Matthew 13:10-11 ESV Then the disciples came and said to him, "Why do you speak to them in parables?" (11) And he answered them, "To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given.
Before actually getting into any of the parables I would like to discuss the value of the kingdom. Lost people are seeking to gain the riches of the kingdom of the world and are trying to finds ways to get ahead. They place value on that which is temporal without a thought of seeking that which is eternal. Christians battle this temptation because we are in the world and struggling not to be of this world. We have to work to make income for food and housing. However some believers have placed more value on the temporal kingdom of this world than they place on the eternal kingdom of God. In other words, they sacrifice the eternal on the altar of the temporal.
What determines value? If I am supposed to place great value on the kingdom of Heaven and seek after it then how can I determine the value of that which I seek?
Romans 14:17 ESV For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
Matthew 6:33 ESV But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
THE TEST OF VALUE OF THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN:
There is a test that will determine the value of any and all products or knowledge. Those things which relate to the Gospel and the kingdom of God can sometimes be taken for granted. Maybe the church of our Lord Jesus Christ would do well to step back and evaluate the value of the treasures that we have in our Lord. Now we know that we can not put a price on the Gospel, the death of our Lord, nor the Scriptures. Realizing the value of an object in our minds helps us realize what we have or increases the desire to seek to have more of something.
What makes something valuable? What drove the people in these kingdom parables of Matthew 13 to forsake all that they had to gain something else?
Matthew 13:44 ESV "The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
Matthew 13:45-46 ESV "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, (46) who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.
Years ago a famous painter died leaving many paintings. All but three of these paintings were destroyed, making these three very valuable. Rarity increases value. The Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ is valuable because there is no other way to the Kingdom of God. There is no other Gospel, it stands alone. There is no other Savior of mankind.
A boy was playing with a piece of glass he had found. His mother looks at it marveling at the colors of the transparent glass. She nonchalantly gives it back to the boy to play with.
A man of authority on glass walks by and sees the colors gleaming from the glass. With a keen, trained eye he inspects, judges, weighs and measures the glass. He passes it to the mother and proclaims that the child is not playing with glass but a very valuable diamond.
The word of authority of one with knowledge and experience greatly increased the value of what was believed to be an object of play. The authority identifies the value to that which was never seen before.
The preaching of the cross and of the kingdom is foolishness to those who perish. But it is power to those who have received the gospel message and the message of the kingdom. The authority of a true witness who has experienced the kingdom is of greater value then one who has just played with the things of God.
We give our children money to go shopping and we tell them to buy something that will last. How long will it last? How long will it's beauty last?
The value of the Gospel and of the kingdom in light of durability is this. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my word will be forever.
How do I apply this to my life? What is the use of a telescope that does not bring things nearer?
Can I adapt the Gospel message to my life? Can I live kingdom life today? If so does this bring a greater quality of life? The answer is YES! YES! YES! And this is another reason for the value of that which drove the men in the parables.
The Kingdom of heaven as a treasure is not fully understood by many men. The Kingdom possesses great intrinsic value The source from which it originates brings value. The blessings which it communicates brings value. The permanence with which it is invested brings value.
When digging for the value of the kingdom of Heaven, remember...
THE BEST THINGS ARE JUST BELOW THE SURFACE.