Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.
Jesus taught many important teachings in His time on earth. This parable addresses the question of why God’s kingdom is dear to the believer and not to the unbeliever. The disciples of Jesus were perplexed why some believed and some did not.
Many Are Called
There are many examples in the Bible and in the lives of God’s children of people who have received the grace of repentance. They are unique but similar accounts of God’s rich and abundant grace that allowed each of them to find His kingdom here on earth. Jesus witnessed several of these occasions himself, as the Gospels have recorded for us. He also witnessed those sad occasions when God’s grace was rejected by people who were approached by it.
An example that comes to mind is the rich young man who bravely came to visit with Jesus to hear from Him that he was great and others would do well to be like him. When he heard that in order to be heaven acceptable he would need to sell all that he has and give the proceeds to the poor and come and follow after Jesus, Scripture records that this man went away sorrowful. He concluded that he would have to give up more than he would gain.
An example that comes to mind of an unlikely recipient of God’s grace call is the account of Saul of Tarsus (Apostle Paul). In a zealous darkness of self-righteousness, he was doing horrible acts of violence to the believers. God’s grace found Saul when he was abruptly stopped and shown that he was on the outside. Throughout the rest of his life he marveled at how God was able to convert him from unbelief to faith. He remained sorrowful over the unbelief of his family and over the things that he did in unbelief against the believers. Most of all he rejoiced in that he personally could believe his sins forgiven through Jesus’ merit.
Joy of the Finder
These two examples show how God can approach an individual with the call to His kingdom, and it can have different results. We can personally feel the sorrow over loved ones who do not believe and it can be a heavy trial in our life. The enemy would also like to tell us that there is no way we can be the only group of God’s children. The message that Jesus taught in this parable was not the sorrow over our loved ones’ unbelief or the doubts of the testament of the Holy Spirit, rather it is one of incredible joy and fortune to be a child of God.
Jesus told His disciples, “Blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear. For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them” (Matt. 13:16,17). We have this same fortune, dear child of God, that our hearts are joined in unity with the teachings of the Holy Spirit. We own that greatest of treasures which is living faith in our hearts. This faith is an individual gift to each child of God. It is such a treasure that it will bring us from this life to life everlasting through the merit work of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The Reward Is Great
In heaven there will be no sorrow, fear, or doubt. There will be no memory of life on earth. There will only be everlasting joy that is not even possible for us to comprehend with our human mind. Don’t let unforgiven sin take this treasure of faith from you. The suffering that our flesh feels when we need to confess our sins and ask for forgiveness is nothing compared to the suffering that awaits unbelievers in eternity. Don’t let the enemy keep your mouth closed from confessing your sins and asking for the gospel. He would have you be as the countless people who passed by the field with the treasure and overlooked the pearl of great price, clueless of their value. This gift of faith is the most important thing you will ever have in life. Care for it with childlike humility, putting sins away as they burden you.
June/July 2017 Voice of Zion
- New Voice of Zion Feature: The Father’s Call
- Luther Experienced Loss of Loved Ones
- Column: God Hears Our Prayer
- Commentary: Work is a Gift, or Is It?
- Put Sin Away
- Introduction to The Small Catechism
- Times of Visitation
- Mikael Agricola, Finnish Reformer
- Editorial: Man, in the Place of God
- Faith Is God’s Gift