The Gospel of Matthew: a commentary & meditation 
 "The heavenly treasure and the pearl of great price"

Scripture:  Matthew 13:44-46

44 "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. 45 "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.
Meditation: What do you most treasure? In a peasant community the best safe was often the earth.  The man in the parable "went in his joy" to sell everything. Why?  Because he found a treasure worth possessing above all else he had.  He did not, however, have enough to buy the treasure. Fortunately, he only needed enough to buy the field. In a similar fashion, God offers his kingdom as incomparable treasure at a price we can afford! We can't pay the full price for the life which God gives us; but when we exchange our life for the life which God offers, we receive a treasure beyond compare. The pearl of great price also tells us a similar lesson.  Pearls in the ancient world came to represent the supremely valuable.  Jesus remarked that one should not cast pearls before swine (Matthew 7:6). Why would a merchant sell everything for a peerless pearl?  No doubt because he was attracted to what he thought was the greatest treasure he could possess.

Discovering God's kingdom is like stumbling across hidden treasure or finding the one pearl of great price.  When we discover the kingdom of God we receive the greatest possible treasure -- the Lord himself. Selling all that we have to obtain this incomparable treasure could mean many things -- our friends, job, our "style of life", what we do with our free time. Treasure has a special connection to the heart, the place of desire and longing, the place of will and focus. The thing we most set our heart on is our highest treasure. In this parable what does the treasure of the kingdom refer to? It certainly refers to the kingdom of God in all its aspects. But in a special way, the Lord himself is the treasure we seek for.  If the Almighty is your gold and your precious silver, then you will delight yourself in the Almighty (Job 22:22-23).  Is the Lord the treasure and delight of your heart?

"Lord Jesus, reveal to me the true riches of your kingdom. Help me to set my heart on you alone as the treasure beyond compare with any other. Free my heart of any inordinate desires or attachment to other things that I may freely give to you all that I have in joy and gratitude for all that you have given to me. May I always find joy and delight in your presence."


Go to | Gospel of Matthew | Daily Readings & Meditations | Words of Life |
(c) 2002 Don Schwager