Apr. 26, 2020
Scripture Reading: Matthew 6:9-24, 33
Background: We are studying through Jesus' common way of explaining theology, that is, the study of God. Using common knowledge to unveil heavenward thinking. Since the beginning of Chapter 13, we have talked about the different types of soil, which is the condition of the hearts of the hearers of the Gospel. He has revealed the plans of the enemy to "uproot" what is planted by the Sower, Jesus Christ, and to thwart or stall the plans of God. The parable of the leaven has shown us that the complete work of God, though from humble beginnings will complete and fully accomplish His will. Warned to watch out for "birds" who desire to come and pluck up seed fallen by the wayside, we are to root ourselves in the good soil, bear fruit, and prove that we are Disciples of Christ. We are to be the kingdom of God, represented on earth by the Church, universal, not just NHBC, but all the blood bought ransomed of Christ. This next parable is going to reveal to us the value of the kingdom eternal as we endure the earthly challenges, as we grow up among the tares, as the birds make the nest; We endure all the things by keeping a heavenward gaze into the beauty of the presence of God.
Read/Pray: Matthew 13:44-52
1. The kingdom of heaven is the greatest treasure imaginable.
a. The man who finds it sells all that he has.
i. All of his other "things" are worthless.
1. Ecc. 2:1-11 "I made great works. I built houses...gardens...pools...had male and female slaves (servants)...great herds and flocks, more than anyone else...silver and gold and the treasures of kings...concubines...I became greater than all who were before me...whatever my eyes desired I had...behold, it was vanity and striving after the wind."
a. Solomon; a great king, but an empty soul.
ii. Note this peasant that has stumbled across the kingdom of heaven. He has found the greatest treasure.
b. This is not sacrificial, but joyful. "In his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys the field."
i. A beggar becomes a millionaire.
ii. Romans 8:17 "...and if children, the heirs - heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ..."
2. The kingdom of heaven has the greatest value.
a. Here we have a merchant of pearls.
i. His job was hunting after a fortune. He did not stumble across it like our first man who happened to find the treasure. He was a professional.
b. I think of Paul.
i. Philippians 3:4-8
1. "Though I myself have reason for confidence, I the flesh also, If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more. Circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; as to zeal. a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless. But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.
ii. Paul was in pursuit of the pearl.
1. He had settled for the lesser pearls, not really a pearl at all.
2. He found the greatest pearl, the hope of man. Jesus Christ.
3. The kingdom draws a big net.
1. The attraction of great treasure and big pearls.
2. Rags to riches; blessings.
b. Jesus warns in Luke 13:24, "Strive to enter the narrow door. For many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able."
c. Matthew 7:21, "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord' will enter the kingdom of Heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophecy in your name, and cast out demons in your name? And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.'"
i. They have served out of prideful desires. Selfishness. Notoriety.
1. Acts 8: Simon the magician.
a. Thought the power of the Spirit could be bought.
2. Acts 19:11-20; The sons of Sceva.
a. "Jesus, I know, and Paul I recognize, but who are you?"
ii. Matthew 7:15; Jesus - "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves."
iii. Galatians 1:6-9; Paul - "I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel - not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from Heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one received, let him be accursed."
d. Most of Paul's epistles included warnings against false teachers and teachings.
e. This parable is aligned with the tares among the wheat, reminding us that there will be a sorting at the time of harvest.
f. We must follow, like the one who found the treasure hidden in the field, and the one who found the greatest pearl.
i. Luke 9:23, "If anyone should come after me, he must first deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me."
ii. Ephesians 4:22-24, "Put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
iii. 2 Corinthians 5:17, "If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come."
Jesus concludes this time of teaching through parables with a challenge to his disciples to teach the gospel of reconciliation. The old and the new. Every scribe who is trained for the kingdom of heaven brings out of his treasure the new and the old. A message once considered for the Jews only now revealed to all, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the great treasure now found, is available for all. He is the Old Testament fulfilled and the new covenant revealed.
He is worthy.
Why are people sitting in parking lots across America behind empty buildings?
Why are people in homes tuned in to watch clunky videos of the men of God doing all they can to proclaim this Gospel truth?
Why are men, women, and children in dimly lit basements and secret rooms huddled together in prayer and study of what few Scriptures they have?
Because HE IS WORTHY!!
I ask you, have you found Him today? Isaiah 55:1-7, "Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy, and eat! Come buy wine and milk without money and without price...Incline your ear, and come to me; hear that your soul may live, and I will make with you an everlasting covenant, my steadfast, sure love for David...Seek the LORD while he may be found; and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, that He may have compassion on him, and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon." As Paul said in 2 Corinthians 6:2, "Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation."