Friday, November 30, 2018

The Parable of the Hidden Treasure and the Pearl

An in depth study of the parables of the Hidden Treasure and the parable of the pearl.

Matthew 13:10-12;16
10 And the disciples came and said to Him, "Why do You speak to them in parables?"
11 Jesus answered them, "To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted.
12 "For whoever has, to him more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him.
16“But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear.
  • Parables of Matthew 13
  • The Parables of the Hidden Treasure and the Pearl
  • The Kingdom is the Treasure / Pearl
  • We Are the Treasure / Pearl
  • Conclusion
  • Matthew 13:10-12;16
  • Matthew 13:44-46
  • Matthew 13:11
  • Philippians 3:7-9
  • Matthew 10:39
  • John 15:16
  • 1 Peter 2:9-10
  • Luke 19:9-10
  • Colossians 3:3
  • Romans 6:23
  • John 3:16-17

Parables of Matthew 13

We discovered that the first four parables of Matthew 13 are warning us of opposition that will come against the Kingdom.  
We have looked at 4 parables about the Kingdom of God in Matthew 13
  • Parable of the Sower/Soils
  • Parable of the Wheat and Weeds
  • Parable of the Leaven
  • Parable of the Mustard Seed

Parable of the Sower/Soils

In the Parable of the Sower, Jesus tells us about 4 types of soil:
  • The Path
  • Rocky Soil
  • The Thorns
  • Good Soil
Only one of these 4 soils is good  
  • Only one of these soils produces fruit  
  • In the other 3 soils the word of God is impeded and they produce no benefit to the Kingdom  
Jesus said that this parable is the key to understanding all of the parables.
We learn in this parable that:
  • The Kingdom can be missed
  • The enemy can prevent the seed of the Kingdom from staying in someone’s heart
  • The Kingdom can be obtained and then lost
  • Worrying about your earthly situation can cause you to lose the Kingdom
  • Chasing after worldly success can cause you to lose the Kingdom
  • The fruit of the Kingdom grows at different rates in different people

Parable of the Wheat and the Weeds

We learn from this parable:
  • Jesus has planted Children of the Kingdom in the world
  • Satan introduced evil into the world in opposition to the Kingdom
  • Jesus will remove wicked people from the Kingdom at the end of the age
  • Those include: false prophets, church leaders who mislead the flock, and those whose lawless deeds have not been forgiven

Parable of the Leaven

The parable speaks of a woman mixing leaven into a large batch of meal until it permeates through the entire batch.
Leaven is used in the Old and New Testament to represent:
  • Sin
  • Wrong teaching
  • Hypocrisy
  • Pride
  • Malice
  • False doctrine
No where in the Bible is leaven used to represent something good
We learned that these things will get introduced into the Kingdom (or church)

Parable of the Mustard Seed

This parable compares the Kingdom of God to a mustard seed that grows into a tree and then birds come and rest upon its branches.
This parable tells us that the Kingdom will start small.  It won’t begin by a huge uprising and an overthrow of the Roman government like the Jews were expecting.  But the Kingdom will eventually grow large.
There are multiple other biblical references that use the analogy of birds nesting in a tree.  
  • The trees always represent a nation or Kingdom
  • The birds nesting in the trees always represent foreign nations or kingdoms
Jesus is telling us that another Kingdom will come and nest in the Kingdom of God
  • That Kingdom is the Kingdom of the World
  • The Kingdom of God will become influenced by the world


All of these parables show an example of something that started out good but then got corrupted in an unexpected way.  Jesus warns us that there will be opposition mixed into the Kingdom.
Some worldly practices that we discussed that have been mixed into the church include traditions with pagan origins that got mixed in during Constantine’s time:
  • The origins and dates of Easter and Christmas (4th century AD)
  • Saturnalia and Ishtar
  • Christmas trees, yule logs, Easter bunnies and Easter eggs
  • The worship of saints and Mary
There are New Age practices currently being mixed into the church:
  • The Holy Spirit is a force (versus being a “person”)
  • Faith is a force that can get you whatever you want
  • Kundalini Awakening
  • Strong feelings of love/euphoria
  • Shaking, jerking, convulsing
  • Psychic / prophetic visions
  • Use of repetitive mantras
  • Profound transformations of spirituality
  • Long emotional upheavals
  • Trance like state
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Vegetarianism
  • Psychic readings (disguised as prophecy)
  • Astral Projection
  • Visualization
These are all examples of leaven that has crept into the church

The Parables of the Hidden Treasure and the Pearl

Matthew 13:44-46
44 "The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid again; and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
45 "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls,
46 and upon finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.
Between the Parable of the Hidden Treasure and the Parable of the Pearl, we can notice this distinction: The Treasure is made up of units of precious things, such as coins and gems of various kinds, although they are collectively one treasure. The Pearl, however, is a single object. These two illustrations—both of which conclude at the same place, the completion of the purchase—represent different aspects of the same truths: the costliness of the Treasure or Pearl, and the joy of the Purchaser.


These parables were spoken to the disciples in private
  • There was not as much of a need to keep the meaning hidden
It is clear that both of these parables are enforcing the same point
One person finds the treasure by accident; the other finds what he was seeking
  • Both recognize its value and give up everything else
There are two interpretations:
  1. The value of the Kingdom surpasses the sum total of all of our worldly possessions
  2. God valued us (the church) so much that He gave His life to save us
Some would relate this to the predestination debate...did we find Christ or did Christ find us.

Jewish Customs

Parable of the Hidden Treasure

This parable  is also found in the Gospel of Thomas
Because of the tension with the Roman take over people would bury their treasures in the fields or in graveyards.  It was the custom that if you found the treasure in a field you could buy the field. We don’t know how big the treasure was or how long it had been buried. It was not considered sleazy or immoral for someone to find a treasure in a field and to purchase it. It was considered clever.
The setting here presupposes that someone has buried a treasure and later died. The current owner of the field is unaware of its existence. The finder, perhaps a farm labourer, is entitled to it, but is unable to conveniently extract it unless he buys the field. For a peasant, such a discovery of treasure represented the "ultimate dream."
--Craig S. Keener, A Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew, Eerdmans, 1999

Parable of the Pearl

At that time a pearl was considered the most valuable substance. Therefore saying that something was a pearl was to say that it was of high value.

The Kingdom is The Treasure/Pearl

A believer who understands the priceless treasures of God’s Kingdom will gladly forfeit things of the world to receive an inheritance from God that is incorruptible and eternal.

The Kingdom is Hidden to Some

Matthew 13:11
11 Jesus answered them, "To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted.
  • This is not talking about worldly possessions
It is not obvious to everyone

The Kingdom is of Great Value

Why would he sell all that he has for this treasure?
  • He concluded this treasure was more valuable than all that he currently had.
Philippians 3:7-9
7 But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ.
8 More than that, 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,
9 and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith,
Story: people flocking to California for Gold
Both parables are telling us that when we give all of ourselves to Jesus we discover the incomparable wealth of the kingdom of heaven
In each of the parables each man sold all that he had.
  • You need to sell all of your self to get all of Christ.

What You Gain

The joy of finding the kingdom is the treasure.  Finding the kingdom should fill us with great joy.
Example: People enjoy finding treasures so much that watch tv shows where other people find treasures.
  • Fixer-upper
  • Pawnshop
  • Pimp My Ride
  • Storage Unit Wars
There is great joy in finding something unexpected
What we gain is of greater value.
He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose
—Jim Elliott

What We Give Up

Ultimately this is a parable about the cost of discipleship.
The parable is telling us that we don’t just choose discipleship to the kingdom because it has inherent value we choose it because there is a joy to it. What you give up cannot even compare to what you give.
We tend to think of the kingdom as an add-on but in actuality it is all or nothing.
  • Or at least it should be.
God’s kingdom is personified in Jesus Christ
  • Our entry into the kingdom is dependent upon our surrender to the Lordship of Jesus
  • It’s about surrendering to God’s will.
Example: when I told my boss that I had to get another job

Why Aren’t You Experiencing the Kingdom?

  • Why do some people seem to be so much further along in their walk with Christ?  
  • Why is it this some people seem to experience Jesus in ways that others do not?
  • Could it be that they have come to a place where they view him and their friendship with him is the most important thing in their lives?
  • Why do some people seem to experience God’s joy and others don’t?
Matthew 10:39 says: “He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it.
Are you willing to lose that which you cannot keep to gain there which you cannot lose?
Doe this impact how you experience the Kingdom while here on earth?
What we learn:
  • The Kingdom is not obvious to everyone
  • It’s worth giving up that you have

We Are the Treasure / Pearl

We didn’t find Jesus; He found us.
John 15:16
 16“You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you.
Jesus Christ our Savior found us, a special treasure in the world, and gave His all to call us out of the world and redeem us. He now owns us.

We are the Treasure

1 Peter 2:9-10
9 But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10 for you once were NOT A PEOPLE, but now you are THE PEOPLE OF GOD; you had NOT RECEIVED MERCY, but now you have RECEIVED MERCY.
The field is the world in the parable of the wheat and weeds
The treasure is a symbol of the members of the church. ‘

We are the Pearl

Jesus found us
Unlike other gems, pearls are produced by a living organism, an oyster, as the result of an injury. It usually begins forming around a grain of sand or an egg of some parasite that invaded the oyster. The oyster protects itself by layering the irritant with nacre (mother-of-pearl) until, out of pain and suffering, it forms an object of great beauty.
Luke 19:9-10
 9And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he, too, is a son of Abraham. 10“For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
The merchant is seriously and deliberately searching the world to secure the best and costliest gems. It is his livelihood, and he is diligent to travel extensively because he knows his efforts will be rewarded when he finds the best and purchases them.
  • Since Christ is the One who seeks the sinner, the merchant cannot represent the members of God's church.
  • The Shepherd seeks the sheep, not vice versa.

Jesus Found Us and Then Hid Us

Colossians 3:3
3For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
Jesus found us and saved us, but then He put us back into the world
  • Instead of glorifying us immediately, He hides us after we are called by physically sending us back into the world.
  • The world camouflages us because we still physically look like the world, but being regenerated members of God's church, we are radically different spiritually.
  • We are set apart or sanctified by God's truth, and the world does not readily notice that we have His truth in our hearts and minds.
  • No longer are we hidden in the world because we conform to it, but for the opposite reason.
  • We are hidden in the world with Christ, and the world recognizes neither Him nor us

We Could Not Have Purchased the Treasure/Pearl

We can’t earn salvation.  It comes from grace.
Romans 6:23
23For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
  • This needs to be understood through the doctrine of grace
  • We cannot do anything to purchase the Kingdom
The doctrine of God's grace is essential in understanding this parable. The merchant is willing to buy the pearl at an exorbitant cost. No one can buy salvation or the Kingdom of God or eternal life for himself. Grace would not be grace if one were able to barter with God.
We do not choose Christ but He selects us (John 15:16Luke 19:10). Since He is the merchant, the price paid was His life, and the church is the pearl. The church is one body (Ephesians 4:4), composed of those He has sought out through the ages to be a habitation of Christ by His Spirit and who will be His bride at His return.

What Jesus Gave Up

John 3:16-17
16“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 “For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.
Jesus gave the ultimate sacrifice for us
  • His own blood
  • His life

What Jesus Gained

He was looking for pearls but in the end He sold all He had and only got a single pearl
  • That pearl is you
  • He would have sacrificed His life just for you


It is not with perishable things such as Silver Oak goes that you were redeemed
The argument of Jesus finding us is based on the truth that salvation is a free gift.  But this position erroneously equates obtaining salvation with obtaining The Kingdom of God.  
While it is true that our efforts play no part in our salvation, they do indeed play a role in whether we experience the Kingdom of God while we’re here on earth.  The Kingdom is more than something we get after we die.  The Kingdom is also about the type of life we live while here on earth.  
The parable does not speak of us giving up everything in order to gain salvation.  Finding the Kingdom is not merely finding eternal life.  The Kingdom of God means “the reign of God”.  God’s Kingdom  will be fully realized at the end of the age, but Jesus is also explaining about the ability to experience the Kingdom now.  It is about living under the reign of God while being here on earth.
Jesus told us that the Parable of the Soils was the key to understanding the other parables.  
This parable teaches us that the Kingdom can be lost because of our actions and decisions.  The parable teaches that access to the Kingdom was lost due to:
  • Satan
  • Not understanding the word
  • The desires of the world
  • Deceitfulness of riches
  • Desires of other things
Yes the gospel of grace teaches that your salvation has nothing to do with your works.  But we cannot deny the fact that in Jesus’ teaching of the Gospel of the Kingdom He repeatedly speaks about your thoughts, your actions and your behavior.
Being saved is not determined by our actions. Staying saved is not determined by our actions. The fact that the man in the parable sold everything was not to gain his salvation. It was to gain the kingdom. The kingdom is not synonymous with salvation or eternal life. You can have eternal life or salvation but still not live under the reign of God. You can be saved and live for yourself.  To live under the reign of God is to value God‘s laws and his will over your own pleasure and desires. To live under the reign of God means to value God‘s kingdom more than the kingdom of the world.
In both parables the finder was filled with great joy. He gave up everything happily not because it was a requirement. Neither of these people felt a burden to get rid of all their possessions.  They did it gladly.  They understood the value of the treasure and were willing to sacrifice everything for it.
Do you obey out of joy or out of obligation? The lesson of the parable is a picture of where we want to be in life.  Our life goal should be to be so enamored by the Kingdom of God that everything else in our life  no longer has meaning.  All of our previous desires and goals pale in comparison to what the Kingdom has to offer.
This is the picture painted by the parable.  This is the state of mind you should pray for.

Instructor: Michael Leadon


The kingdom routes with Scott McKnight
  • The parable of the treasurers and the parable of the pearl
Parable of the Pearl (Church of the Great God)
Parable of the Hidden Treasure (Church of the Great God)
Kundalini - The False Holy Spirit in Churches


Possession vs Ownership

Possession is not the same thing as ownership
Think of your car title
If you find precious stones in your yard now the government has put clauses in to realty contracts that say that they own those precious substances
This man wanted to own the treasurer not just to possess it
When it comes to housing you can tell the difference between an owner and a renter

We Are the Treasure / Pearl

Exodus 19:5
5 ‘Now then, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine; 6 and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words that you shall speak to the sons of Israel.”
  • Israel is a type of the New Testament church
John 6:44
44“No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.
John 17:11
11“I am no longer in the world; and yet they themselves are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep them in Your name, the name which You have given Me, that they may be one even as We are.

What Jesus Gained

Hebrews 12:1-3
1Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
      3For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Which is Correct?

The merchant travelled the world searching for pearls.  He sold all that he had because he found a single pearl.  This does not work in the analogy with Jesus being the merchant.

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