PARABLES DAY 8 - 11 May 2018

Ben Fourie

“Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘If anyone wants to come with me, he must forget self, carry his cross, and follow me.’” Matthew 16:24

In Matthew 13:44-55 Jesus told his listeners three short stories about the Kingdom of heaven and how it operates. As the Kingdom of God is central to the story of the Bible, it is very important to understand these short parables. In a nutshell, the Kingdom of God is the domain where God is the ruling King. The Old Testament teaches us that God is King over everybody and everything and therefore had the authority to create everything. This concept is then worked out more completely in the New Testament.

As with all the parables this stories have to do with the world his listeners had to live in every day and to teach them and us how to understand the very important concept of the Kingdom of God. These stories are about a hidden treasure, a very fine pearl and the catching of fish. Let us use the one about the merchant who is looking for fine pearls as representative of all three. In verse 46 we read: “…and when he finds one that is unusually fine, he goes and sells everything he has, and buys that pearl.” This tells us that Gods’ kingdom, His mastery over our lives, mine also, is more precious than anything else and we must always hunt for it every day. According to Matthew 6:33 if, I am concerned with the Kingdom of God above everything else “…he will provide you with all these other things.” If we are looking to live under his authority every day he will provide us with all we need.

In the end this story is not only about looking for the one very fine pearl. It is also about a whole new way of living and thinking. To be able to “afford” the unusually fine pearl means the merchant had to sell all other possessions even all the fine pearls he has accumulated over many years. If I want God to be the king in everything I do, I will have to get rid of all the other “kings” that rule my life. In this new world where God is king, all my possessions, my job, my abilities, fine pearls as they might be, are not the most important anymore.

Prayer: Lord help me to find the most precious treasure every day. Amen

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