Matthew 13:44-53 One Way

44 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.

45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. 46 When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.

47 “Once again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was let down into the lake and caught all kinds of fish. 48 When it was full, the fishermen pulled it up on the shore. Then they sat down and collected the good fish in baskets, but threw the bad away. 49 This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous 50 and throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

51 “Have you understood all these things?” Jesus asked.

“Yes,” they replied.

52 He said to them, “Therefore every teacher of the law who has become a disciple in the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old.”

One Way

Jesus, many people turn to your saying, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No-one comes to the Father except by me,” to verify that there is one way to God. However, in these passages, the one pearl, the one treasure and the division of the fish highlight the same thing. The singularity of the one treasure points to a singularity in the one way to inherit the Kingdom of Heaven. Many of the fish collected are thrown out. They are not fit for the purposes of the fishermen. We were created for a purpose. It is not a purpose of our own design, but we were born to fulfil your purposes. I know that I find it hard to be sure that I am living in your purposes, but I know that I am committed to walking in your paths. Many people, through ignorance and rebellion are not living out their purpose. Many people in the West believe there are many pearls to be valued, many treasures to be dug up, or purposes for all the fish caught if you will just look hard enough. People will allow any belief except the belief that you can’t just believe whatever you want. Our humanistic egocentricity is out of control. We are vain like the Greeks, Babylonians, Romans, and European Empires before their demise. We have left behind the values that made us great and we are in full pursuit of our own pleasure and vanities. Jesus, help us to shape our lives around this singular destiny. Help us to pursue one treasure and one pearl. With so many reasons to be busy, help us to be still.

Questions

  1. What is found in each parable?
  2. How many pearls and treasures are found?
  3. What is the fate of the fish that are not edible?
  4. What do these parables teach to those who believe all religions are right?
  5. What do these verses say to those who are bothered because ‘ there are so few verses saying that there is one way to God’?
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About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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