Summary: Once we learn what the Treasure is, what do we do with it?
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
Have you ever really wanted something?
I mean really longed for it? Desired, needed, craved, hungered for something so bad that it hurt?
I know that I do that with some food. I’ll start thinking about something around midday. During the course of the afternoon, I’ll be working, but every once in a while the thought will come back into my head. At first it’s not too bad, but by about 3:00 I may be staring at my computer screen, and instead of seeing the words I just typed,
I’ll see a picture of a huge Porterhouse steak … or guacamole dip with chips … or a large dish or butter pecan ice cream.
By 5:00 I can smell it. I lick my lips in anticipation. I drive home with my thoughts on whatever that delectable food may be. And then I get home, run into the kitchen and fix a baloney sandwich.
Sometimes, on a good day, I can pretend it’s a Porterhouse, but never butter pecan ice cream.
There are different addictions and yearnings in this world. Different people seem to crave different things. For some it’s drugs. For others money. For some it’s power over others.
For some it’s physical addictions. Bigger muscles, tighter abs. For some it’s just plain lust.
Our OT lesson for this morning opens with Solomon, the King of Israel, having had a dream.
It’s probably no different than a dream that a lot of us have had. Only in ours, it wasn’t God that was talking to us, but perhaps a genie in a bottle that washed up on the shore of a pristine beach.
The genie always tells us to make three wishes and most people, if the jokes are any indication, wish for money, some kind of power, and to live forever.
In Solomon’s dream, God says just about the same thing to him: “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.”
Now, think about this man Solomon. His father was King David, but he hadn’t ascended to the throne without some controversy. His brother, Adonijah, had tried to take the throne against the will of David.
And there were other ticklish problems that confronted King Solomon from almost the moment that he was placed into the position of authority.
There were peace treaties to be made and Temples to be built.
But probably the thing that weighed heaviest on the mind and on the heart of Solomon was the responsibility of ruling over the chosen people of God.
He had wealth. He had power. He had numerous wives and concubines. He also had a promise from God that the line of David would continue forever.
So when God asked him what he desired, Solomon first, thanked Him for what he already had and then asked God for something that was pleasing to the Lord. He asked for Wisdom. He asked for a discerning heart.
Solomon knew that people were going to come to him for answers to all sorts of problems and questions. He knew that God looked favorably on these people. God had rescued them from Egypt. He had guided them as a pillar of fire and a pillar of cloud through the Sinai desert and established them in the Promised Land.
God had led them by appointing judges and then anointing kings to guide the lives of His people. And now, that awesome responsibility rested on the back of Solomon.
So Solomon asked for and God granted him a wise and discerning heart.
That discerning heart and mind given to Solomon is also given to us. We too, have been given a gift.
We may not be as wise as Solomon in the ways of the world. We may not have the same opportunities as Solomon to establish an empire, expand a kingdom, to build a Temple of gold and ivory.
We may not live as kings.
But, we have been given a gift. A gift given by God through the power of the Holy Spirit.
In our Gospel lesson for this morning, Jesus tells his disciples some parables.
Now, were going to talk a little about those parables in a minute, but I want to skip down to the 51st verse of today’s lesson. It reads: "Have you understood all these things?" Jesus asked.
The disciples answer with a decisive, “YES!”
The one thing that we know about the disciples is that they didn’t get it. Not yet anyway.
They were still thinking of Jesus along the lines of a “King David” type of Messiah. They didn’t “get it” until they received the gift of the Holy Spirit.
We’ve got it. Through the miracle of Holy Baptism and the hearing of God’s Word, we have received the discerning mind of a King Solomon.