August 9, 2021

The Price of Grace

The Price of Grace

In this message Pastor Tim looks at the parables of the treasure and the parable of the Pearl of Great price from Matt 13. What do these parables mean and how should we understand them in our day and how do they help us understand the Kingdom of God?

The Price of Grace (Matt 13:44-46)

  • In the first parable Jesus simply describes the Kingdom as a treasure, but leaves it rather ambiguous.
  • Then in the second parable Jesus says that the Kingdom is like a fine pearl.
    • Peral of Great Price or Peral of Great value, depending on which English translation you read.
  • The word used here in the Greek to describe the value of the Pearl is only used one other time in the New Testament. It’s used in John 12 to describe the value of the pure Nard Mary anointed Jesus’ feet with.
  • Why does Jesus choose a jewel?
  • Because the value of a jewel doesn’t change based on circumstances.
  • Pearls are also the only jewel that can’t be improved upon once harvested.
    • Pearls don’t need to be cut or polished.
    • They are perfect just the way they are, like the Kingdom.
  • Distinctions:
    • In the Parable of the treasure hidden in the field, the man was not looking for it.
      • He found it by accident so to speak.
    • He also appears to be a common laborer, out in a field digging.
    • Then in the Parable of the Peral the man was looking or seeking after fine pearls.
      • In this day, merchants sent people out to dive for Pearls.
      • Common Pearls came from the Red sea, Better pearls from the Persian Gulf
      • The best Pearls came from India.
    • So most likely this merchant has sent out divers to these locations.
      • So, he appears to be wealthy since he is able to do this.
    • Jesus structures it this way to show that anyone can find and enter the kingdom.
      • Those looking, those not looking. The wealthy and the common laborer.
    • What should also be pointed out is that both men were able to afford their purchase.
    • The first man, the laborer raised enough money to buy the field.
    • The second man, the merchant, did have enough money to buy the Peral.
    • This shows that while the Kingdom my cost us everything, it is not out of reach for anyone.

So how do we understand and interrupt these parables? 

  • The first idea of interpretation follows the line of Luke 14:33
  • So the first line of thought is that these parables show us the cost and the sacrifice we must make to pursue more of the Kingdom.
  • If the Kingdom is worth anything then it is worth everything
  • Other scholars say this can’t be because it is an afront to the Grace of Jesus and makes this a works righteousness.
  • So, the second way to understand this is to see it from Jesus’s perspective.
  • Jesus is the one in the field and the treasure He find is us. The field represents the World.
  • Which is consistent with other Parables, like the parable of the weeds.
  • Then the joy seen in verse 44 is Jesus’ joy over finding us.
  • Again, with the Pearl, Jesus is the one who finds the Pearl and we are the pearl.
  • So both parables show the great length and price that Jesus goes to purchase and redeem us.
  • When the world make us feel like we have no value, we can remember these two parables.
  • So which interpretation is better?
  • In situations like this I always tend to go with the interpretation that most focuses on Jesus.
  • Rather than one that focus on man.
  • So, I am inclined to go with the second interpretation that says this is the great sacrifice Jesus paid for us.
  • Because that makes it all about Jesus. And not my efforts.