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Mat 13:44         In this parable what does the hidden treasure represent?  See Pro 2:1-4, 3:13-18, 8:10-12,18-19, 16:16, Job 28:1-2,12-20.  Wherein are found the hidden treasures of God’s wisdom?  See Job 28:23,28, Psa 19:7-10, 119:14,72,127.  Who is the living Word of God in whom are found all the “treasures” of wisdom and knowledge?  See Col 2:3; cf. Pro 9:1-6.  What is the spiritual significance that valuable treasures like silver, gold and precious stones are found in the earth, and the treasure this verse speaks of was hidden in the field?  See 1Co 1:18-30, 2:7, Joh 12:24, Phil 2:5-8.  Why did the man in the parable hide the treasure he had just found?  Think: Although he could never afford the treasure itself, what could he afford if the treasure remained hidden?  In what sense must the treasure of God’s wisdom that is found in Christ remain hidden by us?  See 2Co 4:6-11, Jdg 7:2,16-20; cf. Psa 119:11, Pro 2:1, 7:1.  Although the hidden treasure was of inestimable value so that the man could never afford to purchase it outright, still he was able to obtain it; but what did it cost him?  How is that like the kingdom message of salvation that is found in Christ?  See Psa 49:7-8, Mat 16:26, 18:23-27, 19:21,27-29, Luk 5:11,27-28.  What does this parable teach us about the great value of the hidden treasures of God’s wisdom—the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven—that are found in Christ?  What are they worth compared to all the things of this world that people typically value?  When a person really understands this great value, does the cost seem great?  Why not?  Are the kingdom treasures found in Christ of such great value to us that all our worldly treasures and pursuits pale in comparison?  Cf. Heb 11:24-26.  Are we as joyful at trading our worldly treasures for the hidden treasures of God’s kingdom, because, like Moses, we have a great faith to see how much more valuable they are?  See Luk 19:2-9.  Or are we more like the rich young ruler who was very sad at such a prospect (Luk 18:23), because we love the world and the things in the world more than we love the things of God?

Mat 13:45-46   What do the fine pearls in the parable represent?  Cf. Mat 7:6.  In what way is this parable like the previous one, and in what way is it different?  How was the merchant in this parable different from the man who happened upon the treasure in the previous verse?  In what way is he a better example for us in actively seeking out the treasures of God’s wisdom than the man who stumbled onto the treasure in the field?  What does the pearl of great value in this parable represent?  See Rev 21:21.  What was it worth to the man to obtain it?  How much should it be worth to us?  Is it?  As indicated by the amount of time we spend in prayerful meditation upon God’s word, how much are we like the merchant in seeking the fine pearls of God’s wisdom?  As indicated by where we invest our money and other resources, how much are we like the merchant who, in order to obtain one pearl of great value went and sold all that he had?  Cf. Phil 3:7-8.  What do these parables teach us about the modern approach to evangelism that promises the treasures of heaven without any cost?  What do they teach us should be our approach in evangelism?  In our sharing of the gospel should we downplay or pretend there is no cost?  Cf. Mat 16:24-26, Luk 14:25-35.  Should our own prayer be that there be no cost, or rather that we might have faith to see how great are the treasures of heaven and by God’s grace we might not consider the cost too great?  In what way would these parables have been useful to Matthew’s purpose for encouraging those to whom he was writing who were in danger of falling away because of the increased persecution that included “the seizure of your property” (Heb 10:34) and other forms of economic suffering?

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