Summary: An examination of the Kingdom of God.
WHAT’S IT WORTH TO YOU?
In Jesus’ ministry, He taught a great deal about the Kingdom of Heaven or the Kingdom of God. It was only natural, as He was teaching, for people to wonder how to become part of the Kingdom, how to get in on the Kingdom of God. In response to their unspoken questions, Jesus tells these two parables.
In the first parable, Jesus says the KOG is like a treasure hidden in a field …
- Many treasures hidden in the Middle East in those days. There was often raiding & changes in government. They had invasions & deportations. Also, very few people had access to banks & the banks they had were not the most secure in the world. They weren’t insured by the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation).
One writer (Trench) reports that men of wealth often divided their wealth into three parts: one for doing business, another part converted into precious stones with which to flee if necessary, and a third part to be buried in a safe place.
This man, found the treasure, went and sold all he had, & bought it.
In the second parable, a merchant was in the business of handling pearls. He was in the business of handling valuable things. He handled pearls from around the world. He didn’t sit idly by. He didn’t spend his time in front of the TV. He didn’t lie around the house waiting for a handout. He was busy. He was working. In the midst of his business, in handling valuable things day in and day out, he came across the most valuable pearl, the most valuable treasure he had ever seen.
Pearls were very valuable in those days. Most pearl bearing oysters were found at a depth of around 40 feet. * I swim a lot & have dove to the bottom of our lake in many places, but I don’t believe I could dive 40 feet without equipment. Some of the pearl divers in those days would tie themselves to a rock, throw it over the side of the boat, and ride it down. Once they got to the bottom, they still had to look around, find the oysters, pry them loose, and then get back to the top. Also, only a few of the oysters pulled up, would ever have a pearl in them. So, pearls could only be gotten at great risk to people’s lives.
This merchant, when he came across this great pearl, sold all he had and bought it.
Now, these parables are put together and shared by Jesus for a reason. They appear side-by-side in the Bible for a reason. Like all parables Jesus told, they are earthly stories with heavenly meanings, and this morning I would like us to look at a few of the items we can learn from these parables.
I. PEOPLE DISCOVER THE KINGDOM IN DIFFERENT WAYS
First, I would like you to notice that people discover the kingdom, or come into the kingdom in different ways.
Did you notice, the first person stumbles across the treasure he found? He wasn’t looking for it. He wasn’t searching. He wasn’t on a quest. He “found” it.
In the second parable, the merchant was busy looking for valuable pearls. He was searching for and working with valuable things when he discovered the treasure, or the “Pearl of great worth.”
The same is true for discovering the KOG. The same is true of discovering Jesus Christ. In the Bible we read of Nicodemus who came seeking the KOG, asking Jesus how he could be saved. He was looking for God. He was looking for salvation.
C.S. Lewis was like that. A modern example would be Lee Strobel. Lee Strobel was a reporter. His wife accepted Christ, and so he set out on a quest to determine if Christianity was real. He interviewed 13 leading evangelical leaders trying to check out Christianity. In the process he discovered Jesus Christ and was saved himself. He eventually wrote The Case for Christ which was a record of his quest and how he came to discover the truth of Christianity.
> Jeremiah 29:13 You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.
Others are more like the man who discovered the treasure in the field, even though he wasn’t looking for it.
Spurgeon was more like that. He was heading to church one day, when he stopped at a storefront church with about 15 people there. He went in to get out of the cold. The preacher wasn’t even there, so a layman got up and preached. The layman kept repeating the same scripture again and again because he really didn’t have much to say, but it was enough. Through the seeds sown that night, Spurgeon, who went on to be one of the greatest preachers who has ever served, was saved.