In the gospel reading we find ourselves in a section known as the kingdom of heaven parables. These parables in our reading follow on from the parable of the sower which was the lectionary reading a couple of weeks ago.
In that parable Jesus talks about the message of the kingdom being sown and the various places it grows. In our reading, Jesus moves on to talk about what the kingdom of heaven is like and concludes this teaching with a call to share the message of the kingdom of God.
The bookends of this section, which are the parable of the sower at the start and this mini statement about a disciple of the kingdom bringing out the treasures of the storeroom at the end help frame the purpose of these parables: They reveal the realities of this kingdom which is being proclaimed.
The parables in this section speak about separation between good and evil, about the great value and cost of the kingdom, that the kingdom grows, turning something small and insignificant into something vast and mighty and how the kingdom will permeate through all things, impacting every part of our very being.
The picture painted through these parables speak of what is to come for the church who are the ones called to proclaim the message of the kingdom.
The church started out as just a small group of ordinary people in Jerusalem and has grown and grown, spreading throughout the world.
Those who have entered into the kingdom through faith, often find that this faith permeates every part of their being and that the whole of their life is in the process of being transformed.
This church which has spread through the world, lives amongst those who are not of the kingdom and it’s not always easy to tell between those who are the children of God and those who aren’t but thankfully that is God’s task to sort.
For those who become Christian, it is often a treasure which causes the believer to give up their old life and turn towards this new life. For some in the world, the treasure is worth the giving up their life altogether. The Christian believer throughout history has sacrificed the comforts of this world so that they may cherish the treasure of the gospel.
And for the church today, we look ahead to the day that God will separate once and for all, the wicked and the good. We look forward to a day when the wicked will be cast out from the net and all that is left is pure goodness.
And in response to all this, the Christian is called to share the treasures of the kingdom, that is the good news of Jesus Christ with others.
The teacher of the law who has become a disciple as found in verse 52, is somebody who is well versed in scripture, studies it and shares what they have learnt. This is the calling of all Christians. The Christian believer is to be somebody who is called to study God’s word, which is the place where God’s treasures are found and become well-versed in the scriptures. Learning the promises of God and who he is.
And the disciple is also called to share the message of the kingdom of God. The disciple is not to keep the treasures of this kingdom hidden away but are to let it be seen by others.
In life, when somebody has a treasure, maybe some form of collectable or memorabilia, they often like to show it to others and help them to see it and understand what the treasure is and why it’s significant to them.
It’s similar with the message of the kingdom of heaven, the Christian believer should want others to see it and help others to see it and understand it. It’s a great treasure which is meant to be seen.
To conclude, I want to finish with the words of Paul from the reading in Romans. I have discussed about the message of the kingdom of heaven and these words are an assurance to all believers when it comes to the kingdom being a place of separation and they also give a beautiful description of the treasure that is found in this kingdom. Paul says in Romans 8:37-39:
“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present no the future, nor any powers, neither height no depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord”.
- How could you grow in the knowledge of the kingdom of heaven as found in scripture to help you enjoy its treasures?
- Who could you share the treasure of the kingdom of heaven with so that they too may enjoy this treasure?