The Kingdom of God is like treasure hidden in a field. It is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. The Kingdom is a treasure worth everything; its value is beyond comprehension. It is priceless. But even in the face of such glory, we are drawn instead, by nature, to the superficial. We willingly exchange God’s Truth for the World’s lies, passing up eternity and infinite joy with God in favor of the World’s empty promises and temporary pleasures. We must learn to treat the Kingdom like the treasure and blessing that it is, to be like the men in the parables of Matthew 13 who were willing to give up everything to have it for themselves. Ask yourself today, what value are you placing on the Kingdom that is worth losing everything for?
You could turn with me to Matthew chapter 13. That’s where we’re going to be this morning. We are doing a series on the ministry of Jesus. As I mentioned last week, we’re going to look at some of the parables. There are, there are a lot of them in Jesus ministry.
Jesus taught a lot do parables. And so if we were to do every single parable, this series would take a long time. And so we just picked a couple that maybe highlight different areas of the ministry of Jesus or of Jesus message towards the kingdom or towards his people. Last week we just gave a brief introduction. We looked at Mark, chapter four and just looked at all those parables.
And so if you want an introduction to parables, you can look at last week sermon. But this week and next week, we’re going to pick one this week and one next week to focus in on. Today, our parable is found in Matthew chapter 13. I want to do a quick reminder of what a parable is. A parable is a truth laid alongside a story.
Para is the root word in the Greek and it simply means alongside. It’s a method of teaching that Jesus used quite often. Something like 40 parables he told during his ministry. And in Luke chapter 13, we get another swell, another set of these wonderful parables. But here in Luke 13, we’re also taught why he told parables.
And this is what it says, and this will serve as an introduction for us. It says, the disciples came to him and asked, why do you speak to the people in parables? He replied, Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven have been given to you, but not to them. This is why I speak to them in parables. Though seeing, they do not see. Though hearing, they do not understand. In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah. They will be ever hearing but never understanding. They will be ever seeing but never perceiving. For these people’s, hearts have become calloused.
They hardly hear with their ears and they have closed their eyes. Jesus says that the secrets of the knowledge of the kingdom of God have been given to some and then have been concealed to others. And he says why. The reason is because it’s not because they’re unintelligent, it’s because they don’t want to understand. They have no desire to understand.
And so he tells them in parables. So it takes a few moments for us to digest exactly what he’s trying to say. In other words, Jesus spoke in parables to conceal and also to reveal his message. One parable could affect two hearts very differently depending on who was hearing. For the person with closed ears or with closed eyes, this would conceal his truth.
But to a person with ears to hear and with eyes to see, the parable would be mysteries laid plainly before so that someone could finally grasp the mysteries of the knowledge of God. So as we study these parables, really my goal for us is that we will have ears to hear and eyes to see. And my heart will be that you will be counted among the blessed. Blessed are those are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. My prayer for us will be that we will reaffirm maybe some core beliefs that we had before we or rather a long time ago, or that maybe we’ll build some new convictions this morning and next week about the truth of God displayed through the parables of Jesus.
We’re going to begin today’s our first parable, or today is the first parable we’re going to look at. The only parable we’re going to look at is in Matthew chapter 13. We’re going to look at verse 44. Once you get there, say Amen. Sounds good.
Here we go, verse 44. The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. Again, the kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.
The title of the message today is a Treasure Worth Everything. These two parables are about the kingdom of God. And in his description of the Kingdom of God, Jesus says this: they are worth everything. The kingdom, the kingdom. The kingdom, I feel is best described as the collection of God’s ways, his platform for living, and also the community, his people, the community of faith under Him.
And so you have the collection of his ways or his platform and his teachings, and you have the community. And the Bible says in these two stories that whether you find it because you’re looking for it or whether you find it because you stumble across it, you should enjoy be willing to give up everything for it. That’s what this parable teaches. It teaches its incomparable value and also its extreme costs. In other words, being in God’s kingdom or being a part of this, having the privilege of the knowledge of the Gospel or being under King Jesus is a treasure that you should be willing to give up everything for.
That’s what Jesus teaches. Now maybe we’re like, well, that’s a little bit aggressive, but then Jesus describes Masterfully why that is the case. We’re going to quickly look at the parables. We’ll take them one at a time. These two sets a parable, the set of parable, take them one at a time and see if we can learn something from it.
We’ll look at the first one again. It says, the kingdom of heaven is like a treasure that’s hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hit it again. And then in his joy, went and sold all he had and bought that field.
There’s a man, this is the story. There’s a man, he’s in a field. Maybe he’s plowing the field, maybe he’s tilling the ground. Regardless, he’s working on it. He’s working the field. And all of a sudden his plow hits something and he goes, I wonder what that is.
So he digs a hole and he sees there is treasure hidden in the ground. This type of thing you may think is kind of bizarre, but at the time was very common. In Christ time, there was no banks, there were no stocks, there were no bonds. You couldn’t put your investment in gold or whatever, or a mattress if you’re a conspiracy theorist. But you put things in the ground.
In fact, in Matthew, chapter 25, we get an indication of this. If you remember the parable of the talents or the parable of the bags of gold, the guy with five, the guy with three, they did something with their money, but the guy with one, what did he do? He dug a hole and put it in the ground. This is that person’s money. Anyway, this guy finds it, right?
He goes sweet, and immediately he puts it back in the ground. He puts it back in the ground and then he sells every single thing he possesses in the world. He liquidates all of it, his home, his cars, his plow, his cow, his sheep. And then he goes and he buys the field. And so, consequently, what does he buy? He buys the treasure.
Now look at the second parable. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant. He is doing what? He’s looking for fine pearls, not stumbling across it, but this one is looking for it. When he found one of great value, he went away and what did he do? The same thing the other guy did. Sold everything he had and bought it. Unlike the first guy, this guy is looking for a treasure. He’s a pearl hunter.
Pearls would have been the equivalent of diamonds today. They’re of the precious sphere. In fact, it was so precious that Julius Caesar in the first century made it illegal for commoners to wear pearls. It was only for the ruling class. It is the most precious jewel in the first century.
And it was really precious because of how difficult it was to get. How do you get a pearl today? Well, you get a scuba gear. You get your scuba gear on and you go into the ocean and you find some oysters, and then you open the oysters, right? But if you were in the first century, you did not have scuba gear.
What did you have? Nothing. So what you would do is you would tie rocks to your body and then jump into the ocean, the Red Sea or the Persian Gulf, or maybe even the Indian Ocean. Many people died doing this, obviously. They jumped down and then you would tie them and then you would have to cut the rocks after you got to the bottom. But imagine if your knife fell out. That would be a terrible, terrible, terrible death. I don’t even want to think about it. I’m laughing to keep from crying, jumping over the side of the boat.
And in addition to just like being in the depths, there’s also like, I don’t know, sharks, whales, you’d know the story of Jonah. So these guys are like Israelites. They’re like, maybe a whale is going to eat me or a fish is going to eat me. But anyway, you search the bottom, looking through the mud for an oyster. You grab an oyster all on one breath.
You come up to the surface. Hopefully your head doesn’t explode. You get up, you chuck the oyster. And then I would imagine you eat the oyster. But hopefully inside there is a pearl.
And if there’s no pearl, then what do you have to do? Do the whole thing again? This guy is probably super familiar with this process. Maybe he was once one of the divers, definitely a merchant or a wholesaler. But he knows what he’s looking for.
And so when he finds one that is perfectly spherical, that is exactly what he’s been looking for his whole life. He does what the first man does. He sells everything he has to buy the pearl. And Jesus says that is what the kingdom is like. You want to know what the kingdom is like?
It’s like a treasure that a man finds in the middle of a field. He doesn’t even know he’s looking for it. But when he stumbled across it, in his joy, he sells everything to buy it. You want to know what the kingdom of heaven is like? It’s like a man who’s been looking for a pearl for the entirety of his life, and when he finds it, he sells everything he has just to get it.
What are we supposed to learn? What are we supposed to learn? Well, it’s this that the value of the kingdom is beyond our comprehension. Both parables are designed to teach us the pricelessness of the kingdom. And just think about it for a second.
How could you possibly value salvation? Like, how much would you pay for it? If you could pay a dollar amount and know for certain that you are going to be in glory with God forever, how could you possibly value that? How do you value being in fellowship with the one who created the universe? How do you value forgiveness?
What value do you place on freedom? This parable teaches us that this kingdom, right, the thing that God is offering us in his Son is so beyond our comprehension that it’s almost unbelievable that we would do anything else but sell everything to obtain it. And where is it found? It’s found in this, you know, corruptible, poverty stricken, bankrupt, world. And it’s just waiting for someone to stumble across it, or it’s just waiting for someone to find it. This treasure that satisfies our greatest thirst and fulfills our deepest passions and lifts our heaviest burdens and calms the wildest storm.
It’s the treasure that puts fatherless in homes, removes the stain of sin and of shame. It’s a pearl that sets captives free. It’s a jewel that lifts the yoke of slavery. It rebuilds marriages, it renews purposes. It restores dead things to life and all of the best things in the world, this is the point of the parable, all of the best things in the world, from your iPhone, to colliders to airplanes, to all the Nvidia stocks you could have and every bitcoin ever made, and the board apes and their yachts and all the gold in Africa, if you were to put it all in a pile, it would be worth nothing compared to the Kingdom of God. You could take all the cents the government gives to whatever programs they give and all of the money Elon Musk has, which is about the same amount as the government, and you combine it all and it’s a trash heap. It’s a trash heap compared to the kingdom of God. That’s what Jesus is saying.
And I wonder if you believe it.
Do you believe it? Like it’s easy for Jesus to say, everyone’s like, yes, but some stumble on it, right? A friend invites them to church, they’re not even looking for it. An IG post it just popped up on their feed. Some are searching for it.
They’re googling, where can I find the Lord? And by the way, please, if you can leave a Google review for the Broward Church. It’s very helpful if you found a treasure in this church. Some people are searching and searching and others just stumble across it. And Jesus is going, hey. But when they find it and they’re willing to give up everything for it. It’s absolutely priceless.
See, this reminds me of this idea that as Jesus puts on the pedestal the value of the kingdom of God, that we I don’t know why, maybe we’re just tempted to put things that are worthless on that same pedestal. Don’t we have a lust for the valueless? Or I would say for the temporary things.
This is our eternal struggle. This is it. We trade the Garden of Eden for the wilderness alone. We trade the good things of God for essentially a hell of our own making. The Bible is so clear that this is our constant temptation. And I think this is why Jesus told this parable, because he’s just trying to help us be reminded that his kingdom is worth more than we could possibly imagine. But really our temptation again, is to go for the valueless.
This is what Romans, chapter one says they became fools, that’s us, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal human beings and birds and animals and reptiles. He goes on they exchange the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator who was forever praised. Amen. God gives us treasure beyond price, but we exchange it for the worthless. We exchange truth for lies.
We exchange the immortal for the corruptible. We exchange the Creator for his creation. We are drawn to the superficial. All of us are like moths to the flame. And Jesus offers us eternity and we just want the newest iPhone.
There’s a Bible story about Jacob and Esau. You might remember this, but Esau has the promise. His lineage is going to have Jesus in it. He has the fulfillment of all the promises in his birthright. And the Bible says that Esau traded his birthright for a bowl of stew.
If that doesn’t describe us, I don’t know what else does. I love the way that C. S. Lewis described it in The Weight of Glory. He says this. This is a long quote to stay with me. He says the problem is not that our pleasures are too great, but too small, too narrow, too restrictive, too limited by our own finite imagination and experiences. If we considered the unblemishing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospel, it would seem that our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half hearted creatures, fooling about with sex sorry, with drink and sex and ambition, when infinite joy is offered to us like an ignorant child who wants to play in the mud because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. And then he concludes this quote with just this incredible one liner: we are far too easily pleased.
Infinite joy is offered to us, and yet somehow we are pleased with this decaying, decrepit, dilapidated the treasures of this world. We buy new cars and 20% of their value comes off right away as we drive it off the lot. But we love that smell that you can get in a can.
We trade intimacy in our marriages for a fling and we suffer the destructive consequences of that reality. We’ll trade anything for our pleasure, for a little bit of wealth, or a little bit of status, or a little bit of recognition, or just a little bit of success. And over and over and over again we reject the cry of God. Isaiah 55 gives us that cry. It says Come everyone who thirsts, come to the water and he who has no money, come buy and eat. Come buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend your money for that which does what is not bread? Meaning, why do you spend your time and your resources on things that actually don’t satisfy and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligent to me and eat what is good and delight yourself in the rich food. Incline your ears and come to me; hear that your soul may live.
You know what I see? I see throughout the Scriptures a loving God who doesn’t want us to settle for fake joy, who doesn’t want us to settle for counterflit fit, temporary pleasures, who doesn’t want us to settle for phony purposes. And he looks at us and he just wonders, I just see God in heaven wondering, why are you settling? Why would you settle?
Come, come to me. Open your ears. Open your eyes. I have food. I have treasure.
I have what satisfies. And throughout the Bible, we see men and women give us an example of how to have this intimate relationship with God. Like David. What does he describe?
He says, as a deer pants for thirst of streams of water so my soul pants for you, my God. Or like Habbakuk. Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vine, though the olive crop fails and the field produces no food, though there is no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord. I will be joyful in God and my Savior. What is he saying?
Look, I may not have any worldly treasures, but God is enough for me. How about Paul? I count everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Jesus Christ, my Lord.
Everything else is I like the old translations. It’s all garbage. It’s all rubbish compared to knowing God. These parables, this teaching is supposed to prompt a question in our hearts. And so I’m just going to give you the question. It’s this: what value do I place on the kingdom of God? Where is it in my hierarchy of value? Where is it in my hierarchy of value? Is it number one? Is it number 27?
Is it number 14? Is it number three? Where is it in my hierarchy of value? Jesus says it should be number one and it should be number one as a joy.
That’s what this parable is supposed to be teaching us. He talks about the value and then he also talks about the cost. So let’s look at the parable one more time. You know the parable, right? The guy finds it in the field and then what does he does? He hides it away. And then in his joy, he goes and sells everything he has and buys the field. Or he goes on to the next parable. The next parable says the same thing, right? He sells everything he has and buys the pearl.
So what’s the cost? That’s the next question. What’s the cost of the kingdom? So the parable says the value of the kingdom is more than you could ever imagine. And the cost is what?
Everything. This is what Jesus says in Luke, chapter 14 in the same way those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciple. What I see in these teachings is Jesus telling us to basically do this, to trade what we treasure on earth for the kingdom, trade what we treasure on earth for the kingdom. Make the trade. Trade your opinion for truth.
Trade all of your rights and your freedoms for true everlasting freedom. Trade indulgence for a commitment to the king. Trade lust for love and intimacy. But in that, you also what’s beautiful is that you trade death for life, and you trade sin for salvation, and you trade shame for security, and you trade heaven or hell for heaven. Basically, you make the exchange, right?
And what we do is we give up our will, we give up our way, we give up our own control of our lives, and we give up our temporary pleasure, and at the end, God gives us his kingdom. What’s really interesting is that the economics of this whole thing are actually a little bit more complicated. This is Mark chapter ten. Truly, I tell you, jesus said to them, no one has ever left home or wife or brother or sorry, no one who has left home or wife or brother or sister or parent or child for the sake of the Kingdom of God will fail to receive many times as much in this age and in the age to come, eternal life. So what’s the transaction?
Look like, you give it up, and then you get it back. But the way you get it back is refined. You give him a lump of clay, and he makes it into something beautiful. And in addition to that, he gives you the kingdom of God. But again, we’re so tempted.
We’re so tempted to not even look at this and put a lesser value on the kingdom of God, because there’s things you don’t want to give up, right? You’re like, I’ll give up a lot of things for this. That sounds like a great deal. I get heaven, and I get satisfaction, and I get joy, and I get peace. Actually, I can live in truth with my spouse.
I don’t have to lie to them about where I spend my money or where I spend my time. I can live in actual congruence with reality. I can have all of that. God like, you can have it, and you can have eternity, and you can have everything you’ve ever desired really deep down in your heart and in your soul, right? You can have it all.
But I just don’t want to give this up. This is kind of what I call the anything but, you know, system. Just look, hey, God, here’s the deal. I’ll give up everything, but I don’t want to give up my dreams for my career. And God’s like, well, then you can’t have it.
I would do it if I could just not give up a relationship. If I could just not give up my money, if I could just not give up my idolatry over my kids or my marriage, or if I could not give up my love for the country or my safety or my comfort or whatever it is. I’ll do whatever you want, God, except I don’t want to give this one thing up. This is what we all do. This is what the Bible teaches.
This is what happens. And I love the way Jesus actually explains to us what happens when we treat him this way. This is actually in Ezekiel, chapter 14. Listen to this. This is how serious God treats us.
Some of the elders of Israel came to me and sat down in front of me. This is the elders of Israel going to the prophet Ezekiel and asking Ezekiel to speak to God on their behalf. Okay? Then, so they come, and then Ezekiel gets a message from God. Then the word of the Lord came to me. Son of man, these men have set up idols in their hearts and put wicked stumbling blocks before their faces. Should I let them inquire of me at all? And they have idols in their hands. Should I even let them talk to me? He goes on, Therefore, speak to them and tell them this is what the Sovereign Lord says: when any of the Israelites set up an idol in their hearts and put a wicked stumbling block before their faces, then go to a prophet, I, the Lord, will answer them myself in keeping with their great idolatry. Verse six. This is what the Sovereign Lord says: repent, turn from your idols and renounce all your despicable practices. In other words, you come to me asking for a great life, asking for your needs met, but I see what’s in your right hand, and I am not even going to talk to you.
I’m not going to listen to you. You come to me, but there’s an idol in your heart. You have elevated your kids over my Kingdom. You have elevated your spouse over my Kingdom. You have elevated whatever, your career, your money, your safety, your comfort over my Kingdom, and I’m not even going to listen to your request.
It’s critical that we know this. God does not accept second place worship. If you have another treasure in your heart, you cannot serve two Masters. You cannot serve two masters. If you have a treasure that’s elevated above him, he doesn’t want to talk about anything except that idol. God wants to be closer to you.
I think you want to be closer to you, but be closer to Him. But whenever you get nearer to Him, he’s like, what’s in your hand? I want to make an impact God. Okay, let’s talk about the person you love more than me. I want your Kingdom. I really want to restore my marriage, and I want that peace. Okay, great. Let’s talk about the stuff you’ve put first. Repent, and then we can have a conversation. This is the way Jesus handled the woman at the well, the rich young ruler. This is the way he handles all of us.
Get rid of the worthless treasure and then come to me. And then come to me. Man, this parable is intense, right? It’s incredible value, but it’s also an incredible cost. Here’s the last thing I want to point out about the parable.
The sacrifice demands us that we’re motivated by joy. Notice verse 44. Why did he sell everything? It was his joy. He found the treasure, he sold everything and he bought it and it was his joy. He didn’t give up things reluctantly. This man sold everything he had for the sake of the treasure because he was so excited about doing this. He saw the treasure, he saw the pearl, and he realized that the pearl and the treasure were worth more than anything he had ever had. And so he was like, Why would I not make this trade?
I would be an idiot not to do this. I can ten X my money. I can 100 X my treasure. Imagine you could write now, 100 extra joy, wouldn’t you make the trade? And you wouldn’t be like, Whoa, I have to give up a relationship.
You’d be like, Please, delete.
Imagine you could 100 X eternity. You can go, wow, I’m going to die at my life, or I’m going to have a chance to live with God forever. Like, who cares if you have to make some less money on Earth? Why would that matter all that much? Too many times we have and I’ve been a culprit of this, but taught begrudging submission, and we forgot that the sacrifice demanded of us is one that should be motivated by joy.
If we could see the value of the kingdom of God, we would understand that God’s kingdom is the most important commodity ever made, right? And we wouldn’t be reluctant to give up everything for it. We would just know this is the best trade we could possibly ever make. In fact, I want to do a quick illustration to show you this is the case. If you’ve been a disciple, let’s say, for longer than 25 years.
Can you raise your hand? Yeah, that’s like half the group. Okay, cool. Put your hand up. This is just for you. All of the rest of you, just listen.
Would you do it over again?
Let’s hear it at 123. Okay, anybody no? I was just kidding. That’s the point, right? For 20 years, these people have given up jobs. They’ve given 10% of their money as the trays passed. They’ve given up opportunities. They’ve seen the heartache of people becoming Christians and then walking away from God. These people have been in the victories of baptism, right? They have seen friends that they love deeply die.
They’ve seen people lost to sin. They’ve seen people go through fire. Some of these people have gone through addictions themselves. And if you ask them, is it worth it?
They say? Oh, yes, yes. And I would do it again. And I would do it again. And I would do it again.
As a matter of fact, I wish I had done it way earlier. It’s not foolish to give up everything for Jesus. It’s not. What’s foolish is holding on to your little meek, I mean, your little gross idol and not finding the kingdom of God. That would be stupid.
That would be a loss, right? You’re like, I’m going to hold on to my dollar and before you is a Mount Everest pile of riches. That would be silly. The kingdom is worth losing everything for. So we joyfully do it.
We do it with joy. And man, when we do it with joy, when we let go of it, when we understand the value, what we get in return is a kingdom beyond our comprehension. The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in the field. When a man found it, he hit it again and in his joy went and sold all he had and bought the field. At this time, we’re going to watch someone sell everything they have and buy the treasure.