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The Parables of the Hidden Treasure and the Pearl of Great Price

Rev. Michael Calvert, Ph.D., June 30, 2019
Part of the The Parables of Jesus series.

In Matthew 13:44-46 we discover two very short parables of our Lord. They are unique to Matthew’s Gospel and should be read and studied together as there are striking similarities between them.

First, in each, Jesus compares the “kingdom of heaven” to something very familiar to His audience. In the first parable, it is like a “treasure” buried in the ground. In the second, it is like a “merchant” who deals in fine pearls.

Second, both parables are about a discovery. In the first, it is an ‘accidental’ find. In the second, it is the result of a deliberate search.

Third, both stories involve the payment of a very high price. Note that the first man is said to have sold “all” that he possessed (v. 44), and the second is said to have “sold all that he had” (v. 46).

And then finally, both conclude with a purchase. In the first, the man purchases a “field,” and in the second, the merchant purchases “one pearl of great value.”

Like all of the parables of Jesus, these two contain some valuable, if not so obvious, truths about becoming a disciple of our Lord. Here, the Savior is setting forth (in very short order) an arresting image of life in His kingdom; that is, life under His gracious reign as Lord and King. And each of the four common elements listed above speak very powerfully to all who would be, or are, followers of Christ. Don’t let the brevity of these parables trick you into thinking they are any less weighty than others Jesus employed. As we will see this Lord Day, pound-for-pound they pack quite a punch!

Matthew 13:44-45

44Again, 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. 45Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: (KJV)