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lesson 9




Hidden Treasure & Costly Pearl  Mt 13:44-46

Lost Sheep & Coins  Mt 18:12-14  Lk 15:3-10


I. Background to the Parables


        1. Context

a.     Mt 13 - Now Jesus has taught a number of parables about the kingdom.  See Lesson 6,    Context for more details.

b.     Mt 18 - Jesus has been asked, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?’’  This parable is part of the answer.

a.        Lk 15 - Jesus is responding to the criticism of the Pharisees and Scribes that he receives and eats with tax-gatherers

and sinners, a violation of common practice.


        2. Definitions/Cultural Insights

a.     There were few safe places for money or treasure, so frequently it was buried.

b.     Jewish (common - not Mosaic) law stated that anything found, money or goods belonged to the finder.



II. Understanding the Parables


        1. The kingdom of heaven, pictured as treasure, has great value, brings great joy when found, and is worth

                selling all to possess.


        2. Pictured as a pearl of great value sought diligently by a pearl merchant, the emphasis is first on seeking the

                kingdom, then finding and doing whatever is necessary to possess it.


        3. Shepherds go after lost sheep, so in the kingdom Jesus goes after the weak and lost, i.e. children, sinners

                and tax-gatherers.  And, as a shepherd rejoices, so the angels and those in their presence (God, cherubim…)

                rejoice when the lost are returned to safety.


        4. Just as a person diligently looks for a lost coin, so in the kingdom Jesus and others will diligently search for those lost.


        5. All 4 parables seem to have 3 things in common, either stated or implied:

                a.     The kingdom and/or people have great value.

                b.     Given the value, what is lost is worth any effort to find.

                c.     When found, it is certainly natural to rejoice!


III. Consideration and Application of the Parables


        1. Great Value… has the kingdom of heaven

                The kingdom is worth more than anything we might possess, Mt 6:20.  Therefore both men sold all they had to possess

it.  What do you value, God and His kingdom, or something else?  Do your thoughts, speech, and actions show you value

the kingdom, or does looking good in front of people, money... look most valuable to you?


  2. Seek the Kingdom… with passion

                Since the kingdom is so valuable, seek it with all your heart, Mt 6:33.  Remember Jesus’ promise, “Seek and you shall find,

” Mt 7:7-8.”  What is the kingdom and how will you know if you’ve found it?  What does Mt 12 teach about the kingdom? 

How would others know you’re seeking? 


  3. Rejoice… in the kingdom

                Those who found “the treasure” rejoiced.  Let your face, heart, friends and family see your joy, Phil 4:4.  Why would you

not rejoice?  What might be missing?  What could you do about it?


4. Seek the Lost… they have great value

                The parables of the sheep and coin teach the losts’ value, and therefore the need to diligently seek for and rejoice over

their repentance and salvation, 2 Cor 5:18-20.  Do you care about others or only about the kingdom and its blessings for

you?  How can you use yours gifts and talents to help the lost find God and His kingdom?  Do you see the lost only as

deserving punishment or that God loves to grace the lost as they seek Him?



IV. Memory Verse - Mt 13:44


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