Johan Smulders has a . B.A, B.ED and M.A in Education, Theology and Counselling. Works as an evangelist and counsellor.
The Parables of Jesus: True Value
Among the 13 parables which are recorded only in Matthew’s Gospel, there are two about the value of the Kingdom of God; the parable about the hidden treasure and the parable about the pearl of great price
There are some things that are important in life and some that can be classified as unimportant. However there is another category of those things that seem very important but in fact are not that important after all. So we go through life spending our time and effort looking for those things that seem very important, but in reality may not be so. What a waste of a life!
The people in the time of Jesus, and especially the religious leaders, were spending their time making rules and regulations that really had nothing to do with what was really important. The Old Testament writers described it as follows: “For I desire mercy and not sacrifice, and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.” (Hosea 6:6 NKJV –used with permission). All the Old Testament prophets warned against that kind of empty religion but when Jesus came into that world he personally introduced this new way of thinking. Instead of outward religious observance, he taught principles of love and mercy. These principles are the basis for the Kingdom of God.
This brings a totally new way of looking at religion and specifically Christianity. It is not what you and I do on Sunday that defines us, but rather what we do with our lives from Sunday to Saturday. When this truth is discovered and put into operation then it opens up a life filled with true worth and value. A life that makes the world a better place is worthwhile life. This is because it is a life that serves rather than wants to be served, and gives rather than wants to receive.
This kind of life is one that needs to be discovered. In the parable of the Hidden Treasure, the story is of a man who discovers a treasure in a field and then dedicates his time and effort to obtaining that treasure (Matthew 13:44). The excitement of hidden treasure is easy to understand. In every heart there is the hope of finding a hidden treasure. If only I find that gold, diamond, money, have a windfall, then happiness will come pouring into my life. Just imagine what I will be able to buy! Unfortunately happiness does not come with what you or I can buy!
Poverty on the other hand brings its own misery and difficulties that can take joy away. But it is not really what you own that brings happiness but rather who or what owns you. Satan came to Jesus in the wilderness with the promise of riches and power but Jesus rejected his offer outright because of what it cost. Real value in life comes with discovering the treasure of God’s love and applying that to our life.
The parable of the pearl of great price follows the hidden treasure parable (vs.45). Again this simple story emphasizes that the kingdom of heaven is of great and lasting value. The cost of the pearl is everything that the person owns, illustrating that everything that this life offers is of little value unless it brings the reward that God offers through His Son. Life is hard as one battles to just make a living. Long hours are needed, often just to survive. Hardship lurks around every corner, but accepting the promises of God brings true value to every life. It offers a true perspective on what is important. We spend a lot of time, effort and worry on the things that we believe will bring us happiness, but as Jesus explains we can leave those things to God and concentrate on what is really important: “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:33).
Here is the dilemma that all humans face. What is really important in life? It is only when we discover the hidden treasure, find the pearl of great price, that life begins to fall into place. Until we personally make that important discovery about the kingdom of God life seems to be a battle and will continue to be so. The important discovery of the value of the kingdom of God enables a person to find not only themselves but also real meaning in life. When Jesus claimed to be the way and the truth and the life he was uncovering the real value of human life. Unfortunately this fact is hidden in the world of today and so has to be discovered by every individual.
NKJV Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
KC McGee from Where I belong on January 06, 2021: