Thursday in the Eighth Week of Ordinary Time

Matthew 13:44-53

More Parables about the Kingdom

Today we finish the parables of Jesus, at least for now.  He will tell more before we come to his death and resurrection, but the ones we have covered these last few days are the ones the gospels put forward as being essential to understanding the kingdom of our God and His heaven.

The first two parables go together.  The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field which a man found and to his joy sold all that he had to buy that field.  Or it is like a fine and beautiful pearl for which a man sold all he had to buy it.  The meaning is not hard to ascertain: The kingdom of heaven is worth everything we have, with which we should willingly part, with exceeding joy, for the acquisition thereof.  Of course, the kingdom is not bought for money; that would be too easy.  The kingdom is bought for nothing less than our very lives.  The hardest thing we shall ever do is give away the sins which so easily beset us: lust, worry, envy, greed, strife, and so many more.  We must be willing to part even with our most cherished possessions.  We must make sure we have no other gods before Him, even if it is something as wonderful as family.  If the kingdom of heaven, if walking with Jesus in the power of the Spirit – thinking of Him even when we aren’t thinking of Him – is not our greatest joy, we have some serious matters of the heart to attend to.  We must die, that we may live (Galatians 2:20).

Then the kingdom of heaven is like a net cast into the sea and drug to shore where the fish are separated, the good from the bad.  A great and terrible day is coming.  We are taught not to judge before the time, for the weeds and wheat must grow together in this world (13:24-30, 36-43).  But they will not always be together; judgment day comes.  Those who refuse to believe that God has created a hell for the devil, his angels, and those who refuse Christ, simply refuse to believe the Bible.  They refuse to believe in justice as well.  The One who began it all is going to end it all someday.  Either way, there is going to be a meeting of Creator and creature, the Creator will render judgment, and there will be no court of appeal.  Therefore, let us sanctify ourselves before the Day of the Lord arrives.

So the “scribe” who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like a master of a house who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.  In the beginning was the Word, and yet it is ever fresh – never contradicting what went before, but ever going deeper into the truths therein.  The word of God is the treasure. May God give us master scribes.

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