Tonight we conclude our study of Matthew 13 with verses 44-58. Jesus has three more parables to share with His disciples before He resumes traveling.
The first two parables are very similar and carry the same meaning. These are the parable of the hidden treasure and the parable of the valuable pearl. In these parables, men find things of great value, then they sell all they have to obtain them. In these parables Jesus is teaching us that we need to be willing to forsake everything important to us so that we can follow Christ.
Sinful habits can be pleasurable, but we need to leave these behind and practice righteousness instead. There are also friendships, beliefs, practices and comforts that are in conflict with God’s Word. Even though denying ourselves certain things can be initially painful, in the long run of a life well-lived according to God’s Word, it is more than worth it. In fact it is a life that brings us more happiness, pleasure and a deep sense of calm serenity. These benefits all result in the knowledge and confidence we have in knowing that our God has received us and will care for us. These parables reflect that too; look at how happy the men in the parables were.
The third parable, concerning a dragnet, is similar to the parable of the wheat and the tares. This parable says that at the end of the age, the good will be divided from the wicked of the world and the wicked will be cast into hell.
There is a mini-parable in verse 52: “Therefore every scribe instructed concerning the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out of his treasure things new and old.” In this verse, Jesus is saying that when He teaches, the things that He teaches are known by the disciples because of their belief. In this sense, everyone that believed Christ held the esteemed position of a scribe, or one who knew God’s Word intimately. Jesus was revealing God’s mystery to the common people through His parables and teachings.
In the final verses of chapter 13, it is revealed to us that Jesus was rejected even in His hometown. It seems that despite His teachings and works, the people of Nazareth could not reconcile a divine presence with the carpenter’s boy they saw grow up as Jesus. Many things can cloud our faith, even familiarity.
Tonight, I urge you to not be afraid to leave everything behind for your belief in God and His Son Jesus Christ. God is true in every instance, not only when it is convenient or fitting. He deserves our complete loyalty and faith. Praise the Lord our God!