The Parables of Jesus Season 1 - Matthew 13, Part 2 (Pastor Tan Seow How)

Not much time to spend on an intro (it is really busy!!!)
But Pastor How recaps the sermon at the start so that should do okay?!?!?!

By the way, if you want to read Part 1, you can read it here.
Also, there's gonna be Part 3 in 2 weeks' time --- watch out for it here!


There are 8 parables in Matthew 13 that must be read together, in sequence and as a whole.

The first 4 parables were spoken to the multitudes.
The next 4 parables were spoken to the disciples.

The first 4 parables were spoken from a human perspective.
The 2nd 4 parables were spoken from a divine perspective.

Matthew 13:9-17 - "Why do you speak to them in parables?"
vs 13 -- Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see and hearing they do not hear, nor di they understand.

Think of it this way: (love this one!)

Can you see the arrow in the FedEx Logo? 

Can you see the bear in the Toblerone Logo? 
This is a simple way to describe that we see but we don't really see!!!
This is because we never studied the logo so we don't really see things.

Jesus is saying that the kingdom of heaven is right in front of us but many people do not understand with their hearts. 

Why do they not hear?
vs 15 (NKJV/NLT)-- their hearts have grown dull, their hearts have been hardened.
Christianity is a relationship and all relationships have to do with the heart.

Understanding has to do with our hearts not our minds; therefore we need to have an open / soft heart.

Matthew 13:9
Jesus said, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear."

In order to hear you must have an ear. But in order to really hear God you have to hear Him in your heart
We need to have the cross in our heart - this means that we need to have a soft heart. 
When you have the cross in your heart you will have the spiritual ear to hear the words of Jesus.

We need to engage our hearts.

5. Parable of the Hidden Treasure
Matthew 13:44
“The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure that a man discovered hidden in a field. In his excitement, he hid it again and sold everything he owned to get enough money to buy the field.

Traditional Interpretation:
We are the man and we find Jesus and we sell all that we have to follow Jesus.

However, this is not consistent:

1. Jesus is not hidden.
We don't find Jesus, He finds us
Luke 19:10
A more consistent interpretation is that Jesus is the man and we are the lost treasure that He seeks.
We are the lost ones : Luke 15

2. We cannot sell all that we have and buy Jesus. What can we sell that can buy Jesus?
There is nothing that we can do to make Jesus love us more or less. We are saved by grace.
In fact it was Jesus who sold all to buy us
Philippians 2:7 (ESV)
Philippians 2:6-8 (NLT)
He gave up everything to buy us.

This parable is about the love of God.
In every other religion it is man trying to be God and search for God.
Christianity is about God becoming man and is searching for us.

God engineers circumstances and people to bring you into His presence.

Jesus sold all to buy us
Acts 20:28 (NLT)
1 Corinthians 6:20 (NLT)
1 Corinthians 7:23 (NKJV)

If we refer to the key (see Part 1)
The man = Jesus
Field = world

Jesus didn't just buy the treasure, He bought the whole field.
John 3:16
For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.

6. The Parable of the Pearl of Great Price

Matthew 13:45-46
45 “Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant on the lookout for choice pearls.46 When he discovered a pearl of great value, he sold everything he owned and bought it!

Traditional Interpretation
Jesus is the pearl of great price and we are the merchant.

This is inconsistent that we would sell all to buy Jesus.
Also, the merchant is looking for beautiful pearls. Jesus cannot be one of many pearls. 
A more consistent interpretation is that Jesus is the merchant. We are the pearls.

Pearls are the only type of jewelry formed from a living organism.
Pearls are formed when a grain is introduced to the oyster and when it is itritated it secretes a substance to wrap around the impurity which eventually becomes a pearl.

Pearls are a product of pain and irritation.
Last week we talked about how the Christian will go through crisis, troubles and problems.
When we go through pain and irritation, tests and trials, we get stronger and we become the Pearl of Great Price.

Pearl of Great Price = Christians who have paid the price and remained strong, holy and devoted to Christ -- true Christians

There is beauty in holiness that is why the Bible says "In the beauty of His HOLINESS"
Holiness is beautiful to God. His definition of beauty is different from our human definition of what is beautiful.
This is part of the mysteries of heaven. While we think of things as painful and irritating, God is building us up to be beautiful.