The Gospel of Matthew

This devotional is written by Elle Goodman. Elle is a 3rd year student at Central School of Speech and Drama and works on Kids Team.

Matthew 13:44-52

The parables of the hidden treasure and the pearl

44 'The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.

45 'Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. 46 When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.

The parable of the net

47 'Once again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was let down into the lake and caught all kinds of fish. 48 When it was full, the fishermen pulled it up on the shore. Then they sat down and collected the good fish in baskets, but threw the bad away. 49 This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous 50 and throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

51 'Have you understood all these things?' Jesus asked.

'Yes,' they replied.

52 He said to them, 'Therefore every teacher of the law who has become a disciple in the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old.'

Reflection

Jesus asked us to leave our past behind and follow him. As Christians we spend our lives trying to do just that.
But what about when we lose our vision, of the perfection of God's kingdom. When we close our peripheral to the eternal love and have eyes only for the here and now- the idea of giving up all that we tangibly have and to follow this figure of God- its quite an ask.
But for me, these parables bring alive the tangibility of God, of Jesus. I see that misty empty field and the darkened sea- and I see myself in there. But out of this darkness a blinking of gold and pearls- the discovery of such worth that it doesn't matter where we have journeyed from or journeyed with, we dispose of our past in return for the treasures and the pearls for God's tangible love found in Jesus Christ.
Sometimes I fail to see the true value in these treasures- I get caught up in life and wonder what is so good that would make devote their lives to it? However, in seeing a person's response to this treasure can reignite that spark and make us crave the greatest treasure too.
And what is it God can do for us? The next parable of the fish and more the net, tells us how God will leave no part of us behind. He takes up ALL of us and separates us from our wrongdoing - something that is made possible through Jesus's death and resurrection.
And when we do find or re-find that treasure, that gift, how do we share it? In verse 52, we are given an answer Jesus instructs those who teach the Word of God to teach of God's kingdom, but also of the new, good news that is Jesus. And at the forefront of Jesus teaching is love. So to take up this teaching of love in our own lives and to love others, we may be able to hand the shovel to someone in that foggy, misty field, about to find the love of God.

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