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September 14, 2021 4:00 am
The point of the parable is here is a man who found something so valuable that he sold everything that he had to get he was so overjoyed.
He was so ecstatic that he was willing to do anything to get that fresh. Perhaps it's chipping away at your inbox or finishing a project on your house or spending time with your children whatever's filling your day how do you make sure you're living like a citizen of God's kingdom. John MacArthur has the answers as he continues his look at some of our Lord's most vivid and detailed descriptions of his kingdom. It's part of John series on the parables of the kingdom and out with today's lesson. Here's John Matthew chapter 13 versus 44 through 46. Matthew 1344 through 46 the Lord said again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field which when a man hath found, he hide them for joy have it go with and sell of all that he hath, and bias that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant man seeking fine pearls who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.
Now if we were to sum up the meaning of these two parables.
We could sum them up under the title the incomparable value of the kingdom, the incomparable value of the kingdom, the great old St. Thomas Guthrie once wrote on the value of the kingdom or the value of salvation and he said this in the blood of Christ to washouts in his darkest stains in the grace of God to purify the foulest heart in peace to calm life's roughest storms in hopes to cheer gilts darkest hour, inner courage that defies death and descends calmly into the two in that which makes the poorest rich and without which the richest are poor indeed. The gospel has treasure greater far than East or West unfold and its rewards more precious are that all the stores of gold what he was saying was what our Lord is saying there is nothing in all the universe to match the priceless value of the kingdom and that's what were going to see as we look together at these two parables. Now let's look first of all the parables and then at the principles they teach very simple outline the parables and in the principles of the parables. Let's look first developers. 44.
The first one is a parable of hidden treasure. Very simple story kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field which when a man has found a high Zen for joy would goes and sells all that he has and buys the field. Now this is very common parlance to the people in our Lord's time and not so common to us. We put our money in the savings-and-loan. We put our money in the bank but we put our money in stocks and bonds or securities or real estate or whatever, whatever that is, if we have any money to put it anywhere but in those days there.
They had no banks. As such, for common people and banks were necessarily good places to put all of your resources and saw it was usual that men took whatever they considered of great value and they buried in the earth particularly was this the case in Palestine because Palestine was a place of war.
It was a battleground. Its history is literally filled with the record of one battle after another, one war after another and there were inevitably conquering peoples and those who came in to steal, and to loot and to plunder and so very often when a battle was on the horizon, the people would take the valuable things out of their home, take them out into the field and in a marketplace where they could recover them again. They would bury them in the earth very commonly done. The earth was a veritable storage house and so here is a man who is in the field and we don't know, but that he works in the field are that he is some for some reason or other.
In that field which belongs to another man. Perhaps employed by the man who owns the field and as he is working in that field. Maybe he's plowing or maybe he's killing the ground or whatever.
He comes across a treasure buried in the ground and immediately he puts it back where he founded and sells every single thing he possesses in the world liquidates all that he has and buys that field in order that he may gain that treasure that would not be uncommon for him to find something in the field in Matthew chapter 25. Our Lord tells a story about a man who gave talents to his servants, remember that and the first two servants took the five talents in the two talents and multiplied them, and the third one who was very very timid in his investment approach buried in the ground. Now that tells us something about a man who was not wise he should've invested in gained interest. The Lord said, but it also tells us that that was commonly done by people who didn't want to invest their money, but wanted to hang onto it and so we see this man coming through the field he finds a treasure he puts it right back in the ground goes and buys the field.
This was very, very common. Josephus said the historian. In that time the gold on the silver and the rest of that most precious furniture which the Jews had and which the owners treasured up underground was done to withstand the fortunes of war, and so this was a very, very common thing to do and there would be people plowing in the field of there would be people digging in the field for other purposes, and they would inadvertently come across this treasure from time to time. Now, at this juncture, the parable introduces an ethical situation. People of said luck this guy didn't do right, how can you have Jesus telling a story in which there is an unethical activity. You have Jesus telling a story in which a man does something that is wrong, I mean the guy uncovers a treasure and then he hides it without telling the man who owns a feeling he goes to buy the field. What he should've done in discovering the treasure was pick it up and take it and say here's a treasure I found in your fee and so some people have been struck by what appears to be unethical. Let me help you with that. Although that is in the main point if we don't get past that some people kind of choke on that don't get the rest of the message. First of all Jewish rabbinic law said if a man finds scattered fruit or money.
It belongs to the finder. Now that is what the law said if you find the lost fruit or money. It belongs to the finder so the man is within the permission of the Jewish rabbinic law. So the Jews listening to Jesus would not perceive this man is unethical. Secondly, that which was hidden in the field did not belong to the man who owned the field if it was his. He wouldn't be selling his field without digging it up. He didn't know it was there he had not gone to the effort to uncover it and dig it out.
No doubt it belong to a previous owner of that same field who had buried it there died in battle or died by accident, unable to recover it.
And so it was no more.
The number one owners. Then it was the number two moon so he had no prior right to it and the man who had uncovered it by Jewish law did have the claim on the other man had not done that. Now, thirdly this man was very equitable. This man was very fair. If this man was not an honest man when he found the treasure, what would he have done when he would've split he would've packed up his treasure and been long gone and put it in his own field. Why go to all the trouble of buying the entire field.
When you got the treasure in your hand you say will maybe his conscience bothered or maybe it was his father-in-law or some relative what I thought about that and I thought I thought of a good idea is to show you how my mind works. You could change the treasure and go liquidate a portion of it, and with the money you gain from the treasure, then by the field.
The better you didn't do that. He took that treasure that he had found. He knew it belong to him by Jewish law.
He knew he had more or at least equal right to it with the man who owned the land he put it right back in the ground, never even used any of it for the purchase liquidate it every single thing he had on the face of the earth in his possession went and bought the entire field just so that he could do what was right to get that fresh no lack of ethics here.
No one was defrauded not having said that none of that is the point of the parable. That's just free for nothing. The point of the parable is here is a man who found something so valuable that he sold everything that he had to get that's the point of the parable. He was so overjoyed. He was so ecstatic that he was willing to do anything to get that Trish also get the second parable of the Pearl. The kingdom of heaven is also like a merchant man and that is a wholesale merchant Emperor us in the Greek has to do with a wholesale man who would go around buy things on a wholesale basis and then sell them to somebody good retail so this wholesaler scouring around seeking fine pearls. This is very common in those days for a man to do who was a sort of a entrepreneur he would be in the Pearl wholesaling business and he would find that there would be a diligent search on his part to gain the pearls that he was desiring to gain many people and diversifying their investments put their investments in pearls pearls would be the equivalent of diamonds today. Pearls were the most valuable.
Jim available at that time in the world and if you had pearls you had a fortune incredibly valuable. So valuable were they that when women wanted to show their wealth according to first Timothy 29 they put pearls on their head and it was said of one lady by the name of Lilia Paulino, the wife of the Emperor Caligula that it was an event she had $36 million worth of pearls all over infected historian says she had pearls on her head. She had pearls on her hair she had pearls on her ears.
She had pearls on her neck and she had pearls on her fingers.
She could've stood in for one of the gates of heaven, but this was how pearls were perceived in those days apply neither the historian says that Cleopatra had to pearls, each worth 1/2 $1 million and that was in a day when money was 20 times greater in its buying power than it is today, and when the Roman emperors wanted to demonstrate their incredible wealth and show how filthy rich they work. They dissolve pearls and vinegar and rank them in their wine so pearls were very valuable.
Our Lord in Matthew seven. Sexes don't cast your what pearls before swine because he is trying to compare the worst with the most priceless. You don't get the most valuable thing to a pig that's foolish and so pearls were really perceived like we perceive diamonds today very very very valuable. In fact, even going into the book of Revelation, we find that when God begins to describe heaven.
It is as pearls in its beauty.
And so here is a man who went around seeking fine pearls and he would market them because they were good investment. They went up in value and you could diversify. You could put some of your money in the ground. Some of your money and pearls. Some of your money and property, and whatever else and that's the way people ran their business. The one thing you didn't do. I understand if you're a smart investor and still don't is to put everything into one investment, but I wasn't it interesting in both cases that's exactly what these two did the first man sold everything about the one field. The second man sold everything about the one Pearl now. What are the principles from the two parables you understand them now. One of the principles to give you six principles listen carefully number one. The kingdom is priceless in value. The kingdom is priceless in value. Both parables are designed to teach us the incomparable value of the kingdom of the Lord and we talk about the kingdom of the Lord were talking about salvation were talking about Christ himself and the gift of salvation that he gives the knowledge of God through Jesus Christ. The preciousness of what is to be in his kingdom. The preciousness of fellow shipping with the king. The preciousness of being a subject of the sovereign. The blessedness of the kingdom is so valuable that it is the most valuable commodity that can ever be found in only a fool is not willing to sell everything he has to gain it. Nothing comes close in value in Christ and in his kingdom. There is a treasure. There is a treasure that is rich beyond comparison.
There is a treasure that is rich beyond conception.
There is a treasure that is incorruptible, undefiled, unfading, eternal, there is a heavenly treasure lying in the field of this poverty-stricken bankrupt accursed world, a treasure sufficient to eternally enrich every one of Earth's poor, miserable, blind and naked inhabitants, salvation and forgiveness and love and joy and peace and virtue, and goodness and glory in heaven, and eternal life. All are in that treasure and the treasure is that salvation and the Pearl is that salvation that is equivalent to being in the kingdom.
It's what the hymn writer said when he said I found the pearl of greatest price eternal life.
So fair was through the Savior sacrifice.
I found that jewelry or of all the excellent pearls in the world of all the things it might be in a field salvation outstrips all of the minutes, eternal value, one of Jim want to treasure and how the world knows little of that treasure, how they do not understand it at all how they wrap themselves up and that stuff which is valueless. Secondly, this lesson the kingdom is not superficially visible. The treasure was hidden right and the pearl had to be sought isn't just lying around on the surface, the treasure is not on the us to man the value and the preciousness of the kingdom of heaven. The value and the preciousness of salvation is not viewed by men. They don't see it although it stands there and looks them in the eye, the world looks at us and they'll understand why we are all about this business of worshiping God. They don't understand why we want to give our lives to Jesus Christ. They don't understand why we want to live and obey a code of ethics and rules that goes against the grain of our deepest lusts and drives understand why we price this so highly when it means so little to them know the kingdom is not superficially visible. It says in first Corinthians to the natural man understand is not the things of God. They are foolishness to him and in second Corinthians 4.
It says that the God of this world has blinded the minds of them that believe not less.
The light of the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ, should shine unto them. So isn't that apparent even though the messages here and the word is here. They don't see it there blinded is not superficially manifest in both cases.
One, there is a seeking the other. There was a discovery and a pursuit of that which was discovered. Some people never bothered to look beyond the surface there so busy fiddling around with the baubles and the trinkets and the toys in the pebbles that lie on the surface they never get to the treasure underneath. One writer put it this way under the form of a man under the privacy and poverty of a Nazarene was the fullness of the Godhead kitten that day from the wise and prudent of the world. The light was near them and yet they did not see it, the riches of divine grace were brought to their door, and yet they continued poor and miserable and that's true, and there have been multitudinous times that I and you as well have gone and given the description of the treasure and the pearl to people who have turned their backs and walked away, and they do not care if they do not want that they do not understand its inestimable value.
It is not superficially perceived.
That is why it says in Matthew 714 that narrow is the way and few there be that find it.
And that is why it says in Matthew 11 that the kingdom is taken by the violent take it by force. In other words, it must be pursued kingdom is valuable, but the kingdom is also hidden from the superficial lookers who do not want to look deeply to the truth that is hidden in the word of God.
That's what it says in Luke 1324 strive to enter in at the narrow gate. For many I say will seek to enter in, and shall not be able to even the pearl gives the same idea the pearl while it is not hidden in the sense that the man doesn't have to dig it out of someplace still originally had to be gained at the most incredible kind of circumstance where the person dives into the sea digs it out of the bottom opens the shell finds it there and now the man pursues it all over the world till he finds so there is the sense in which we see the hidden this of the message the world doesn't see it you know Jesus said to that you will not come unto me that you might have life, and they said search the Scriptures where they would speak of me and Johnson. It was in the world. The world was made by him in the world. What no I'm not. He came it was on his own received do not see it just the, the average run-of-the-mill superficial approach to life, just pumping your way through trampling across the path of life day to day would never a thought for anything that is deep or profound or of true value is not going to render you the truth at all. It is, and on the surface, there has to come that desire.
At some point to respond.
Even in the case of the man found the treasury had to pursue what it was that he originally found. Maybe he hooked his plow on something and was willing to pursue what that something was third thought.
The kingdom is personally appropriate and this is the crux of the parables.
The kingdom is personally appropriated the previous two parables give us the idea that the kingdom is is just influential or it's just large it doesn't say anything about the personal appropriation and that's where Lord gives us these two you have a man in verse 44 you have another man in verse 45 now are dealing with individuals and each of them finds something specifically for himself and appropriates it on to himself very important. Ellis this is to show us that you can be sort of in the kingdom under the dominion of God and not be a member of the King. If you're alive in the in the earth. If you live in the universe you're under God's rule is that right because he's the sovereign of the universe. And if you're on the earth in a sense you're in the kingdom because he's ruling, but you're not a subject of the King.
You're not a personal member of the kingdom. Their list.
Like a lot of people in the church who are Christians.
The wide world is under the rule of Jesus Christ but not a part of his true kingdom. That's why unknown. Matthew eight when he talks of the Jews. He says the sons of the kingdom will be cast into outer darkness where the be weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth.
In other words, are some Jews who, although they are Jewish and are although under their the covenant of God with Israel are going to forfeit all that that means because they never personally come to know God, right in Romans two it says the circumcision is not the circumcision of the flesh, but of the heart.
In Romans 96, it says all Israel is not Israel. So you could be a Jew, as it were under that monarchy or theocracy. That rule of God and never be a true member of the kingdom and the same is true today. There are people in the earth who are here but have never appropriated the kingdom and so it is to the personal appropriation point that we come in dispute in these two parables is not enough to be under the influence of the kingdom is not enough to just be under the influence of the church or the influence of Christianity is not enough to just as it were lodge in the branches or be touched by its permeating influence there must be personal appropriation and at some point in time in order to do that men and women must come to the point where they realize the value of it. She God offers men what is really valuable is incredible. The extremes they go to find what's worthless. That's John MacArthur he's Chancellor of the Masters University in seminary. He's also the featured speaker here on Grace to you and today he showed you why the treasure God provides is better than the best this world can offer its part of John's current study from Matthew 13 called the parables of the kingdom now as were seeing in this study, the meaning of Jesus parables was hidden to those who didn't believe in him, and as is always the case. Only a believer can truly understand what the Bible means by what it says.
And so Jon I know you would say that saving faith doesn't necessarily guarantee a right interpretation. It's necessary, but something more is needed to write that will first of all, backing up to what you just said not being a believer can guarantee that you won't get the right interpretation right because the natural man understands, not the things of God. There foolish to the foolishness to him. They are spiritually discerned and he is spiritually dead. So a nonbeliever is always going to get the Bible wrong and that we have plenty of evidence of that misuse of Scripture on an individual level and all the unregenerate people who develop cults and bizarre religions and twist Scripture. Yes, you need to be a believer in order to have the spirit of God is your teacher in your mind, illuminated in the truth but it's not just that it requires diligent study and that's why we go back to that familiar text of Paul writing to Timothy, the original transition was study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman need not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
So if you if you don't rightly divide the word or in rightly interpreted.
You should be ashamed of yourself that tells us that the Bible can be understood if you're diligent enough in searching the Scriptures we want to help you with that in the flagship resource of this ministry is always been the MacArthur study Bible that gives you 25,000 footnotes for the whole Bible from the beginning of Genesis to the end of Revelation helping you understand what each section means each passage in many cases each word they MacArthur study Bible has sold the multiple millions over the years.
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