In the Gospel Reading Jesus tells more parables. All three stories are intended to sharpen our understanding of God’s Kingdom. Those who genuinely understand will not hesitate to get rid of everything of they own so to become increasingly poor in spirit which makes room to receive what God offers
A TREASURE, A PEARL AND A NET
For several weeks, we have been working our way through Matthew 13. Two weekends ago Jesus assured that God’s Kingdom forever is victorious (“The Parable of the Sower”). Last Sunday Jesus explained that His followers will be saved from the treacherous world in which they live (“The Parable of the Wheat and Weeds”).
Continuing to tell stories that today involve a vast treasure, a valuable pearl and a large fishing net, Jesus draws our attention to three enduring truths of God’s Kingdom: unimaginable abundance, unimaginable beauty and God’s genuine friends will be separated from all those who squander the inheritance received in baptism.
- Oh, that we will discover so great a treasure in a field that we eagerly would sell everything we owned to take possession of that field! (v. 44)
- Oh, that we will seek and find so valuable a pearl that we would let go of everything else we have simply to have that one pearl! (vv. 45-46)
- Oh, that we will dare to make positive contributions to the life of the Church, helping others expand their love for God (vv. 47, 49).
To participate in God’s Kingdom, we must be prepared to surrender everything we have.
At the very end of the Gospel text, Jesus voices a key question – not only to His disciples then but also to all the intentional disciples living as members of His Church today: “Do you understand all these things?” (v. 51).
Jesus is not looking for right words but instead expects virtuous actions to demonstrate our understanding of His way. Stated differently, we ourselves understand Jesus to the degree we commit to following the teaching of Christ and His Church.