I apologize for the length. Matthew 8:25 states that when the disciples believed they would perish in the storm, they woke Jesus up. Why was Jesus so tired? Let’s find out. The day started as usual, with Jesus up early to spend time in prayer and fellowship with His heavenly Father. Then we see the public portion of Jesus day begin in Matthew 12:1
It was the Sabbath. On their way to church, Jesus’ disciples are accused of working on the Sabbath. The Pharisees catch them gathering and eating kernels of wheat. Therefore, the Pharisees charged the disciples with working on the Sabbath.
While sitting in church, Jesus is also accused of working on the Sabbath. How? Because He healed a man with a withered hand.
With the worship service in an uproar and the Pharisees plotting to kill Jesus, Jesus leaves with a great multitude in tow. As the Pharisees plotted, Jesus healed the multitude. During this time, though not explicitly listed as a Sabbath miracle, He heals a man who could not speak, is blind, and demon-possessed.
The Pharisees’ response was to accuse Jesus of being demon-possessed. Jesus responds, telling two parables. The first regarding the “unpardonable sin.” The second “A tree is known by its fruit” (Matthew 12:31-37). The response by the Pharisees is, “Show us a sign.” Jesus responds in Matthew 12:38-42. His response includes the parable of “An Unclean Spirit Returns.”
While still addressing the Pharisees, His mother and brothers show up. They tempt Jesus to go with them. Why? They feel Jesus has gone stark raving mad. Jesus response to His family, thanks, I’m fine, but the reality is, you do not understand My mission. Those who do and do my service. These are My true mother, brother, and sister.
Chapter 13 opens by saying, “On the same day, Jesus went out of the house and sat by the sea.” And great multitudes were gathered together to Him. So, He got into a boat and sat, and the whole assembly stood on the shore.
These events are followed by a series of parables addressing the sowing of crops and mustard seed. This reckless farmer throws the seeds everywhere. Only one-quarter of the seeds take root, mature, and bear fruit. But if this isn’t enough, He tells the story about tares. The tares are introduced into a field after the wheat was sown. Strangely the landowner determines it is too dangerous to uproot the tares, so allows the wheat and tares to grow together.
The parable of the mustard seed is given to illustrate how faith grows. There are several applications of this parable, but let’s leave it right there for now.
Leaven? As a symbol of sin, during Passover season, it was removed from the house. A symbol of how Jesus removes sin from our lives. Here Jesus introduces “Leaven” as the Kingdom of Heaven and how the Kingdom of Heaven should grow in each of us.
The parable of “Wheat and Tares” is not understood, so Jesus takes the time to explain, then adds another parable to the mix, the “Parable of the Hidden Treasure.”
His listeners are asking is, “How is this accomplished?”
In response, Jesus gives us two parables, “The Hidden Treasure” in Matthew 13:44 and “The Pearl of Great Price” in Matthew 13:45, 46. Jesus is illustrating to His followers that the Kingdom of Heaven is something they should be actively seeking. Entering Heaven is accomplished by selling all that we have to obtain a pearl of great price. The pearl of great price is a relationship with God the Father through Jesus.
He further illustrates that throughout the ages, God continually throws out His dragnet-seeking followers. Some are not ready, and they are thrown back, waiting to be caught again. Others have rejected God, and they also are thrown back.
As Matthew 13 closes, Jesus asks, “Have you understood?” The people answered with a resounding, “Yes, we do.”
But the day is not over. We must turn back to Matthew 8:18-27, which is the conclusion of this long day. The heading in my Bible says, “The Cost of Discipleship.” On this hectic day of healing, preaching, and teaching, we have just seen Jesus calling the multitude to follow him, to become fishers of men. To forsake all and follow him. Jesus does not keep the truth away from the people. He explains, “there is a cost associated with doing what is right. A cost for following Jesus.”
In Matthew 8:18-22, we see, many are called, but few follow and become faithful servants of God. They will use every excuse not to follow Jesus. Many are willing to follow when asked. Then they start to count the cost looking for a way to get out of service. Even if it means giving an excuse as flimsy as my father has died, I cannot go because I must bury him. According to Jewish custom, a person who died was buried within 24 hours. If the scribe’s father had died, he would be attending to the details of his father’s death, not spending the day with Christ.
Genuine followers will not lie to self, others, and God as to why we cannot follow Him. But the root of what Jesus was saying is, Heaven is like a hidden treasure. It is something that should be sought after. We can only become faithful followers when we have forsaken everything else for a relationship with God. Our love for God and a relationship with Him should be paramount in our lives.
The two parables, “The Hidden Treasure” and “The Pearl of Great Price,” are an invitation to become faithful followers of Jesus. An example of what we should do to attain a relationship with God.