The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure that a man discovered hidden in a field. In his excitement, he hid it again and sold everything he owned to get enough money to buy the field. Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant on the lookout for choice pearls. When he discovered a pearl of great value, he sold everything he owned and bought it! Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a fishing net that was thrown into the water and caught fish of every kind. When the net was full, they dragged it up onto the shore, sat down, and sorted the good fish into crates, but threw the bad ones away. That is the way it will be at the end of the world. The angels will come and separate the wicked people from the righteous, throwing the wicked into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Do you understand all these things?” “Yes,” they said, “we do.” Then he added, “Every teacher of religious law who becomes a disciple in the Kingdom of Heaven is like a homeowner who brings from his storeroom new gems of truth as well as old.” When Jesus had finished telling these stories and illustrations, he left that part of the country. He returned to Nazareth, his hometown. When he taught there in the synagogue, everyone was amazed and said, “Where does he get this wisdom and the power to do miracles?” Then they scoffed, “He’s just the carpenter’s son, and we know Mary, his mother, and his brothers—James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas. All his sisters live right here among us. Where did he learn all these things?” And they were deeply offended and refused to believe in him. Then Jesus told them, “A prophet is honored everywhere except in his own hometown and among his own family.” And so he did only a few miracles there because of their unbelief.
The Kingdom of Heaven is a spiritual reality that changes HOW I SEE EVERYTHING.
Overall Commentary: 🌎
Jesus is still talking with His disciples about the Kingdom of God. He's using parables to describe the rich complexities of Kingdom life and how to see the spiritual world for how it truly is. To be clear, the Kingdom is beyond our complete understanding. However, Jesus is interested in relationships. Therefore, He brings us along at a rate we can handle. As we go and as we grow, He continually opens our eyes to more and more of His goodness.
Jesus desires us to see His Kingdom through the LENS OF RELATIONSHIP.
The Parable of the Hidden Treasure...
- Is this stealing?- During that time, banks as we know it did not exist. It was common to take your most valuable possessions and bury them in a 'strong box' under your house. Taking that would be considered stealing. However, according to the law at the time, if something valuable was found and no name was attached to it, you could claim it. However, if it was found on someone else's land, it belonged to them. This parable presupposes the landowner does not realize what is on their land or does not care. A regular common laborer discovers something priceless and sells all they have to purchase the rights to this land.
- The Price of the Kingdom- This parable does not imply we can purchase our way into the Kingdom. The focus of the parable is on the high value of what is found.
- Stumbled Into It- Jesus emphasizes that the random person stumbled upon this valuable treasure. They didn't know what was happening, and one day, everything changed. Many have stated that is what their relationship with God was like. They encountered God and everything changed.
The Parable of the Pearl of Great Price...
- Who Is Who?- There is a common misconception that the Kingdom of God in this parable is the Pearl. However, if you read the parable carefully, you will discover the Kingdom of Heaven is the merchant. Because of this oversight, many of concluded this parable is exactly like the one before it. However, if you see the Kingdom of Heaven as the merchant, we can see this parable illustrating what Jesus has done for all of us. The parable says the merchant was on the search and actively seeking His priceless treasure. When He found it, He was willing to give everything to win it. This sounds just like the parable Jesus tells later about searching for the lost sheep. The first parable shows how we are searching for something, though we don't know what it is. When we find Jesus, our heart is consumed with Him. On the other side, God is seeking to restore us. He was willing to give everything, even Himself, to reconcile us back to Himself.
The Parable of the Dragnet...
- Why Does He Say The Same Thing Again?- At first glance, it seems as though Jesus is telling another version of the same parable that we covered last week.... the parable of the weeds and wheat. However, the focus is different this time. In this parable, the focus is not on good and evil growing together. The focus is on gathering all and allowing God to separate them.
- Why seperate?- In the Sea of Galilee, there were 20 different types of sea life that were inedible or unclean for the local population. Therefore, it would take wise fishermen to divide the catch. This is left up to the Lord and His angels. Our job is to cast the net.
Do You Get It Now?
- Jesus asks a humorous question. After these parables, He asks if they finally get what He is trying to convey. The quick "yes" reminds me of the many times a teacher has asked me a loaded question. The "yes" almost sounds like, "Yes, I get it. Just don't ask me to explain it." Jesus says that we begin to understand the Kingdom, it will change how we see everything else, and we will begin to connect dots we never imagined before.
- Interesting observations about His family- There are several interesting facts we can glean from the ending of this chapter. First, we find that Joseph and Mary were blessed with several children after Mary gave birth to Jesus. Second, the fact Joseph is not mentioned likely means he is dead. This would have made Jesus, as the oldest son, the family's leader. We also see the names of two brothers who would eventually follow Jesus and write two books of the Bible. The first is James. He would later become a leader in the early church and possibly the church pastor in Jerusalem. The second is Judas. The Roman way to say his name is Jude.
- Familiarity Breeds Contempt- Be cautious. The town of Nazareth was offended because they had become too familiar with Jesus. They could not receive Him as King because they saw nothing special. We must be careful to walk the line between understanding God wants to be seen as our Heavenly Father but He is still the King.
Top Takeaway- God is interested in Sons and Daughters.
Over my time as a Christ follower, I have watched people who acted as though their relationship with God was a servitude. They acted as though they were slaves in His Kingdom. I have also seen the other end of the spectrum and watched people act like entitled brats. Jesus is looking for Sons and Daughters who know we are all made for Him and His good pleasure. He doesn't want slaves, or He would have made them. He wants a relationship with His creation. Instead of feeling entitled, this should fill us with endless joy.