Saturday 26 July 2014

Pentecost 7, Matthew 13:44-52, The parables of the kingdom, hidden treasure, the pearl of great price, the dragnet

More parables of the kingdom 

First the parable of the hidden treasure.
The kingdom belongs to heaven, is of heaven.
It is like a treasure that was hidden or buried. There were no banks, no safes. Its like the Staffordshire hoard! 
So it was buried in a field and a man found it!
He covered it up to keep it a secret and went off and bought the field.
He was very happy. Big lottery day!  
The Parable of the expensive pearl
A wholesale trader and traveller or collector was looking for pearls.
He who seeks will find. 
When he found one of great value he went away and sold everything else he had, not just all his pearls.
The Parable of the Dragnet
The fishing is finished and they were sorting the fish, the good in one basket, the bad thrown away.  A parable about sorting the good from the bad, and judgement.
A dragnet is a casting net. A very long net with floats on one edge and weights on the other, that circles the fish and draws them in. It was operated from the shore. 
When it was full it was pulled up the fish onto the shore and they sat down to sort  them into baskets. 

As with the weeds and the wheat, the parable of the dragnet comes with an comment.  To the crowds, Jesus speaks in riddles or kingdom parables.
The kingdom of God is at hand, the day of judgment upon us. 
Even now the angels are preparing to sift humanity, the righteous from the unrighteous, with the unrighteous cast into hells fire. The fiery/blazing furnace is used of the last day, using the image the of the burning of rubbish in Jerusalem rubbish tip outside the wall. 

The scribe and his treasure
Jesus questions the disciples, asking them whether they understand the hidden meaning of the kingdom parables, that the kingdom of God is at hand.
have you understood these things Jesus asked
Jesus has in mind a teaching disciple, not a scribe who is a member of the Pharisee party. 
The householder has been instructed. Household is the same root word as economy, ecumenical, the household of God, the whole earth. Be prepared to sell all you have for what is real treasure. Use what treasures you have old and new.



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