Matthew 13:44 - 46
ESV - 44 The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. 45 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls.
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Jesus had just finished explaining to the disciples the meaning of the Parable of the Wheat and the Tares, and these two short parables are a continuance of His discussion of the "kingdom of heaven...
The hidden treasure represents the treasures in heaven we store up for ourselves (Matt 6:20), especially when we sell everything we have, give to the poor, and follow Christ (Matt 19:21). The pearls represent wisdom. The great pearl is the pearl of divine wisdom of salvation and eternal life through Christ's atoning sacrifice (Matt 7:6).
The parables of hidden treasure and the pearl of great price are different but similar in that both the treasure and pearls are both Christens. The treasure is the believing remnant of the northern ten tribes of Israel. In Jeremiah 3:8 God divorced Israel"the northern tribes" for her adulteries. In Hosea 1:9 the LORD said to Israel "the northern tribes", through Hosea’s son’s name,Lo-ammi “you are not my people and I am not your God”. Also in Hosea 8:8 God said “Israel "the northern tribes" is swallowed up; They are now among the nations”. In Hosea 2:11 God said about Israel "the northern tribes" “I will put an end to her feasts, her new moons and her sabbaths" the things that helped distinguish Israel from gentiles. For all practical purposes Israel "the northern tribes" has became gentile with no God and no sabbaths. As Moses warned in Deuteronomy 4:7 Israel has been scattered among the nations. But God has not forgotten Israel "the northern tribes". It is said about Israel "the northern tribes" in Amos 9:9 although sifted like corn in a sieve, not the least grain will fall upon the ground. God knew where Israel was. Hosea 1:10 it was said to Israel "the northern tribes" you are not my people now it will be said you are the sons of the living God. Sons as in brothers in Christ Jesus. Jesus said in John 10:16 he had other sheep; not of the fold in Jerusalem “the Jews” that mostly rejected Jesus; but another fold referred to as gentiles by most people. Jesus did not say he came after gentiles but after the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Jesus said this other fold of sheep will hear his voice and be united with the Jerusalem fold. The new covenant was with the house of Israel (the northern tribes) and the house of Judah (Jews). Then notice Hebrews 8:10 Judah is no more separated there is now just one Israel united in Jesus. So you see lost Israel "the northern tribes" was truly a hidden treasure disguised as gentiles hidden in the whole world.The man that found the treasure was Jesus since he is God they really were not hidden from him just from the world. Jesus gave his life for the treasure. The pearl of great price is the believing Jews united with the believing lost northern tribes of Israel and believing non Israelite gentiles in other words all the believers on earth, the Church, Spiritual Israel, or the Israel of God. Again the man is Jesus and he gave his life for all that will believe in him to have eternal life.
In the Parable of the Hidden Treasure, the treasure is the nation of Israel (Ex. 19:5; Ps. 135:4). And in the Parable of the Pearl of Great Price, contrary to a well-known gospel song perpetuating the view that this pearl is Jesus Christ and His salvation, the pearl is the church. The song? "I've found the pearl of greatest price, My heart doth sing for joy: And sing I must, a Christ I have; O what a Christ have I?" But "the merchant" is not you and I, sinners, but Christ who finds us. (Luke 19:10).
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