9th September 2017

Hidden Treasure And Fine Pearls

“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field … a merchant in search of fine pearls…”
Matthew 13:44-46 (NRSV) 

A woman came to draw water from a well and found a man sitting there. He asked her for a drink of water. Nothing surprising about that except that he was a Jewish man. Jewish men should not even talk with Samaritan women, let alone ask for something. She must have thought that he was a real oddball. ‘Maybe the heat of the midday sun has got to him’.

But their conversation continued and eventually she discovered that he was not an oddball at all, he was the long-awaited Messiah. She was full of joy at her discovery. Her life had been turned around by this chance meeting. She ran back to her village and told everyone there whom she had met. For her, Jesus was the hidden treasure in the field.

A happy ending. But how about this? Later in his book (Matthew 19:16-22) Matthew tells us about a young man who had learned all about Israel’s law and history from his childhood onwards. But it meant no more to him than his other lessons. Then he went to university. There students tend to discuss things that matter to them like philosophy and politics and religion.

It was then that all his religious education had meaning. He wanted what all the prophets had spoken of—the kingdom of heaven. This had become the Pearl of Great Price. He also knew who had it to sell: Jesus. So he went to Jesus to ask what the price was.

Jesus told him it was diligence in keeping the law. But the young man said he already did that. He felt that something so valuable must cost more than that. So that was his next question: “What do I still lack?”

Unfortunately this story has a sad ending. Jesus’ answer was to sell all that he had and follow him. This was more than the young man could take. His possessions meant a lot to him, more in fact than the pearl of great price which was entry into the kingdom. So, “He went away because he had great possessions.” Jesus was very sad.

What a contrast! The woman whose life was turned round when she realised she had met the Messiah, and the young man who wouldn’t pay the price. Wouldn’t this world be much better if there were more like the woman and fewer like the young man in it?

Prayer
Lord Jesus, may I hold on to every hidden truth that you reveal and make the pursuit of your kingdom my chief goal in life. In your name.
Amen
 

Study by Christopher Reeve

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About the Author:
Chris Reeve is assistant pastor of the Invicta (Blean) Congregation near Canterbury, which is part of Grace Communion International/Worldwide Church of God UK, where his wife, Hilary accompanies him.

Local Congregation:
Invicta Fellowship
Blean Village Hall
School Lane
Blean
CANTERBURY CT2 9JA

Meeting Time:
Saturday 11.30 a.m.

Local Congregational Contact:
Mrs Annette Woods
Phone: 07473 188326
Email: annettewoods2@nhs.net

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