover a treasure that has escaped everyone's attention.

In our sophisticated society, many would call this unrealistic; we think ..... such things do not happen anymore.

Yet from time to time discoveries are made: ..... a Shepherd boy near the Dead Sea found scrolls that were 2000 years old.

A diver off the Florida coast located a sunken 17th-century Spanish vessel ..... filled with silver and gold;

And a farmer plowing his field in Suffolk, England struck a container that held beautiful silver dishes dating from the Roman times.

In This Parable A treasure has been hidden in a field.

Who put it there .....and how long ago .....are questions that cannot be answered. (Pause)

But what we do know is ancient Palestine, was a country frequently ravaged by war.

People often hid their treasure or part of it in a field rather than in the house.

In a house, thieves .....would be able to find it; in a field, .....the treasure would be much safer.

But if the owner was killed during a war, he would carry his secret with him .....to the grave.

Thus no one would ever know where he had hidden the treasure. (Pause)

In Matthew 25 , Jesus told a story about a master who gave some talents to his servants.

A talent was a measure of money.

The first servant was given five talents, and the second was given two talents.

These two servants ..... invested those amounts and multiplied their master's money.

But the third servant was worried.

He did not want anything to happen to the money.

He wanted to keep it safe, ..... so what did he do?

He buried it in the ground. (Pause)

Over the years, the ground of Palestine became a veritable treasure house.

The man in this parable who found such a treasure may have been a hired hand or renter.

He may have been plowing the field, digging a ditch, or planting a tree.

Whatever the case, ..... he hit something that was hard and did not sound like a rock.

He dug it out and found a treasure.

We are not told what the treasure was, but the man was filled with joy at finding such a treasure.

In those days, it was not uncommon at all for a person who was plowing or digging in a field to accidentally come across a treasure. (Pause)

So, Jesus' parable ..... described a very feasible situation. (Pause)

Now, there is a concern that some people have with this parable.

At first glance, the man in the parable seems to be dishonest.

Some might say that Honest behavior would demand that this man tell the owner of the field about the treasure, ..... since it was on his property and rightfully belonged to him.

Right?

Well Not necessarily.

Jewish rabbinic law states ...... "If a man finds scattered fruit or money, it belongs to the finder."

So the people listening to the parable would not have perceived the man's actions at all as unethical.

In fact, the man had a right by law to what he found.

It is obvious that the treasure did not belong to the man who owned the field.

If it did, then he would have dug up the treasure before he sold the piece of ground.

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Tommy Murr

commented on Jun 22, 2012

This message makes a strong statement of life: search for the "treasurer". While in fact, Jesus is looking for us, but if we are not searching for Him we will miss the pearl of life. tom

Tommy Murr

commented on Jun 22, 2012

This message makes a strong statement of life: search for the "treasurer". While in fact, Jesus is looking for us, but if we are not searching for Him we will miss the pearl of life. tom

J Jeffrey Smead

commented on Jun 22, 2012

Thank-you for taking the time to comment. Blessings Jeff

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