Traditions of Men Versus the Word of God

(Matthew 15:1-9)

The scribes and Pharisees came to Jesus asking why the disciples did not observe the tradition of the elders regarding the washing of their hands before eating. Jesus used the opportunity to teach about the traditions of men versus the word of god.

The scribes and Pharisees had many traditions of men, many of which opposed the word of God. In this section we see Jesus describe one of those. The word of God says to honour your father and mother, but the Pharisee’s tradition allowed a person to ignore their father and mother if what they would have done for them was given to God instead. So for the sake of their tradition they made void the word of God. They were clearly wrong as Jesus stated, and in the case of eating with unwashed hands they were wrong too, but we will see that in the next post.

Today the church has many traditions, some of which are good and some not so good. We still have traditions in the church today that make void the word of God. One that occurs every year at Easter is the tradition of not eating red meat on Good Friday at Easter. This is supposed to be out of respect for Christ who gave up his flesh on Good Friday. So what people typically do is eat fish on Good Friday. But nowhere in the bible does it say we are to forgo eating meat on the Friday before the Passover, which is when Jesus was put to death. This practice is a human tradition of the church. They will and do eat prawns, shrimp, clams, scallops, mussels, oysters, shark and other seafood rather than red meat. And yet the food laws in the Old Testament clearly state we should eat nothing from the sea that does not have fins and scales. These other forms of seafood do not have fins and scales and so under the food laws are prohibited foods. So for the sake of the church tradition they allow people to break the food laws that were given by God to the people.

The reason God gave the food laws was for our benefit and protection. All of the prohibited foods we know today have some kind of issue. Shellfish are high in cholesterol, oysters in particular are a high cause of food poisoning, shark can be high in heavy metals because it is a scavenger, and so on. Of the meats, pork is also a high bacterial content food and often at the root of salmonella outbreaks. While we are not under the law in the Christian covenant, it does not make sense to ignore the wisdom of God where he has given us instruction for our benefit.

There are other traditions that were delivered to the church that are good and should be followed. Examples are the breaking of bread, anointing with oil, baptism and the laying on of hands. These traditions form part of the way we worship under the New Covenant and are to be practiced and protected. But any tradition that changes or opposes the word of God are to be avoided and removed.

There are many traditions in the church and we must take care to consider when the traditions of men versus the word of God. Such traditions that make void the word of God destroy our worship. When the tradition becomes more important than the word of God, the tradition must go. As Jesus said, quoting Isaiah, “This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.” (Matthew 15:8-9)

Many traditions that have infiltrated the church today have their roots in pagan and non-Christian religions. Examples are many of the traditions of Christmas and Easter. There is no evidence in the bible for the giving of Easter eggs or setting up Christmas trees. However these practices do have roots in pagan teachings. And yet these traditions have infiltrated the church as though they were meant to suggest some form of worship of Christ. Even the dates of these two supposed Christian events are incorrect (although every so often the date for Easter does align with the Passover).

These traditions take people away from God. They destroy the worship of God when the church rules the tradition to be more important than following the teachings of Jesus Christ. Our challenge is to identify the traditions in our own church and our own life and question whether they are affecting our worship of God. If the tradition is not backed up by scripture then it needs to be tested to see if it is opposed to God in some way, and if so removed.

The Hem of His Garment

(Matthew 14:34-36)

After Jesus had walked on the water with Peter and calmed the seas, they came to the other shore to land at Gennes’arat. On arriving the local people recognised Jesus and sent word to all in the region. People came from all around for healing and to merely touch the hem of his garment so they would be healed. And the healing power of Jesus was such that to merely touch the hem of his garment was sufficient, for as many as did touch the hem of his garment were made well.

Here we see that Jesus fame had spread throughout the land. Everywhere he went from here on there were crowds. They came to be healed, to see the mighty works and to hear the good news of the gospel of the Kingdom of God.

Jesus did not self promote to achieve such a presence in the land. There was no marketing, no hype, no trumpets or town criers going before him to announce his arrival. There was no You Tube or Facebook or Internet to spread the word of him in those days, but still his fame spread like wildfire. In fact in many of the healings Jesus specifically told the people to tell no one as we see in Mark 7:36, “And he charged them to tell no one; but the more he charged them, the more zealously they proclaimed it.” Despite telling the people to keep it quiet, the more they spread his fame.

It stands to reason that he would be seen for it is written elsewhere, “So also good deeds are conspicuous; and even when they are not, they cannot remain hidden.” (1 Timothy 5:25) And also, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid.” (Matthew 5:14) In this scripture Jesus was referring to the disciples and those who followed his word. If the disciples cannot be hidden, how much less the author of salvation, Jesus Christ himself?

The faith of the people had grown to such levels that we see them wish only to touch the hem of his garment and the believed they would be healed. And as many who did touch the hem of his garment were healed. In another section we see a woman with a flow of blood come to him and touch the hem of his garment without his knowledge and she too was healed. But Jesus was aware of the power going out to do the healing and when she realised she could not hide she confessed. Jesus made the comment for her to go in peace for, “Your faith has made you well.” (Luke 8:43-48)

The key to healing is faith. We see this also under the anointing with oil for healing. In James 5:14-15 we see this shown, “Is any among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer of faith will save the sick man, and the Lord will raise him up; and if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.” In this case we see that it is a combination of faith. The sick person must have faith enough to call for the elders of the church to anoint and pray for him or her. And the elders must have faith that the anointing with oil and prayer to the Father, both in the name of the Lord Jesus will heal the sick person. Indeed our whole life in Christ is based on faith in Jesus and we live in him only by faith and the power of Jesus’ name.

Walking on Water with Jesus

(Matthew 14:22-33)

After Jesus fed the five thousand we see the teaching where Peter came walking on water with Jesus. This teaching about walking on water with Jesus holds many good lessons. There are elements of faith, doubt, trust, comfort, power and authority contained in the lesson on walking on water with Jesus.

To begin with we see Jesus send the disciples off in a boat across the sea while he dismissed the crowds and sent them home. After this Jesus went up alone on the mountain to pray. It is important to understand that even Jesus, as the Son of God still needed time alone with God to pray. He still came to the Father for guidance and to put his thoughts and needs before him. He did this alone which aligns with the teaching he gave in Matthew 6:6 saying, “But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” Jesus followed this same principle of praying alone and away from others to the Father.

Then we see Jesus come walking on water to the boat, intending to pass them by, but when they saw him he came to them. The disciples were terrified thinking it was a ghost until Jesus called to them not to be afraid. Peter then said, “Lord, if it is you, bid me come to you on the water.” Jesus said, “Come.”

Now here is an interesting situation when Peter came walking on water with Jesus. First we must understand that no man has the power or authority to walk on water. Peter could not do so until he was given permission and authority from the Lord. Once he had permission Pater came walking on water to Jesus. Any miraculous works that are done can only be done under the power and authority of the Lord. You cannot take the power of God and you cannot take or claim the gifts of God either. These things are given as gifts and if the Lord does not give us both the power, which comes through the Holy Spirit, and the authority to exercise that power, we will be able to do nothing.

So Peter received the power and authority to come walking on water with Jesus. When he stepped over the side of the boat, believing it was the Lord; he had put his full trust and faith in Jesus that he would be able to walk on water with Jesus. And that is exactly what happened. Peter walked to Jesus in the middle of the sea on the water. While Peter kept his eyes on Jesus and held to his faith, he could literally walk on water with Jesus, not alone but with Jesus.

But then Peter looked around himself and saw the raging wind and waves and he became afraid and began to sink. He took his eyes off Jesus and basically said to himself that this can’t be happening. How can a man walk on water? And so he began to doubt, and when he began to doubt, he began to sink.

How many times do we find ourselves surrounded by the storms of life? When we look to Jesus the storms do not affect us, but when we focus on the storms we too begin to sink. The analogy here is easy to see and understand. While our focus is on Jesus we too can figuratively walk on water with Jesus. When we are together with Jesus, anything is possible. But when we separate ourselves from Jesus through doubt or setting our minds on the problems and issues that we are surrounded with, we sink. Doubt is a lack of faith.

When Peter came walking on water with Jesus and doubted, he quickly refocussed and called out to Jesus to save him as he was sinking. Jesus reached out his hand and caught him saying, “O man of little faith, why did you doubt?” Then they got into the boat and we see a further interesting thing occur. After Jesus had assisted Peter, he calmed the wind and sea. In essence he removed the storms and the problems that were causing them to be battered and hard pressed to reach the other shore. Likewise when we call to Jesus for help in our storms, as we ask in faith and trust him, in due course he will calm the storms around us.

This is a wonderful teaching from which we can take heart and hope. There is comfort in knowing that through Jesus anything is possible if we will call to him to help us. He has the power and the authority over all things and there is nothing he cannot do to help us. All we need to do is ask.

Fishes and Loaves Bible Story

(Matthew 14:13-21)

The fishes and loaves bible story is one that is commonly heard in the world today. Quite often the fishes and loaves bible story is cited when people have somehow fed a large number of people as Jesus fed the multitudes in this section of Matthew, or when people have sufficient food to feed the five thousand. But there are deeper meanings to the fishes and loaves bible story that show other aspects of Jesus ministry.

Jesus had gone to a remote place after the beheading of John the Baptist, but the crowds heard of it and followed him. Out of compassion for the people he healed their sick and he taught them about the gospel and the Kingdom of God well into the evening.

The disciples were trying to be considerate of the people by saying to Jesus to send the people away into the villages so they could buy food to eat. They were aware that the people had been there all day and needed food. But Jesus said to the disciples that they need not go away but for the disciples to give them food. The disciples responded saying they had only five loaves and two fish, which they brought to Jesus. Jesus took the fishes and the loaves and looking up to heaven he blessed and broke them and they were distributed among the people. When the five thousand men, plus many women and children, had all eaten and were satisfied, there were twelve baskets full of the broken pieces left over.

This was a remarkable miracle performed that day. In this fishes and loaves bible story what actually happened was that Jesus created matter in the form of the fishes and loaves. He literally created this food from thin air, something created from nothing. You can almost imagine that as he broke a piece of bread or fish off the main lump, it grew back or reappeared so that he could break it off again, multiplying the food to feed the five thousand plus people there. We have seen through the ages people searching for a way to create or transform matter. Alchemists in the dark ages tried to turn lead into gold. Today scientists have just discovered how to clone cells to grow tissue. But Jesus did not clone the food; it was created from nothing instantaneously.

But why did he do this? It was to show several things to the disciples and the people. First, they had no need to worry about the resources available to the Lord. He knows that we need to eat and have food, and he is able to provide food from nothing. We see this same principle in the Old Testament when Elijah was brought food morning and evening by the ravens. (1 Kings 17:6) also when Elijah went and stayed with the widow from Zar’ephath the Lord refilled her jars of meal and oil for many days, perhaps several years, during the famine of the time while the Lord withheld the rains. Again in this situation, the Lord created food from nothing. (1 Kings 17:8-16)

But the fishes and loaves bible story shows us also that he feeds us the spiritual food. Jesus had been teaching the people all day giving them the spiritual food that would lead to life. And in compassion he showed that you need both and he provided both. This was a lesson to the disciples. They would have sent the people away, but Jesus showed that if you give only the spiritual food when there is also a need for physical food, they needed to give both. You cannot expect people to accept the spiritual matters while there is a concern for physical well-being. James also showed the pointlessness of saying, “If a brother or sister is ill-clad and in lack of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what does it profit?” (James 2:15-16) Part of the compassion and caring of the New Covenant is in ensuring that the people of God have what is needed for the spirit as well as the body.

However Jesus also taught in another version that the people had been more focussed on then physical food then the spiritual food. Although they needed to eat, they needed to learn more. Jesus said, “Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of man will give to you; for on him has God the Father set his seal.” (John 6:26-27) So likewise we must not spend our energy labouring for the things of this world, but rather we need to study and learn the things of the spirit that will lead us to life with Christ.

So the Lord will provide our physical needs and if we trust in him we have no need to be worried. We can take comfort from this knowledge knowing that in the fishes and loaves bible story there is evidence of the providence of the Lord.

Beheading of John the Baptist

(Matthew 14:1-12)

At the beginning of this chapter we see the circumstances that led to the beheading of John the Baptist. There are a few interesting point and lessons to be learned from this event, both historically and spiritually. The beheading of John the Baptist unfolded in the following manner.

First we see that John the Baptist had been imprisoned by Herod because John the Baptist had told Herod that it was unlawful for him to take his brother Phillip’s wife, Herodias, as his own. Basically John the Baptist told Herod he was committing adultery. Herod was angry and wanted to put John the Baptist to death, but he feared the people who held John the Baptist to be a prophet.

A feast was held for Herod on his birthday, and as an aside this is the only time in the New Testament that we see a birthday being celebrated. Evidently the idea of hold a birthday celebration goes back quite a long time. At this birthday feast the daughter of Herodias danced before Herod and all of his guests and this pleased Herod greatly. Now perhaps Herod had had too much to drink or was emotionally overcome by the event, but he then did what can only be described as a foolish thing.

Herod was so pleased or perhaps entranced by this dance that he offered the girl anything she wanted, even to the value of half of his kingdom. Indeed he swore an oath to the girl to give her whatever she wanted, and there were many witnesses to his oath. This was a rash statement made under the influence of emotion. He was certainly not thinking straight when making this statement.

Now Herodias, the mother of the girl, also bore a grudge against John the Baptist, because he too would have accused her of adultery. Seeing the opportunity she prompted her daughter to ask for the beheading of John the Baptist and to be given his head on a platter. Herod was sorrowful and realised the rashness of his oath and his statements. But he could not or would not back down and lose face in front of the guests and so ordered it to be done.

The lesson for us here in Herod’s example is that we must watch what we say. We should never make rash statements nor make any important decisions in the heat of emotion or the passion of the moment. We have been instructed to let our yes be yes and our no be no, (James 5:12) but we must first think through the consequences of our words. The tongue is a fire and no human being can control it as James also wrote. (James 3) We are fortunate that the Lord has given us the Holy Spirit to do the work of transformation in our lives to bring us into the likeness of God. No human being has the power to control the tongue. But through the working of the Holy Spirit over time, this may be achieved.

Finally we must take the advice of James once again when he said, “Know this, my beloved brethren. Let every man be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger, for the anger of man does not work the righteousness of God.” (James 1:19-20) Listen carefully to what is being said and then think it over before saying anything or making a decision. If the statement makes you angry or touches any emotion at all, do not make a decision while under the influence of emotion. You must stop and weigh things in the light and strength of reason, not emotion, and then you have a chance of making the right choice or saying the right words. Above all else, if it is an important decision, put it in the hands of the Lord with prayer to guide you. And wait for him to do so.

A Prophet is Without Honour

(Matthew 13:53-58)

There are three valuable lessons in this last section of Matthew 13, culminating with the teaching that a prophet is without honour in his own country and house. In this part we see him finish his parable teachings and returning to his own home country.

Firstly though we see an insight into Jesus earlier life and his family life. Contrary to how he is often portrayed, Jesus was part of a wider family. We know that his mother was Mary and his earthly, though not biological father was Joseph. However Jesus is often portrayed as an only child. This was not the case for here we see there was an extended family. He had four brothers who were names here as James, Joseph, Simon and Judas and he also had a number of sisters who were not named. The sisters were described as “all his sisters” who could mean three or more, and definitely at least two, although you would expect if there were only two they would say “both his sisters.” (Vs. 55) So Jesus understood the issues and problems as well as the benefits of family life.

Secondly we see that the people of his hometown all recognised him. They knew who he was for he had grown up among them. This was Jesus, the carpenter’s son who played and worked in their streets and villages as a child and young man. They were puzzled because they had heard about him but when he came and taught with such wisdom in their synagogue, they were astonished. However they did not recognise him as the Son of God. Thus they took offence for they were hardened of heart because of their familiarity with the old Jesus, not this teacher of God’s Kingdom bring the good news of the gospel. They could not accept that this was the same person and so they did not believe in him.

We see also that because of their unbelief and lack of faith, Jesus did no mighty works there. Why? Because the works that he did were based on faith. The people had to believe that God could do the works that Jesus did before they would come to him for his help. For example, if a person did not believe Jesus could free them from a sickness, disease or infirmity, they would not come for healing. Over and over we see this when Jesus said, “Your faith has made you well” (Matthew 9:22, Mark 5:34, Mark 10:52, Luke 8:48, Luke 17:19, Luke 18:42) Without faith the people would not come. Was the power Jesus had lessened because the people did not believe? Absolutely not. But if they did not come and ask for healing through a lack of faith, then they would not get healed. Jesus did not force his will or his healing power on anyone. They had to make the first move, and the first move is faith. The people did not believe for they considered him to still be the carpenter’s son rather than the Son of God.

Finally we find Jesus make the statement that a prophet is without honour in his own country, land and house. This is the same as saying that familiarity breeds contempt. In his own house and country a prophet was nobody special. Everyone knew them for they had grown up together so they knew the person’s behaviour, strengths and weaknesses. A prophet in another place is among strangers who do not know these things and so they listen for all they have to judge the character of the person is what they see and hear. But in his own home a prophet is just a brother or son and part of the wider family unit.

Even Jesus had this experience and it was included here to show us an insight into the nature of man. Often when we try to bring the good news to our own family and friends we too are treated with a lack of faith. These people know our past and us. If we had a colourful past they will not believe this is the same person speaking to them as the one they knew. And so they too may take offence as they did with Jesus. Sometimes the people closest to us who we may want to bring the message of the gospel to are the hardest to convince. With them we need to adopt a silent approach so that they may be won over by observing our changed behaviour. The apostle Peter wrote of this very thing saying, “Likewise you wives, be submissive to your husbands, so that some, though they do not obey the word, may be won without a word by the behaviour of their wives, when they see your reverent and chaste behaviour.” (1 Peter 3:1-2)

So we can take heart from these lessons and understand that if we are rejected by those we know best, it may be that it is not the right time for them. They may need to be convinced not by words but by seeing the changes in our life.

Treasures New and Old

(Matthew 13:51-52)

This section concludes the parable teachings that Jesus gave to his disciples at this time. He also provides a valuable lesson here on the methods by which they were to pass on this information. He describes here how they are trained and were to train others. To understand some of this it was necessary to refer to the original Greek so that the full meaning of the words could be extracted.

First Jesus asks the disciples if they have understood all that he has tole them, to which they said, “Yes.” He then wraps up the section with a comment about the training of scribes for the kingdom of heaven and how they were to teach.

First we should consider the word scribes. Although Jesus often upbraided the scribes of his time, he is now not talking about those men and what they taught. Here he is talking about a scribe in a general sense. In Jesus’ time the scribes were the learned men. They could read and write and had knowledge. There were no printing presses at the time and so the scribes were employed to hand copy documents and books for distribution. It was necessary that they were accurate so that the meaning of the texts were not distorted or lost, and for the most part they were good at this function.

We see then that Jesus is talking about a specific type of scribe, one who is trained for the kingdom of heaven. So these people he is referring to are the teachers and preachers of the gospel. They are the learned people of the good news of the kingdom of God and who are entrusted with the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the means by which people can enter the kingdom of God.

He likens these people to a householder who brings out treasure. However the original Greek word for “householder” is better translated as the “master of the house.” This master is the head of the house who in that house is the person in charge or a person of authority. In relation to the house of God, Jesus is the master of the house and the one in charge. And the scribes of the kingdom of heaven are like the master of the house, who is Jesus. The work of the New Covenant in our life is to transform us into the image of Christ so that we truly can be like the master of the house. So the teachers and the preachers of the New Covenant are to be like Jesus who is the master of the house.

Now the master of the house brings out treasures new and old. If we think about an event about to take place in a great house, say like a wedding, the house is decorated. And the decorations will often be valuable and some will be old, like family heirlooms, and some will be new that were bought for the occasion. These things are taken from the storage in the house, which may have been a locked treasury in days gone by. It is a place where items of great value are kept for just such occasions. The treasures new and old that we have are likewise of great value, for the teachings of the kingdom of God are teachings of life.

When a teacher then is bringing forth the message of the New Covenant, he may and should bring forth this treasure in both old and new things. A teacher needs to use all of the information, knowledge and wisdom they have gained through trial, error, experience and study to bring forth the message. It may be things they have learned many years ago or may be knowledge acquired just recently. It may be examples from the Old Testament or doctrine from the New Testament. Whatever it is, the teacher needs to bring forth what is appropriate for the lesson and time at hand. They cannot just continue to drone about the one thing constantly but as the people learn and grow, the message needs to grow too.

This is a valuable insight into the way that Jesus showed the disciples to teach the new covenant. It is interesting that he used the analogy of a scribe, for the scribes of his time were anything but flexible in their teaching. And in essence he is saying that to bring forth treasures old and new is to be flexible in how they should teach. Not to compromise the message, but to apply it the best way to the situation. The scribes of that time though were rigid and inflexible. They taught the law in a legalistic and rigid manner. But as Jesus showed, they ignored the weightier matters of the law: justice, mercy and faith. “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law, justice and mercy and faith; these you ought to have done, without neglecting the others.” (Matthew 23:23)

Paul knew this too, for he said, “For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a slave to all, that I might win the more. To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews; to those under the law I became as one under the law–though not being myself under the law–that I might win those under the law. To those outside the law I became as one outside the law–not being without law toward God but under the law of Christ–that I might win those outside the law. To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.” (1 Corinthians 9:19-22) Paul took this message to the people using old and new methods to teach it in a way they could understand the message.

There is wisdom in this teaching for any who teach the gospel not to be dogmatic or rigid. Learn the truth and apply it to your life and the way it is taught. Speak to people using the old and the new treasures of the covenant as Jesus did so that we too can be like the master of the house in our preaching and teaching.

The Good the Bad and the Ugly

(Matthew 13:47-50)

This parable of the kingdom is about the end of the time when Jesus comes to judge the world. We saw earlier that he will allow the weeds to grow with the wheat and they will be separated at the end of the days. This parable is saying much the same.

The net will be cast into the sea of peoples and all people will be gathered into it. Like each of the fish caught in the net they will be judged and graded. All people will be judged as well and it will be determined whether they are fit for the kingdom of God or worthless. Those deemed fit will go into his kingdom to live eternally with God & Jesus Christ. However those who fail to meet the test will be sentenced to punishment and will be thrown into the lake of fire with Satan and his demons.

This is a warning. If we want to avoid judgement we are to make the right decisions now. Now is the acceptable time of salvation as Paul said in 2 Corinthians 6:2. If we ignore his warning and follow the ways of this world, then we choose the path of destruction.

It is my hope and prayer that I will achieve the right to enter God’s kingdom. It is also my hope and prayer that all who read this will heed of Jesus’ warning and seek out the truth for him or herself.

Parable of the Merchant Seeking Pearls

(Matthew 13:45-46)

This parable is similar to the previous one where a man finds a great treasure in a field and covers it until he can buy the field. However a few nuances make this parable slightly different.

In that previous parable (verse 44) the man discovers a treasure hidden in the filed. He didn’t know or expect it to be there for he wasn’t looking for treasure. He just stumbled onto it and realising his luck, took full advantage of it. Some Christians come to the Lord that way. They are not necessarily looking for God, but they stumble across him and realise this is what they have been looking for all their life.

However in this second parable of the merchant seeking pearls, we see a different perspective. In this case the merchant is looking for pearls of value. He is searching and seeking diligently to find a valuable pearl. Then again we see he finds one pearl of immense value, so he goes and sells all of his possessions so that he had sufficient money to but that pearl.

There are people who likewise are looking for the truth. They have been through all kinds of systems, religions and philosophies but nothing satisfies. These are the other lesser value pearls. While some may provide a little value, some are rubbish and worthless. Then they find Jesus, Jesus may find them and they discover the fullness of what he offers. In comparison to everything else they have been looking at this is awesome. So they give away all they have and as Paul wrote when he found God, “But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as refuse, in order that I may gain Christ.” (Philippians 3:7-8)

Paul had discovered the pearl of great value in Jesus Christ. He was a perfect example of the man described in this parable. Paul was searching for the truth but until Jesus revealed himself to Paul, his life was going in the wrong direction.

The lesson here for all of us is that when we find such a valuable asset, whether by stumbling on it like treasure in a field or seeking a pearl of great value, make it your own. There is nothing that compares to the worth of knowing and being known by Jesus Christ.

Hidden Treasure Parable

(Matthew 13:44)

What would you do if you found a hidden treasure in a field? Let’s say you found gold nuggets or diamonds. Would you go and tell everyone about it? Would you tell people where you found it? Not likely. The hidden treasure parable is saying the same thing.
The hidden treasure parable tells us that find the truth of the gospel is like finding hidden treasure. It is of inestimable value. Like finding hidden treasure in a field, you should not go and tell everyone about it. Keep it to yourself, at least for the time being.

When a person first finds the truth of the Kingdom of God, they experience great joy. Here at last is something that can fill the gap, the emptiness or the longing in their lives. Many people experience emptiness before coming to the Lord because they find this world offers nothing permanent. There is no hope in this world, but in Jesus there is the promise of peace, joy, salvation and eternity.

So the parable of the hidden treasure says that when a person comes across this great treasure they should cover it up. Don’t race off and tell everyone about it. First make sure you have it for yourself. In the parable of the hidden treasure Jesus said the man went and sold all that he had to buy the field. By this means he could ensure that he had full right to the treasure. That it was his and his alone.

Some people believe that as soon as you become a convert you ought to be out on the streets evangelising the world. They point to the great commission, which is to preach to the entire world. But how is a person to do that if they don’t yet fully understand it for themself? When people ask them questions they can’t answer they do not put their best foot forward in Christ.

Instead, the message in the hidden treasure parable tells us that we should make sure this treasure from God is our own first. We must first understand the teachings of Christ and God’s Kingdom before we go out and tell everyone about it. This is what he means by selling all we have to buy the field. If a person does not do this, then others can mock, cajole or do many things to drag them away from the Lord and they will lose this great treasure. To lose this hidden treasure of God that leads to life would be a great tragedy.