Would you be willing to part with everything you prize—your reputation, your income, your accomplishments, your relationships, your comfort, or even you very life, if it meant the difference between being saved or damned?
Geoffrey Chaucer wrote his famous Canterbury Tales in the 14th century. One of the stories in this narrative is the Knight’s Tale. As a group of pilgrims is on its way to Canterbury, the knight tells his tale about two rival knights, Arcite and Palamon, both vying for the hand in marriage of a fair maiden, Emily. The knights face each other in a public tournament for her hand. Both seem to want victory, but…
But then comes the prayer which reveals their true desires. Emily prays that she will marry the one who truly loves her. Palamon prays that he will marry her. Arcite prays for victory in the tournament.
All three prayers are answered when Arcite wins the tournament, but then he falls off his horse and dies, so Palamon, who truly loves Emily, gets to marry her.
This story shows what happens when true desires are exposed, which is what we see in Matthew 13.
In Matthew 13:44-46 we see two short parables about the Kingdom.
“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.”
Jesus tells two short stories of men who found something of great value, and whose desire for that object was greater than any other they had. From this we learn…
3 Observations Of The Kingdom
1. It Must Be Personally Appropriated
Notice that neither man inherits his treasure. It didn’t come to them automatically. Each one had to make a personal transaction to appropriate it.
This was important to the audience because many Jews believed that they could expect salvation by virtue of being born Jewish. Many people today believe that their heritage will save them: “I was born in a Christian home, went to a Christian school and college, and have been a member of this church for as long as I can remember… what do you mean I need to convert and become a Christian?”
Listen to what Peter pronounces to the crowd at Pentecost in Acts 2: 38-39
And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.”
Don’t rest on your family’s involvement, don’t rely on your parents’ faith, don’t think ‘I’ve always been a Christian.’ No you haven’t! You must make a decision for yourself.
2. It Will Cost You Everything
Let me ask you: which cost more, the field or the pearl? The cost of the field, and the cost of the pearl was the same – for both it cost everything they had. And they were both willing to sell everything to obtain their treasure.