Bible verses to build your life on

Jesus said: “… whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock…” ~ Matthew 7:24


Part 6


Parable of the Hidden Treasure

44Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.


Parable of the Pearl of Great Price

45Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, 46who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.


*                  After Jesus explains the ‘Parable of the Wheat and Tares’, Jesus then tells two of my favorite parables - two short word pictures, both communicating the same message.


*                  The first one – Jesus is comparing His Kingdom (the one He rules) to treasure hidden in a field… That may sound strange, but to understand it, we have to under the custom He’s referring to. Back in that day, the average citizen of Israel didn’t have secure banks to store their gold, silver, money, etc, in and they didn’t have tough mostly-secure places like safes and vaults, like our society does today. So, what they would do is this: They would take their most valuable earthly treasures, and they would take these and bury them in a specific spot on their land that only they knew about. Now of course, if that family died or was taken captive by a foreign army, etc. and they hadn’t told anyone where that stuff was, then it was pretty much just gone – it was lost family savings.

*                  So, Jesus describes His Kingdom as similar to a guy was apparently plowing or planting something or possibly burying something, etc., and then all of a sudden, he came across this very valuable stash of coins or precious metals, etc – likely the most valuable earthly treasures he has every seen. This man, of course he does what we expect, he hides it (re-buries it) and then goes and sells what little possessions he has to acquire this stash of earthly valuables. By Jesus comparing His Kingdom to this man who gave up everything he had to obtain this earthly treasure, Jesus is communicating the worth of the gospel and how those who understand the value of having Jesus as their Savior and Leader GLADLY leave behind everything to follow Him because they know that He is worth more than any temporary thing and pleasure on this Earth! Jim Elliot said it this way: ‘He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep, to gain what he cannot lose.’ That is exactly the point Jesus is expressing. The question then is for us: Do we value Jesus and our relationship with Him as: A) more valuable, B) similar value to, (or) C) less value than a thing or pleasure or person here on Earth? Our answer will show in our actions. Jesus said that our treasure shows where our heart already is: 19Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 20but lay up for yourselves treasures in Heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.


Parable of the Pearl of Great Price

45Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, 46who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.


*                  The second parable – this time Jesus uses the example of a merchant of fine pearls. Merchants weren’t known for setting up shop in the same town everyday, they were known to travel around, quite often in caravans (caravans of slow camels of course! Wow, that sounds like so much fun – doesn’t it? J) Now, Jesus didn’t just pick any type of merchant, but He was very specific. He specifically chose a merchant of not just pearls, but a merchant of beautiful pearls - fine pearls. This merchant obviously knew what he was doing. Back in Jesus’ day, pearls were rare [there were very few of them available] compared to our day, and they were extremely expensive, so this guy was probably one of the riches salesmen back then. This man very likely saw and possibly owned some of the finest earthly things in life back then. But then, there’s the switch: this merchant one day comes across the most valuable pearl he has ever seen (and he’s likely seen a lot of them: good, bad, and counterfeits), and he considers this one pearl to be of such value that he sells everything he has and buys this one pearl. We need to remember this man likely has a lot of nice things, but when he finds this one extremely valuable pearl, he is willing to sell everything he has to buy it. Jesus did not tell us how big the pearl was or why this merchant bought it (unimportant details), but Jesus did tell us that he considered it to be of greater value than all the things he possessed.

*                  Again, Jesus is driving home the same idea: How valuable is He to us? Is He the most AMAZING treasure we have ever found? Is He so valuable that we are even willing to throw away everything else (if He asks us to) to have the amazing opportunity to come follow Him? Do we really recognize how we will only be able to enjoy the temporary earthly treasures we currently possess for less than 120 years, but that if we accept the gracious offer of salvation (accepting Jesus as our Savior and Leader) and value that more than anyone or anything else, that we are obtaining something of greater value than we can ever imagine? It begs us to ask ourselves, how much value do we put on securing a place in Heaven? Since we there aren’t any ‘U-haul’ moving trailers behind hearses, we do need to think about this! Jesus Himself warned a number of times, of many who will one day say: “Master [Leader]” and will hear Jesus say: “Depart from Me… I never knew you.” What a terrifying thought… Knowing the right words, will not save us or anyone else. Instead we must put those right words into action and be asking Jesus to teach us how to follow Him, how to obey Him better. So, the question is: are we willing to give up all to follow Him?