THE TREASURE AND THE PEARL
Matthew 13:44 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.
Many of the parables are quite short. They are even easier to memorize, or at least to remember. What child or adult would fail to remember the treasure hidden in a field. We can picture an iron box box, a bit rusty, a few feet down, buried in the soil, filled with coins, jewels, pieces of gold, money, negotiable bonds.
I have hidden a box in the back yard. It has coins in it and one gold piece. Follow these directions to find it.
1. Step out the back door of the family room.
2. Walk around the swimming pool, starting from the left.
3. Look for an immovable object loved by birds.
4. Dig on the side where the sun rises.
It was common during the time of Jesus for a rich man to divide his wealth into portions and bury it in case of war or thieves. If he died suddenly, the location of the treasure would be lost until someone found it by accident.
It exciting to find treasure, especially when it is hidden away. Jesus taught this parable to show us that the Gospel is a treasure. It is not just an ordinary treasure. It is so valuable that it is like a strongbox full of gold. If we could buy a piece of land for a few thousand dollars, we would gladly sell our goods to buy it, if we knew that millions of dollars were buried on that land.
When we realize what a treasure the Gospel is, we are glad to let go of other things in order to have it.
Questions for the class:
1. What is the field?
Answer: The Scriptures. People take them for granted, “walk over” them every day, but do not see the treasure.
2. What is the name of the man?
Answer: Write your name down. All believers know that the treasure is in the field of the Bible.
3. Do you have to buy the treasure of the Gospel?
Answer: No. The illustration is used to remind us that nothing is more valuable than Jesus as our Savior. We would gladly give up our toys and favorite things for the Gospel. We love the Bible because the Word teaches us about the Son of God, who loves each and every one of us.
THE PEARL OF GREAT PRICE
13:45 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls 46 Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.
In those days, pearls were not cultured and harvested. They were found by accident, so any given pearl was especially valuable. Men paid enormous sums of money for the best pearls.
The pearl of great price is valued above all other pearls. They are worth something, but the best pearl of all is worth all of them put together.
The pear of great price can be compared to knowledge. People know how to build bridges, rockets for outer space, computers, tunnels under the ocean. They can use their knowledge to save lives in surgery or to create medicine to cure diseases. These are all the lesser pearls.
The pearl of great price is the knowledge of Jesus as our Savior. It is worth all other knowledge put together. Paul the Apostle was highly educated, but he said:
Philippians 3:8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, 9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: 10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; 11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.
What Children Should Learn from Theses Parables
A. Youngest – They should realize that the Gospel is more important than any of their favorite possessions and any knowledge. The Gospel brings forgiveness and eternal life.
B. Older children – They should consider how we value things that do not last. The Gospel lasts forever. We also admire knowledge, but knowing Christ is more important than any field of knowledge.
C. Confirmation age – These students should discuss the importance of clinging to what is valuable and lasting. They should also consider how the Gospel is hidden from the wise and powerful, who worship themselves instead of God.