Sun, Aug 09, 2015
The Surpassing Value of Christ
Matthew 13:44-46 by Tim Vusik
Series: The Parables of the Kingdom

Having already compared the Kingdom of God to a man who sowed good seed (13:24-30), to the mustard seed (13:31-32) and the leaven (13:33), Jesus now likens the kingdom of God to the treasure (13:44) and to a merchant who seeks fine pearls (13:45-46). It was a common practice in the 1st century to bury one’s valuables in the ground since only the rich had access to some banks. Because the old times were very unsettling – constant invasion and wars, death and exile – the earth was full of these unclaimed treasures.

It is with this background in mind that Jesus presents the 5th parable – the hidden treasure. A certain man goes out into the field and stumbles upon a treasure! He wasn’t looking for it – it found him! Filled with great joy he goes and liquidates all that he has in order to buy this field – because whatever he found far exceeded the value of what he surrendered!

The 6th parable is very similar – we’re told about a businessman who deals with pearls. He’s on a quest to find fine pearls. Pearls were valuable commodity back in 1st century, similar to how we value diamonds today. To his amazement, he finds one pearl that startles him. He’s never seen a pearl of such beauty, such glow, and such value. Like the first man, he also sells everything to purchase this one pearl of great price.

With these 2 parables Jesus continues to communicate spiritual truths about His Kingdom. First and foremost, the blessings of the Kingdom, and primarily the Gospel, are compared to a treasure!  The hidden treasure expresses the value of our salvation – complete redemption, forgiveness, mercy, grace, love, peace and so much more are all in this treasure chest! Christ, the Sovereign of the Kingdom is the pearl of great price, Who outweighs and out values anyone and anything. 

The Gospel of God is so valuable that you must surrender everything to get a hold of one thing. Both of these men gladly parted with their stuff – something they considered of worth before they discovered these treasures. That’s the demand of the King – Deny yourself, take up your cross and follow me (Matthew 16:24-26). No one forced these men to sell off everything – they willingly and joyfully surrendered because they considered Christ as greater riches.

The way of the Kingdom is not superficially visible. The treasure does not lie on the surface of the ground; rather it is buried deed down in the ground. In the same way the pearl had to be searched for to be found. So it is with the kingdom of God and the way of salvation – natural men do not perceive it, nor do they put any effort to find it. They are blinded by Satan (2 Corinthians 4:4) to the glory of Christ and only when God awakens such sinners and leads them to discover the hidden treasures will they value and appreciate Christ!

The blessings of the Kingdom completely amaze their recipients. Oh how amazed, how thankful, how humble these men were when they discovered these treasures. When God in Christ regenerate us and transfers us to His Kingdom, how amazed are we to be with God’s grace!

God is sovereign over who enters and how they enter His Kingdom. One man stumbled upon the treasure, the other searched for it intently, but God directed each man’s way!

I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ
Philippians 3:8