Value and Cost

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The Kingdom of Heaven is worth more than you could ever lose

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Matthew 13:44–46 NIV
44 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. 45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. 46 When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.


I purchased a pair of sunglasses recently. They remind me of a story. You might know that Pastor Manny enjoys opening up his sermons with a little story about himself. I’m following suit today by also opening up my sermon with a story about Pastor Manny...
Okay I’m in the story too. It’s really more of an anecdote anyway. Manny and I were once interns together at another church when we were in college. One day we were in the office our mutual friend Jacob Ellis came by for a chat and he was complaining that he always either lost or broke his sunglasses. So I offered my advice: “Just buy really cheap sunglasses so that it won’t matter if they get lost or broken.” Manny also offered his advice, “Buy expensive sunglasses so that you will take care of them better.” What made this stark contrast even funnier in the moment was that we both said our advice at the same time like a train wreck. We looked at each other and realized one of the many differences between us.
For me the cost of having to take care of my sunglasses exceeded the value of having a quality pair of glasses. Incidentally these are from the dollar section at Target. Today we are going to be talking about cost and value.

So far in our series our attention has primarily been on those whom belong to the Kingdom and those who do not, but today, in the parables of the field and of the pearl, we turn our attention to the nature of the Kingdom, specifically its value.
By way of a reminder, you may remember that the Kingdom of Heaven is major motif in the book of Matthew, perhaps even the premier motif. The Kingdom of Heaven in Matthew is essentially interchangeable to the Kingdom of God found in the other Gospels, with terminology most likely tailored to his Jewish audience. Remember that the Jewish people most likely believed that God’s Kingdom would immediately result in the overthrow their Roman rulers and exalt the nation of Israel, Jesus came teaching differently. To repeat a quote from John Piper,
Sermons from John Piper (2000–2014) The Kingdom of Heaven is a Treasure

the kingdom of God is not mainly realm or place but rule or reign.

Sermons from John Piper (2000–2014) The Kingdom of Heaven is a Treasure

this reign is specifically his saving or redeeming reign.

So far in our series our attention has primarily been on those whom belong to the Kingdom and those who do not, but today, in the parables of the field and of the pearl, we turn our attention to the nature of the Kingdom, specifically its value.
On the rare occasion that I get to be up here sharing God’s word with you, I also like to include something that will help you to interpret the Bible on your own. When it comes to parables, it is helpful to remember that we don’t need to allegorize every little detail of the story. Jesus is telling a short fictional story to make a specific point or points. They aren’t designed to be perfect analogies, they all break down at some point. One book suggests taking our lessons from the main characters or features of the story.
What is the King
What is a parable?
Today we are looking at two parables which share the same point, each with two main features: a great treasure and someone who is willing to surrender everything they own to obtain it. It is often the simplest truths that are the hardest for us to really believe in our hearts, and it is a very simple truth that these two parables teach:

The Kingdom of Heaven is worth more than you could ever surrender

Amen, let’s pray…
Well maybe we could go a little deeper. The point of our text this morning is simple, but that makes the task at hand more difficult in that we (myself included), need to be convinced of this truth in our hearts.
So Father, use your Spirit in us this morning to convince us of the truth of this passage, help us tho see the value of your Kingdom above all the already own.- Amern
Since the
Our main point breaks down into two sides of the same coin: value and cost.

I. Value of the Kingdom

I. Value of the Kingdom

The first parable lends itself slightly to emphasizing the value of the Kingdom. Let’s read it one more time:

The value of the Kingdom is equal to the value of it’s King

Matthew 13:44 NIV
44 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.
Now remember, we don’t want to make a huge deal out of every detail of this parable, like why did he hide the treasure again after he found it? Shouldn’t he have told the owner of the field about the treasure before buying it? In studying this week I found so many books that wanted to explore the integrity of the man and his real estate ethics. All things that just don’t matter to the point of the parable. Why? Because this man doesn’t even really exist! When Jesus says “The Kingdom of Heaven is like...” he fixes our attention squarely on a treasure hidden in a field. The practice of burying treasure was common in a time before banks, and this must have been some treasure, because the man who found it was willing to sell everything that he owned in order to obtain it.
This is the heart of the simple truth that is so hard for us to grasp. The Kingdom of God is something valuable. The Kingdom is a good place to live. Do you like where you live? Is it the Kingdom of Hollywood, ruled by the celebrity and talk show overlords? Is it the Kingdom of corporate success? Ruled by your literal bosses and CEO’s? Maybe you get to be in charge there. Maybe it’s the literal physical place you live. The Kingdom of America. But is it the Liberal Version or the Conservative version? Or something else?
I’m no Historian, but in what seems like history mixed with a little bit of misunderstanding, many of us have heard the story of George Washington rejecting the offer to be made king in America. However, maybe it’s just me getting older and the issues getting closer to home, but it really seems to me that this upcoming election especially that America is looking for a monarch. Someone who will enforce their agenda against all who disagree, even to the point where they are willing to let other failings slip.
To a good extent, I understand, because there is a direct correlation from the quality of a Kingdom to its King.

The goodness of the Kingdom is equal to the goodness of its King

When John the baptizer is preaching that Kingdom of heaven is near, who comes around the corner to be baptized? The King himself. The goodness of the Kingdom is equal to the goodness of the king.
What people don’t understand is that people aren’t perfect, and that sin matters. That’s why the message of Matthew is so significant, because he takes the task of showing how Jesus is the perfect King from the get go. The message that Jesus is the greatest King is central to the book of Matthew, so we’re going to start in chapter one and see how far we get… of course time would fail me to go through the whole book. But I do encourage you to do so on your own sometime. If you sat down to read the book of Matthew in a single session or at least in very large chunks at a time that you will see these themes even clearer. But there are three ways that Matthew points out very clearly that no other Kingdom has ever prevailed in that Jesus does.

King over Creation ()

You may remember the story of Jesus and his disciples going out on a lake, and that while he was asleep the disciples were frightened by a storm that threatened the vessel.
Matthew 8:26–27 NIV
26 He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. 27 The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”
Over sickness
No Kingdom has been exempt to the natural forces of this world, whether it be the natural progression of decay by which all things fade away, or because of the natural disasters that have ravaged their lands. People outside of California think of earthquakes when they think of our state. But those of us who have lived here a long time know that the drought has treated California far less kindly than earthquakes, causing fires to last longer and to be more devastating. We recall a recent hurricane season that wreaked havok and causing over $50 billion dollars of damage.
Over nature
For the most part, a hurricane carries neither justice nor mercy. It destroys indiscriminately, affecting good and bad people. It is simply a symptom of living in a fallen world. Earth quakes, fires, earth quakes, frigid condition. No Kingdom has been exempt, except one. Jesus speaks, and the storm ceases, and one day, neither natural disaster nor decay will persist when the Son of man fulfills the Kingdom physically and permanently on the earth.

King over the Spiritual ()

He himself is a just ruler
No other King has had control over the spiritual. In fact if anything, other Kingdoms have opened themselves to Spiritual attack because of the evil practices and worship of false gods. This is an area we do not often recognize because it is often not in our face, but Scripture tells us what goes on behind the scenes. Remember Job never really learned God’s reasoning for opening him up to attack by the devil, and neither really do we. But Jesus demonstrates the highest authority over the Spiritual realm when he went with his disciples to the Gadarenes, where they encountered two demon possessed men who were so violent no one could pass.
American King
Matthew 8:29–32 NIV
29 “What do you want with us, Son of God?” they shouted. “Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?” 30 Some distance from them a large herd of pigs was feeding. 31 The demons begged Jesus, “If you drive us out, send us into the herd of pigs.” 32 He said to them, “Go!” So they came out and went into the pigs, and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and died in the water.
Matthew 8:29-32
He does not let the murderer free
If you don’t find that relevant enough to your life remember that Jesus also carried the authority to forgive sins. Particularly in the OT we see God brining Kingdoms and Kings to their Knees for their sins. Even the best Kings like David and Josiah suffered dire consequences because of their sins. Which leads to third way Jesus is a superior King:

King over Sickness and death ()

Kings and rulers have never been able to stop their own deaths, let alone the disease and sickness of their subjects. The plague killed millions throughout Europe in the 1300’s despite their rulers. Jesus however, demonstrates his authority over sickness and disease across his ministry. One particular story sees Jesus not only heal a woman who had been suffering from a bleeding disorder for twelve years, but is on his way to raise a little girl from the dead.
Matthew 9:24–25 NIV
24 he said, “Go away. The girl is not dead but asleep.” But they laughed at him. 25 After the crowd had been put outside, he went in and took the girl by the hand, and she got up.
Continuously forgives sins
Jesus’ authority over death in this story prefigures his own rise from the dead. No matter what King you follow, there are none who have escaped death like Jesus.
Nebuchadnezzar, was the King of Babylon who brought the Kingdom of Judah into exile over 500 years before Jesus’ ministry- he’s dead
Eats with the sinner
Cyrus, King of Persia who allowed the exiles to return- He’s dead
Antiochus tyrant King of Syria who wanted to destroy the Jewish people between the testaments- dead
However, Jesus is alive
King Herod is dead, Pontius Pilate is dead, Caiaphas the high priest is dead, Caesar (all of them) are dead. However Jesus is alive.
65 monarchs of England are dead, 39 American presidents are dead, no leader or king has ever escaped death,
Calls the sinner to be his disciple and his mouthpiece
God’s Kingdom is the best because its King is the highest.

II. Cost of the Kingdom

Lay down your idols

But as we turn to the second parable in this passage, despite having the same lesson as the first the perspective and emphasis shifts slightly to the one who acquires the Kingdom.
Matthew 13:45–46 NIV
45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. 46 When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.
Imagine this man having a fire sale of all his possessions. How much effort would that even be? I know I barely know where to begin when selling items, yet he sells all that he has to acquire this Pearl of great price.
Notice Jesus does not say “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a pearl” as he did in the last parable. Instead he says the “The Kingdom of God is like a merchant.” Certainly the Kingdom in this parable still corresponds to the treasure, but Jesus has focused on the one who found it and did everything he had to do to get it.
How much effort would that even be?
Now whether we are talking about the man in the first parable or this merchant, some interpreters have concluded that it must be Jesus. Why? Because he purchases the treasure. Scripture teaches us that there is no way that we can earn or buy the Kingdom ourselves. Jesus himself told his disciples, “Freely you have received; freely give.” () Jesus knows that the Kingdom is not purchased. But I think that there is good reason that we (believers in Jesus Christ) are represented by these figures. First of all Jesus doesn’t even emphasize the price that the field and pearl were sold for. He doesn’t say they cost a certain number of denarius. He emphasizes that it cost each man everything that he owned.
Jesus also told his disciples “Freely you have received; freely give” ()
We must distinguish between “cost” and “price”. The cost of an ice cream cone exceeds the price of an ice cream cone, just ask my jeans. The cost of my bachelor’s degree exceeds the unseemly amount of money I paid to get it. It cost me four years of study, class time, projects, lack of sleep etc… the cost of the Kingdom is not necessarily what earns it, but what it costs to receive it.
There is a glaring omission in which we tell people about the gospel that Jesus did not shy away from. That even though we cannot earn entry into the Kingdom of Heaven, there is still a cost. “Count the cost” Jesus tells his followers in Luke. The words clearly spoken in Luke are made clear throughout Matthew by way of example and teaching.
The reason that we need to identify with this man, is that the cost of the kingdom for would be disciples is painted all over this gospel.

-Sins ()

The first thing that we must surrender in order to enter the kingdom of heaven is our sin.
Matthew 3:1–2 NIV
1 In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea 2 and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”
This is a message that Jesus picks up after John’s death. And yet it is a message that our churches so often lack. We are quick to speak of the forgiveness of Jesus. That is good. That’s all over Matthew too. But Jesus preaches like a prophet throughout Judea and Galilee teaching repentance from sins. Yes as we walk with Jesus we still stumble in our sin, yes we still struggle, but that is fundamentally different from walking willfully toward our sins. Those that claim to be followers of Jesus yet see no reason to cease from their sins misunderstand the gospel. Jesus meets us where we are, but unless we are walking away from our sins how can we also be walking towards the Kingdom?

-Morality ()

Hand in hand with this idea is that we also need to leave behind our own morality. Morality? Isn’t morality a good thing? Yes, but the morality of this world is not like the morality of God’s Kingdom. Matthew devotes three chapters to the sermon on the mount, often seen as a sermon about the ethics of the Kingdom of Heaven. In this sermon Jesus turns the presuppositions of the devoted Jews upside down. In America the compass for morality is usually our own hearts. What we believe is right and wrong or what feels right and wrong becomes our truth. The problem is Scripture tells us that our hearts are sinful, and tells us the right and wrong are absolute. Jesus teaches on anger, sexuality, religious practice, murder, justice, charity, all in culture defying ways. And not just the original culture. I’m willing to say that unless your morality is different from 90% of the rest of the world, that there is a problem with how you understand scripture. Your morality must not shaped by the government or by celebrity, by culture or even your own heart, but by Scripture alone.

-Possessions ()

Jesus also teaches the giving up of possessions. Money and possessions easily become our idols, especially in contexts of prosperity. You may remember the man who let his possessions get in the way of following Jesus. He wanted to know how to enter God’s Kingdom and he believed he was righteous enough
Matthew 19:20–22 NIV
20 “All these I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack?” 21 Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” 22 When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.
Matthew 19:16–22 NIV
16 Just then a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?” 17 “Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.” 18 “Which ones?” he inquired. Jesus replied, “ ‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, 19 honor your father and mother,’ and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’” 20 “All these I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack?” 21 Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” 22 When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.
Let go of your need for possessions. Downsize if necessary. Do not let possessions become your idol nor mammon your master. Be warned that
Matthew 19:24 NIV
24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”
Matthew 19:

-Career ()

Letting go of these three will impact other areas of your life that you will need to loosen your hand on. Like your career. Remember how Jesus called his disciples:
Matthew 4:18–22 NIV
18 As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 19 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” 20 At once they left their nets and followed him. 21 Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, 22 and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.
These men left their posts and their fathers businesses to follow Jesus. Following God’s calling can be difficult. Also consider Matthew who was a tax collector, known for extorting the people unjustly who Jesus called in a similar matter. Sometimes a business may ask you to do something unethical, unbecoming of a Christian, in order to benefit the business or for you to rise in the ranks. Jesus calls you to something higher, even if it means losing a career you have built up.
Matthew 19:28 NIV
28 Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
Matthew 19:18 ESV
18 He said to him, “Which ones?” And Jesus said, “You shall not murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness,

-Relationships ()


Our new Kingdom life will affect our relationships. Jesus is often thought of being a much kinder version of God than the mean Old Testament God. Yet Jesus says

-Possessions ()

Matthew 10:34–37 NIV
34 “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to turn “ ‘a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law— 36 a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’ 37 “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
Our relationships are on the line when we call Jesus our Lord. But in our context we rarely hear about such extreme separation. We don’t do persecution in America like the rest of the world does. Consider this testimony from one of our sisters in Laos
VIDEO 3 mins
Not many of us have experienced anything like that. And thankfully a ministry in Laos was able to take Whan in and keep her safe from her family through an organization called Voice of the Martyrs, but not all are so lucky.

-Life ()

In his discourse on the end times Jesus tells his disciples


-Expectations ()

Matthew 24:9 NIV
9 “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me.
Countless believers have lost their lives for the kingdom, and although we may never have to make that sacrifice ourselves the example that they teach is of such great value. That is this:

-Pride ()

You may have to sacrifice all of these things for the Kingdom, but that doesn’t mean that we will be deficit in these areas. The men in these parable apparently believed that the value of what they were buying far exceeded and repayed what they had lost to gain it. We don’t enter a deficit in our lives when we sacrifice for the Kingdom.
In exchange for our sins, Jesus gives us freedom from the old way of life and the ability to live righteously.
In exchange for our worldly morality Jesus gives us true fulfillment in living the way he created us to live
In exchange for earthly possessions he gives us an inheritance and reward in heaven.
In exchange for our career remember that Jesus told his disciples that there is a new position for them in the Kingdom
If you lose your family and loved ones, remember that Jesus has called the church his mother and brothers and has taught us to call God our Father.
If you lose your life for the gospel, remember that there is eternal life in heaven, and great is the reward of the martyrs who gave all for God’s Kingdom.

III. Price of the Kingdom

Remember that I told you at the beginning that parables all break down at some point in the analogy. This is where the parable breaks down, in surrendering all that they own these men are able to purchase their treasures. Again, there is a difference between cost and price, but the Kingdom of Heaven still has a price, and one that is far beyond our reach even if we elect to surrender everything in our lives. Scripture tells us there is nothing we could earn or give to merit salvation. Thanks be to God that Christ came not to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.
Matthew 20:28 NIV
28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Jesus views his own death as a ransom, a paying of a price, so that we might be transferred from the Kingdom of this World into the Kingdom of Heaven.

Christ paid a price

we could never pay ourselves

If you are here this morning wondering what you it takes to enter into God’s Kingdom, the answer is that Jesus must become your King before anything else. You may have to sacrifice everything to enter the Kingdom, but your price has been paid for you. And anything that you sacrifice, will be so worth it in the end. Let’s pray
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