Introduction to the Four Final Parables Of Matthew 13
There are several ways to look at these last four parables
The parable of the hidden treasure
The parable of the great pearl of great price
The parable of the net cast into the sea
The parable of the householder
I. Some say the treasure is the elect of God that He finds hidden in the field, which is the world.
A. It is objected that somebody had to hide it. This would make somebody over God, this isn't so.
B. It is objected that God found it. This would make God not knowing something, but discovering it. God has created the entire world, and everything in it. He knows everything there is to know about everything. There is nobody that has taught Him anything. The elect were never lost as far as God is concerned, because He always knew exactly where they were, and how to bring them to himself.
C. It is objected that God had to buy the field (which is the world) after He found the hidden treasure.
1. There are those that say God had to buy the souls of the elect.
2. If this is what is meant, there can be little objection.
3. It should be noted that the treasure is hid in the field, and the entire field is purchased that the treasure should also be purchased. Why would God have to purchase something that was already His?
II. Some say the hidden treasure is Israel, the pearl is the church, and the net is the final separation that will take place at the end of the world.
A. Ps. 135:4 states that Israel is a treasure unto God. It is objected that there is no scripture that states that Israel is a hid treasure, or that the church is a pearl.
1. It is objected that God hid Israel in the world. He did exactly the opposite. He placed Israel in the world as a light to point all nations to Himself. God intended Israel to be a shining example of His love and fellowship and greatness.
2. It is objected that the church is the pearl, because there is no scripture in the entire Bible that says that is so.
B. Rev. 21:12,21 - If the church is the pearl, then the church is the entrance into the New Jerusalem. The fact is that there are many saved people who are not members of one of the Lord's churches who will use the gates of New Jerusalem (the entrance into the city) to bring their riches into the city.
C. What happens to the family, or the age of conscience?
1. This is the time between Adam and Abraham.
2. Where do all these people fit into the kingdom of God?
3. Some people fail to consider that God remembers that period of time and the people involved.
4. Any theology we develop must also consider the people during this time.
5. God worked in that time and He will remember the faithful people who lived during that time. At least some of them are recorded in Heb. 11.
III. Some say the hidden treasure is the gospel of Jesus Christ.
A. It is objected that the gospel is hid only to the lost whom the god of this world hath blinded their eyes.
1. II Cor 4:3,4 "But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: 4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them."
2. God hasn't hid the gospel from the lost, but publicly proclaimed it, and encouraged multitudes to be saved.
B. It is objected that salvation cannot be purchased by selling all a person has and buying it.
1. It is true that there must be abandonment of all a person has before they can be saved.
a) A person must come to the place of realizing that everything they have or hope to have is worthless, useless and completely without value.
b) It is only at that point that they will turn to Christ, who then gives them the great gift of eternal life.
2. This is what the rich young ruler would not do. (Explain this in the light of point # 1 above!)
C. The gospel is not hid in the world (field). It is hid in Christ.
1. Eph. 3:9 - The mystery of the church is hid in God from the beginning of the world, but is not revealed through the apostles.
2. Col. 3:3 - After we are saved, we ought to set our affections on things above, not on things on this earth because we are dead to this world, and our lives are hid with Christ in God.
D. The commentaries I have read do not give any scripture that states that the treasure is the gospel, rather they simply state that point, not giving any scriptural proof at all.
1. After they have made the point that the treasure is the gospel, they then use various scripture to prove the gospel is the treasure.
2. But they have no scripture that says that the treasure is the gospel.
The correct interpretation of these Four Parables
IV. The first four parables are given in the presence of the multitude, but when Christ gave the explanation of the parable of the tares, and the last four parables, he was in the presence of the disciples only. (See verse 36)
A. There are some things that only specifically chosen people will hear and understand.
B. The people that heard the first four parables thought they understood the whole purpose of God, but they only heard a little.
1. What little they heard they have perverted to suit themselves.
2. Their lack of spiritual understanding comes from not seeking God's will with their entire heart.
3. They didn't stay around long enough to hear the interpretation of the parable of the tares: how can they possible believe they understand? Matt. 13:36-43.
V. The last four parables (the hidden treasure, the pearl, the net, and the householder) are given to show the internal parts of the kingdom, while the first four parables (the sower, the tares, the mustard seed, and the leaven) represent the outward parts of the kingdom.
A. The first four parables show the depressing, discouraging, outward degeneration of the kingdom of God.
B. The last four parables show the stimulating, encouraging, inward increase of the kingdom of God in the hearts of the true believers while all around them appears the outward signs of destruction and ruin.
C. I believe it is important to note that Matthew is the only gospel that gives these last four parables.
1. This tells me that these parables are related to the first four and are to be interpreted as a part of the first four.
2. It seems to me that these four parables speak explicitly to the disciples so they won't be discouraged by the outward results of preaching the gospel, or from seeing the pollution in the kingdom of God.
3. There will be more encouragement from the inward manifestation of the kingdom of God (obedience) than that which shows in the outward manifestation of the kingdom of God.
VI. There is a difference between the characters of the four parables.
A. He is a man in the parable of the treasure.
1. He could be a Jew, a Gentile, or a person living before Abraham.
2. He is a saved person, because these parables aren't talking about how to be saved.
B. He is a merchant man in the parable of the pearl.
1. A merchant man is a person who is on a journey, especially for trade.
2. All saved people are strangers and pilgrims on this earth.
3. Some do well, but others become intangled with the affairs of this world.
C. He is called "every kind".
1. All saved people ought to know that there is coming a great day of separation.
2. All saved people will not have the same rewards or station in eternity.
3. This is the judgment of all the saved at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
D. He is a householder in the final parable.
1. This is a person who is settled in to the gospel.
2. He has spent his life struggling to understand what God wants him to understand.
3. All the things he has learned are treasures to him.
4. Some are old and some are new.
a) Some he learned when he first began his Christian walk.
b) Some he has learn just recently.
c) They all fit together perfectly and they are very valuable to him.
d) What would you give in exchange for your soul?