What are the things that you treasure about your life? Make a List and thank Jesus for these things.
What things do you treasure or value about your relationship with Jesus/God?
What things about the Kingdom of God?
In Matthew 13, Jesus uses many parables to describe the Kingdom of God…some of them we like, and others like the Wheat and the Weeds and the parable of the fish net are more uncomfortable because we don’t like the thought of good fish and bad fish and weeping and gnashing of teeth. Sometimes we need to remember that the people who were originally listening to Jesus tell these stories were oppressed people who might actually get excited about the bad fish being thrown away or the weeds being burned because it meant that the bad guys, the Romans, would get their due! It also helps to ask the Holy Spirit to highlight and teach us what God’s word is for us today…and consider what Jesus wants us to hear and notice for our lives right now! READ the verses below and listen to the Holy Spirit
Parable of the Hidden Treasure, Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn, 1630, © Collection Esterházy, Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest
MATTHEW 13: 44-52 NIV “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.
“Once again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was let down into the lake and caught all kinds of fish. 48 When it was full, the fishermen pulled it up on the shore. Then they sat down and collected the good fish in baskets, but threw the bad away. 49 This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous 50 and throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Have you understood all these things?” Jesus asked. “Yes,” they replied. He said to them, “Therefore every teacher of the law who has become a disciple in the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old.”
MATTHEW 13: 44-52 THE MESSAGE “God’s kingdom is like a treasure hidden in a field for years and then accidentally found by a trespasser. The finder is ecstatic—what a find!—and proceeds to sell everything he owns to raise money and buy that field. “Or, God’s kingdom is like a jewel merchant on the hunt for excellent pearls. Finding one that is flawless, he immediately sells everything and buys it.
47-50 “Or, God’s kingdom is like a fishnet cast into the sea, catching all kinds of fish. When it is full, it is hauled onto the beach. The good fish are picked out and put in a tub; those unfit to eat are thrown away. That’s how it will be when the curtain comes down on history. The angels will come and cull the bad fish and throw them in the garbage. There will be a lot of desperate complaining, but it won’t do any good.” Jesus asked, “Are you starting to get a handle on all this?” They answered, “Yes.” He said, “Then you see how every student well-trained in God’s kingdom is like the owner of a general store who can put his hands on anything you need, old or new, exactly when you need it.”
MATTHEW 13:44-52 The Passion Translation “Heaven’s kingdom realm can be illustrated like this: “A person discovered that there was hidden treasure in a field. Upon finding it, he hid it again. Because of uncovering such treasure, he was overjoyed and sold all that he possessed to buy the entire field just so he could have the treasure. “Heaven’s kingdom realm is also like a jewel merchant in search of rare pearls. When he discovered one very precious and exquisite pearl, he immediately gave up all he had in exchange for it.”
“Again, heaven’s kingdom realm is like a fisherman who casts his large net into the lake, catching an assortment of different kinds of fish. When the net was filled, the fishermen hauled it up on the shore, and they all sat down to sort out their catch. They collected the good fish in baskets and threw the bad away. And so it will be at the close of the age. The messengers will come and separate the evil from among the godly and throw them into the fiery furnace, where they will experience great sorrow, pain, and anguish. Now do you understand all this?
“Yes,” they replied. He responded, “Every scholar of the Scriptures, who is instructed in the ways of heaven’s kingdom realm, is like a wealthy home owner with his house filled with treasures both new and old. And he knows how and when to bring them out to show others.”
James Tissot, The Hidden Treasure, 1886–1894. Watercolor over graphite on gray wove paper, Brooklyn Museum.
QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER and Journal from this week: Feel free to use these passages and respond in writing, art, collage, or poetry to the Gospel passage some time this week. Don’t let the amount of questions make you crazy…pick a couple that speak to you
What is God speaking to you about TODAY as you read these passages? Take time to read them again, use different translations to hear it in fresh ways.
What do you notice that you haven’t noticed before?
READ the TWEET from Pope Francis:
Pope Francis tweeted this on Sunday…What do you think about his definition of the kingdom of Heaven?
What is the opposite of a dull life to you?
How can you let the Kingdom of Heaven be a treasure that renews every day?
How can you truly live out the kingdom of heaven now? What would that look like?
What are some of the NEW treasures you have discovered about Jesus and his kingdom ? You might have grown up thinking about the Kingdom or Jesus in one way and now are seeing things in a new way.
READ the Quote by Jonathan Pennington:
“The biblical idea of the kingdom of God is not abstract, oppressive, or irrelevant. Rather, the message of God’s kingdom is that God promises to bring his liberating and life-giving reign from heaven to earth. God will do this through a messiah, one anointed as a ruler with absolute power, not an elected official. The purpose of this ruler, however, is not to oppress or concentrate power upon himself but rather to be the conduit of blessing, peace, and justice in the world.” Jonathan T. Pennington.
How does this help you understand the Kingdom of God? What ways can you bring peace, blessing and justice to your world this week?
What if Jesus is the Jewel Merchant, and YOU are the exquisite pearl? How does this make you feel? What things stop you from believing that you have amazing value to God/JESUS? Talk to Jesus about this. Ask Jesus to help you know how valuable you are to him!
These are Australian Pearls in the picture below. What are five things that you value about yourself? Make a List of Five things you really live about yourself.
Imagine that Jesus is holding you in the Palm of His Hand. Allow this Image to remind you of how much you are loved and cared for by Jesus. You are his Exquisite Pearl!
©lillylewin and freerangeworship.com
Featured Image: Parable of the Treasure by Artist Jesus Mafa of Cameroon