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