Disclaimer: About This Blog

THIS BLOG IS: my personal journey of how I am rethinking some of my spiritual beliefs.
THIS BLOG IS NOT: intended to point fingers at people who I think are wrong.
I do not believe the final judgement will be based on how many correct answers we get on a theology exam. I believe many people throughout history have had genuine relationships with our Lord and Saviour Jesus, despite holding questionable beliefs and practices. I make no claim to having it all figured out or being your judge. If we end up disagreeing over these topics I pray we can find a way to demonstrate grace.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Kingdom like searching for Pearls


Matt 13:45-46 (HCSB)

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls. When he found one priceless pearl, he went and sold everything he had, and bought it."
Continuing my series on the secrets of the kingdom. The secrets of the kingdom of God have been given to us (Matthew 13:11). Jesus came to share this kingdom message (Luke 4:43). So I'm examining different passages related to this kingdom message.

This short parable in Matt 13:45-46 is very similar to the previous one in Matt 13:44.

Here we have a merchant, a businessperson who trades in commodities that were produced by others, in order to earn a profit. This merchant was searching for fine pearls, something precious and of great worth. When he found one, he recognized it was a deal of a lifetime. He recognized that it was worth giving up all that he had to acquire this pearl.

A version of the parable also appears in the Gnostic Gospel of Thomas:
Jesus said, "The Father's kingdom is like a merchant who had a supply of merchandise and found a pearl. That merchant was prudent; he sold the merchandise and bought the single pearl for himself. So also with you, seek his treasure that is unfailing, that is enduring, where no moth comes to eat and no worm destroys."
— Gospel of Thomas 76, Patterson/Meyer translation
Some thoughts:
  • Are we searching for the kingdom of heaven in our daily lives. Are we seeking heaven's rule, God's ways, God's will.
  • Do we recognize the value of the kingdom of heaven, the reign of God?
  • What are we willing to give up as we discover God's way?

4 comments:

Alan Knox said...

Jon,

This has always been an interesting parable to me. In the other kingdom parables, the main character seems to be God the Father. Could the "merchant" in this parable be God also?

-Alan

Jonathan said...

Hi Alan,

Yes, I've read that elsewhere... but it's not clicking for me. God is searching for ____ ? us?

Do you think vs 44 be read the same way?

Jon

Alan Knox said...

Jon,

Yeah, could be. I would think the focus is not on the searching, but on the extent the man goes through to hold on to what he determines is valuable.

-Alan

Jonathan said...

It seems Thomas made the connection that we are to seek God's treasures.

But I see no harm in reading it either way. It is true that God has sacrificially given for the kingdom. We are also called to give sacrificially in return.

Thanks Alan!