The Gospel Passage today closes the seven parables of the Kingdom found in Matthew’s Gospel. Over the past two weeks, we were taught that admission into God’s Kingdom is dependent on faith. Not only will Christians experience an abundance of God’s mercy, we will also face opposition.
In the parable about the weeds among the wheat and the parable of the dragnet, we learned that the members of the Kingdom of God are known to God alone. The stories we hear today teach us that participation in God’s Kingdom is worth great sacrifice.
In the First Story today, a treasure is discovered in a field. According to the ancient laws, the treasure does not belong to the one who discovers it, but rather, to the property owner. This is why the person in the parable must sacrifice everything in order to possess the land, which possesses the treasure.
The Second Story speaks of a merchant who finds a pearl of great value. In order to possess it, the merchant must liquidate all of his assets. The merchant is confident that possessing the pearl will be a greater value to his life.
Just as a treasure hunter has an eye for spotting hidden treasures, in the same way; a Christian has an eye for signs of the Kingdom. The Kingdom Jesus speaks of must be sought out. It is not apparent to the untrained eye. The ones who recognize the Kingdom are those who have trained themselves to see signs of the Kingdom.
The merchant and treasure hunter were ready to take risks to better themselves. The parables of the Kingdom challenge us to risk everything for God’s Kingdom. Many people would sacrifice gladly for some financial gain; Jesus invites Christians to do the same for the Kingdom that is without end.