Today’s reading: 13:44-58
Today we read two parables in which Jesus describes the kingdom of heaven as a hidden treasure and a pearl of great value. In both parables, the finder goes off and sells all he own and uses all his resources to purchase the treasure. Both parables are conveying the same lesson – one must be willing to forego everything else and be devoted to the kingdom of heaven. It’s important to note that Jesus himself is the kingdom heaven so in both parables both the treasure and the pearl can be seen as Jesus himself and – by extension – the church.
In a third parable Jesus describes the kingdom of heaven as like a net that catches many types of fish which are then sorted into good fish and bad. It’s vitally important to appreciate the information that is being imparted here. Jesus says the evil WILL be separated from the righteous. Yes, God loves us. Yes, his mercy is infinite but hell is still real. Some people won’t make it. Off the three parables, two focus on the wonder and value of heaven while only one mentions the danger and reality of hell. Perhaps this suggests to us the right proportion to divide our attention.
Tomorrow: Matthew 14:1-21