Series: Matthew: We Need a King

Entering the Kingdom

September 04, 2022 | Jeff Crotts

Passage: Matthew 13:44-46

[POINT] What is hidden from unbelievers is revealed to believers.


  • What is meant as a judgment for those who are willfully blind is an encouragement to hope to the believer.
    • What is all this going?
    • This is the joy of anticipation.


  • There is a great outcome of HOPE!


  • We need to hang onto this HOPE!


  • Jesus continues KINGDOM Motivations with the next parable.



Matthew 13:44-50 – Entering the Kingdom


[TRANS] The parables break down into 3 couplets.


  • Nature, Power, and Appropriation of the Kingdom.
    • Nature, Kingdom’s trajectory; moving to an end.
    • Power, Kingdom’s expansion where God draws from the whole world.
    • Appropriation, Kingdom’s application to hearts who are His.


  • You enter the Kingdom only through heart transformation!


  • Learning the Secrets of the Kingdom (cf. v. 11).
    • Nature, cause and cure, sin and grace (Soils).
    • Power, hope, expansive and permeating (Mustard seed, Leaven).
    • Appropriation, answering, “What takes to enter Kingdom?”


Prop: Two parables answer how to enter the kingdom of heaven


  1. Hidden Treasure (v. 44)


  • These parables closing Jesus’ section.
    • “again” repeated 2x: vv. 45, 47 tying final parables together.
      • Two parables describe desire for the “kingdom of heaven!”
        • You truly want it.
        • Ask, “How do I want something I have never seen before?”


  • Questions like these come in the form of paradox.
    • Contradiction on the surface that coalesces beneath the surface.
    • First appears as contradiction but faith applied it ties together perfectly.


  • Paradox of “treasure” explained by “man” happening upon treasure, so valuable, with full abandon, “sells all he has” to buy it.
    • Applying, requires seeing the invisible “kingdom of heaven” same way.
    • Salvation worth selling everything to get it.


  • Paradox coalesces when demonstratively provable to the heart.
    • Kingdom worth more than anything.
      • Everything you could own on earth.
      • Idea conveyed in terms of Jesus’ warning.
        • Cost evaluation in reverse.


ESV  Matthew 16:26 For awhat will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or bwhat shall a man give in return for his soul? (Mat 16:26 ESV)


ESV  Matthew 19:16-22 abAnd behold, a man came up to him, saying, "Teacher, what good deed must I do to bhave ceternal life?"

17 And he said to him, "Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. aIf you would enter life, keep the commandments."

18 He said to him, "Which ones?" And Jesus said, a"You shall not murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness,

19 Honor your father and mother, and, aYou shall love your neighbor as yourself."

20 The young man said to him, a"All these I have kept. What do I still lack?"

21 Jesus said to him, "If you would be aperfect, go, bsell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have ctreasure in heaven; and come, follow me."

22 aWhen the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. (Mat 19:16-22 ESV)


  • Test of “sell all you have” as grace.


  • Scenario, simple enough for a child to follow.
    • All parables relatable in common, everyday life.
      • Experience is encountering surprising value exciting the heart, initiating action!
        • Kingdom of heaven on level of the heart.
        • The Affections.


  • Man walking through a field, spots something “hidden” (v. 44).
    • Wants so badly, he covers it up so no one else will see it.
    • Then “…in his joy” sells everything, buys “that field,” ensuring possession of “treasure” (v. 44).


  • All marks of kingdom parables framed here.
    • Nature: first it is “hidden” (v. 44) meaning most will not see it.


  • Power: second, “treasure” is qualitatively different than “field.”
    • “Field” represents world.
    • Everything else, distinct from “Treasure.”


  • Appropriation: third, “treasure” received through heart transformation.
    • Represented in “joy” experienced in the heart.
    • Willingness to part from everything else to have it.


[KEY] I should touch on apparent ethics question.


  • Whether operating with full disclosure on buying field? A schemer?
    • No banks in that day.
      • People buried valued possessions.
      • Jewelry or money in storage boxes.


  • War context explains losing buried treasure.
    • Owners die or forced off land.
      • The fortunes of war.
      • Could be a hired hand inadvertently digging up treasure.


  • Leaving opportunities for a fortunate traveler.


  • Roman law stated a finder could not lift the treasure out of ground.
    • Would stay possessed by Owner.
    • Could keep in ground, buying field meant possession yours.


  • (Josephus) Rabbinic Law: “Finding scattered fruit or possessions” in field gave rights to finder.
    • If landowner knew had prized possessions in the field, he would withdraw from “bank” before selling.
    • If buyer dishonest, would just steal treasure, rather than sell all to buy!
      • Followed practical protocol.
      • Ate the cost to buy property.


[KEY] None of this is Jesus’ point.


  • Like, “Binding a strong man” Legalizing Assault or Breaking and Entering! Jesus’ analogy for binding demons!
    • Finding “treasure” has swelling value.
    • Finding “treasure” was a surprise!
      • 1 in 1,000 chance!
      • This is conversion!
        • Applying the Kingdom to the Soul.
        • Man buys field at such a price but now possesses more than price he paid.


ESV  Matthew 10:39 aWhoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. (Mat 10:39 ESV)


[Point] When you give everything to have Christ, Christ gives you everything back and more!


More than you could otherwise have!


Jesus leads us by example.


[Spurgeon] “So did Jesus himself, at the utmost cost, buy the world to gain his church, which was the treasure which he desired.”


  • Applying this paradox means defining “treasure” as “the kingdom of heaven.”


  • The kingdom of heaven represents three things.
    • First: God’s sovereign rule over all things, ruling from heaven.
      • God rules over heaven and earth.
        • Unseen and seen realm.
        • Angels and demons.
        • All events and all governments.
          • Over weather, health, and lifespans.
          • Over history. Over right now.
          • Over the future.


  • Second: God’s rule over his church.
    • Invisible church built as corporate Body of Christ.
      • The Universal Church.
        • All believers through all the ages, who would ever truly believe.
        • Bride of Christ.
          • Whom the Good Shepherd laid down his life for.
          • What “the gates of hell” cannot prevail against.


  • Version made visible through local churches.
    • God’s will on earth as it is in heaven.
    • Through local churches.


  • So, the “kingdom of heaven” is God’s sovereign rule overall, from heaven. God’s witness and will in the world, through the church. And, finally, the “kingdom of heaven” is manifest in every believer’s conversion.


  • The kingdom is to the world, His church, and in the hearts of every born-again believer. This is where someone bows in humble submission to the Lordship or Kingship of Christ and his subsequently transformed.


ESV  Romans 14:17 aFor the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but bof righteousness and cpeace and joy in the Holy Spirit. (Rom 14:17 ESV)


  • Someone converted to see Jesus as invaluable “treasure” (v. 44).


[KEY] Picture of selling everything is in no way the idea of earning “treasure”/Salvation.


  • You cannot purchase eternal life.
    • Can never do that (cf. Eph. 2:8-9).
      • Selling everything represents saving faith.
        • Saving faith drives to the core of someone’s mind, will, and emotions.
        • Convictional level that yields joy on a supernatural scale.


  • Jesus introduced himself to you and through this introduction settled the ache to be satisfied within your soul.
    • Both satisfying and sufficient.
    • Needs no longer met by self-preservation.
      • Met by your Creator.
      • Know Creator loves and is committed to you.


  • Saving faith is when someone yields himself to Christ in complete reliance.
    • Ultimate renunciation of self-reliance.
    • Ultimate commitment to complete reliance on Christ.


[TRANS] Second parable explaining entrance into the Kingdom.


  1. Pearl of Great Value (vv. 45-46)


[KEY] Emphasis of Christ’s sixth parable regarding “The Pearl of Great Value” is like “Treasure in the field.”


  • Quality of a Merchant calls for nothing less than “selling everything to buy it!” Everything!


  • Ancient times, no artificial pearls.
    • Pearls rare and valuable.
      • Natural beauty.
      • Small and transferrable, easily hidden, amazing wealth.


  • Divers risk lives or ruin health in coastal regions.
    • Shores of Red Sea, far off Britain.
    • Merchants scoured markets to purchase at high prices.


ESV  Matthew 7:6 a"Do not give bdogs what is holy, and do not throw your cpearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you. (Mat 7:6 ESV)


ESV  1 Timothy 2:9 likewise also athat women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, (1Ti 2:9 ESV)


ESV  Revelation 21:21 And the twelve gates were twelve pearls, each of the gates made of a single pearl, and athe street of the city was pure gold, transparent as glass. (Rev 21:21 ESV)


[KEY] Again, not Works to Earn Salvation.


  • Instead, willingness to hold everything temporal in view of eternal.
    • Eternal life carries estimable value.


[KEY] This story also simple, with slightly different emphasis.


  • Instead of happening upon “hidden treasure” “a merchant” hunts for treasure.
    • “…in search of fine pearls” (v. 45).
      • Hunting for satisfaction from prized possession of this world.
      • Who instead finds, “one pearl of great value” (v. 46).
      • Searching for one thing, he finds the best thing.


  • [Question] “No one seeks after God!” (cf. Rom. 3).
    • Inherent sin negates intentionally hunting for God, right?
      • Highlights, conversion as grace.
        • Conversion is always intervention.
        • People on outside cry for Jesus, are simultaneously drawn from inside to seek Jesus in the first place.


ESV  John 6:44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me adraws him. And bI will raise him up on the last day. (Joh 6:44 ESV)


  • God gives the gift of faith, grants repentance, gives sight to the bind.
    • Christ stopped Paul in his tracks.
    • Turned heart of the Ethiopian eunuch.
    • Shook the Philippian jailor.
    • Opened Lydia’s heart.


  • How conversion is to be understood.


[Illus] Know by experience, by how our own hearts pray for people to be saved. Never pray for someone to save themselves but always pray for God to save them. Arminians and Calvinists pray this way!


[KEY] Still appears, “…finding one pearl of great value” (v. 46) is finding his salvation.


  • Something he did!
    • Faith is active.
      • Faith is an action.
        • Anything less is not saving faith.


  • Command “to believe!”


  • That said, Bible always brings balance!
    • “…one pearl of great value” speak of an intervention.
      • What God does on the inside, someone expresses faith on the outside.
      • Jesus becoming “treasure,” and seeing “one pearl of great value” inside is supernatural act of God.


  • You will not see Jesus as Valuable apart from his intervening grace!


[Point] Merchant selling everything, purchases the pearl at full price!


  • “Believed pearl worth more than all other pearls together.”
    • Surpasses everything else you can own, considered a fair exchange.
    • Appropriating salvation.
      • Same re-appropriation, key to Christian sanctification.
      • Growing is de-valuing World, re-valuing Christ!  


  • Salvation is “joy!”
  • Salvation is seeing Christ as “great value!”


[Conclusion] “Where is the joy of my salvation?” “Why do I not value Jesus?”


[Question] “Have you given you full heart to Jesus?” “I am His and He is mine”


  • I have heard it said that a happy marriage is never 50% and 50% but instead 100% and 100%.


  • I would add for husbands, it is 100% whether your spouse is 100%, 50%, or 0%.


  • Is the self-sacrificial love of marriage.


  • The JOY in marriage where you find “Great value” in your spouse.



[Question] “How is your commitment to Christ?”


  • Is it even 50% or is it 1% or is it 0%?


  • It takes 100% for there to be JOY! No conditions. Full commitment, by faith.


  • You fully let go and by the illuminating work of the Spirit, you see the value of Jesus!


[Illus] Charles Haddon Spurgeon grew up in a Christian home, but as a boy he attended church only because it was the proper thing to do. He was not immoral or rebellions but was basically satisfied with his life and was not seeking any more religion than he had. One New Year’s morning, when he was fifteen years old, he decided he ought to attend a service at his church. When the snow and cold wind became too fierce for him, he ducked into a little storefront type church, as much to get out of the cold as anything.


“When I could go no further,” he writes of the event, “I turned down a court and came to a little Primitive Methodist church. The preacher who was to have conducted the service never got there because he was held up by the weather, and quickly one of the officers have to be brought forward to conduct the service with the congregation of perhaps fifteen people. The man was really stupid. His text was, “Look unto Me and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth.” And he just kept repeating it because he had nothing else to say.” But something about Spurgeon caught the man’s eye, and he said, “Young man, you look very miserable. And miserable in life and miserable in death you will be if you don’t obey my text.” He then shouted, “Young man, look to Jesus! Look, look, look!” “I looked,” Said Spurgeon, “and then and there the cloud was gone, and the darkness rolled away and that moment I saw the Son.”


[KEY] Two marks of someone who has entered the Kingdom.


  • Sacrifice and Joy.


  • Willing sacrifice and because Jesus filled you with joy.

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