"THE KINGDOM PARABLES."
Intro. Years ago when I was in Bible college, a professor told the class that we should not seek to speak on the parables until we had been the ministry for 20 years. I thought I knew better than the professor, so I began teaching on the parables as soon as I began in the ministry. Through the years my understanding of the parables has changed considerably, and I have discovered how wise my professor was.
I. THIS IS ONE OF THE SEVERAL PARABLES THAT ARE CALLED THE KINGDOM PARABLES, AS JESUS SPEAKS OF THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN.
A. In the early years of my ministry, I used to teach that we were the ones discovering the treasure in the field.
1. I taught that this treasure was the discovery of the wonderful kingdom of God.
2. That when we discovered the wonderful treasure in Jesus, we sold everything to obtain the field that we might have the treasure.
3. I used to say that when we finally bought the field, we never moaned about what we had to sell to get the field, but of all the wonderful things we now possessed.
4. There is a certain truth to this, but I have come to the conclusion that this is not what the parable is about.
5. I have always questioned those who spoke about how much they had to give up to follow Christ, their Hollywood careers or their fortunes.
6. I had a rich uncle who promised me anything I wanted if I would just give up the idea of being a minister. He would put me through medical school or whatever I desired.
a. I used to use that as a part of my testimony, what I gave up to follow the call of God.
b. Later I found that the uncle was not so rich, and was a colossal liar.
II. MY PRESENT UNDERSTANDING OF THE PARABLE.
A. There is a law of interpretation which is called expositional constancy.
1. For example, when you use something as a figure for something else, whenever that figure is used it is always the same.
a. If the seed represents the word of God in one parable, whenever the seed is used in a parable it is always representing the word of God.
b. If birds represent evil in one parable, when used in parables they always represent evil.
2. The field is used in a parable that Jesus explained to his disciples.
a. The parable of the sower.
b. In explaining the parable, Jesus said, "Now the field is the world." This means that whenever you have the word field used in a parable, it always represents the world.
3. That gives a whole new slant to this parable of the treasure in the field, and my selling everything to buy the field so as to get the treasure.
4. If the field is the world, then who is it that sold all to purchase the world?
a. We immediately see that it was the Father who gave His all His only begotten Son to purchase the world.
III. ORIGINALLY THE WORLD BELONGED TO GOD, HE CREATED IT. "THE EARTH IS THE LORD'S AND THE FULLNESS THEREOF, THE WORLD, AND ALL THEY THAT DWELL THEREIN."
A. When God created man and placed him on this earth, as a wonderful gift, He gave it to man. And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth.
1. Man had almost unlimited freedom. "Of all the trees in the garden you may freely eat, except the tree in the middle of the garden, and in the day you eat of it, you will surely die."
2. Knowing human nature, which tree became the most desirable?
3. Suddenly attention is on this tree. It didn't help that the fruit looked and smelled so delicious.
4. Enter Satan into this paradise, to seek to tempt them to eat of this forbidden fruit.
a. He came to Eve and questioned the word of God, "Hath God said?"
b. He then challenged the word of God, "You will not surely die."
c. He then challenged the justice and the fairness of God, and attributed false motives to God's command.
d. God knows that the day you eat, you will be as wise as God.
5. So Eve ate of the fruit, and gave it to Adam and he did eat.
a. I want you to note that this was a double action.
1. It was disobedience to God's command.
2. It was obedience to the suggestion of Satan.
3. In disobeying God, they were obeying Satan.
b. In so doing they forfeited their rights to the world over to Satan, and it became His.
Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants you are to whom you obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
c. Becoming servants of Satan, everything they had now belonged to Satan.
B. The purpose of the coming of Jesus into the world was to redeem it back, redeem it back to God.
1. It no longer belonged to God for He had given it to man, it no longer belonged to man for he had given it to Satan.
2. Do you remember that just before Jesus began His earthly ministry that Satan took Him up into a high mountain and showed Him all of the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them. What was his offer?
a. Bow down and worship me, and I will give them to you. for they are mine, and I can give them to whoever I please.
b. Note that Jesus did not dispute that claim, he knew that Satan was in control over the earth. He twice called him the prince of this world. (Note) People seek to constantly blame God for all the calamities on the earth. Most major disasters are termed acts of God. Why do we have people born with physical handicaps? Why these horrible killings? Why? Because it is Satan's world, man is in rebellion against God and refuses to allow God to rule over Him. What a spin Satan has put on these horrible things that happen. He is behind them, and has inspired those that do them, then he says, "If God is a God of love and kindness why has He allowed these things to happen?"
3. Satan was offering Jesus a shortcut, he was saying, "You do not have to postpone fulfillment, you can have it now. You do not have to take the painful path of the cross to accomplish your goal, I will relinquish the world to you now. Just bow down and worship me."
IV. SO GOD IS THE ONE WHO GAVE EVERYTHING TO BUY THE FIELD THAT HE MIGHT OBTAIN THE TREASURE. "FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD, THAT HE GAVE HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON, THAT WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH IN HIM, SHOULD NOT PERISH, BUT HAVE EVERLASTING LIFE."
A. But what then is the treasure?
1. You are the treasure.
2. Paul prayed for the Ephesians, "that they might have the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, that they might know the hope of their calling and the exceeding riches of His inheritance in the saints."
a. Or how much God treasures you.
b. He treasures you so much He was willing to sell the best that He had that He might obtain you.
B. Story of the gingerbread man.