Sept 27 = Longing for Buried Treasure (Matt 13:31-33, 44-45)
Theme = Wisdom, sacrifice, faith
Sermon: Seeking Hidden Things
In Proverbs 2-4 the young men were encouraged to seek wisdom as riches, to sell everything to buy wisdom, and to get understanding and discernment. This ancient school setting was teaching these apprentices that wisdom and knowledge were better than riches, sexual exploits (with the adulterous), gang violence, and bribery. Obviously the assumption was that other young people were sowing their wild oats and living the dream of violence, sex, and greed. However, these men were taught to be wise, listen to advice, and embrace honor and truth.
Wisdom was to be bought, purchased, and embraced for life. As young men and women today grow and develop, wisdom is key in their spiritual and emotional health. As young boys become men they need also to realize that wisdom is what it means to mature. Currently young males have higher rates of binge drinking, automobile insurance premiums, and violence among them. This is not what it means to be a “man.” Wisdom is what it means for any male or female to mature, and especially young boys—it is what it means to be a man.
The same seems true with the disciples. Jesus was encouraging them to seek truth, as opposed to others who ignored the simple wisdom and sought greed, etc. Here the kingdom/empire of Jesus was to be sought—so much that one would give everything to have it. In 13:31-33 the kingdom was referred to as a mustard weed and yeast—both infect an area and rapidly grow. In many ways the plant and yeast contaminate dough and a field. However, Jesus stated that his empire would spread like a weed and infect like yeast. His empire is to infect our lives and overpower them. As mentioned earlier good soil produced fruit, and fruitful plants thrive in the midst of evil. Now, good soil is infected and overrun with the seeds of the kingdom. In both cases his empire was “hidden” in a field or batch of dough (22 liters worth). Yet it still overpowered its host.
Secondly, Jesus compared the kingdom to something worth hiding when found, and something that one would sell everything for. Imagine a merchant selling everything for one pearl? How Ludacris! Imagine a man finding treasure and buying an entire field. How ridiculous. Yet that is the point of Jesus’ parables. The kingdom is worth a radical life and radical purchase. It is something we are to give everything for.
The application offers another aspect of discipleship. Discipleship is a desire to not only be like Jesus, but conform to the world/empire of God. To seek the treasure of the kingdom is to be compared with the treasures of our community, culture, etc. A German theologian (Paul Tillich) once stated that faith was “Ultimate Concern.” What are we completely focused upon? What are we ultimately concerned with? Is it sports? Is it money? Is it safety or security? What are we willing to give everything for? The empire of Jesus is something that will completely fill our lives with passion, love, and Christ likeness—if we are willing to seek, find, buy, and live for.
- What are people selling everything for today?
- What does our community tell us to search and seek for?
- What is it about the Empire of Jesus that offers value to our lives?
- What does it mean for us to find the kingdom, bury it, and buy the whole field?
- What does this parable tell us about our spiritual growth and discipleship?