Lesson Two – The Worth of the Kingdom

The Worth of the Kingdom

Lesson Aim:  To show the value of the higher life and how it replaces all temporal pursuits as a main goal.

Scripture:  Matt. 13:44-46.

Historical analysis for reading the parable.

The geographical and historical settings are the same as the previous lesson.  This is a similitude, or “like” type of parable.  It does not have a story as we would find in what we might call a real parable; therefore, we do not look for a “hook.”

Aim:  Jesus’ aim in these two parables may be the same as the one that has been chosen for this second lesson.


How much do you think the kingdom of which you are a citizen is worth?  A difficult question, yes, but there is an answer.  Subconsciously we have established the value.  Our nation, state or district may have a different worth to each of us.  Our value will have been established in direct relation to how many of our needs are being satisfied, or at least the ones we think it will satisfy.  Different people are seeking different levels of life.  The value we have put on our nation is in direct proportion to our goals and how well we think this kingdom will aide us in attaining these goals.  The value we put on our nation is according to how much happiness we have, or hope to have, as one of its citizens.  We place very little value on some nations because we do not think we would be happy living there under their system.

The value of the kingdom of God is computed in the same manner by mankind.  Most people put no value on it at all because the quality of life the kingdom of God offers is not their goal.  Others have various points of value depending on two things.  One, how much they expect from life and the other is how many of their expectations they feel are being met by God’s kingdom.


The two parables in our lesson text appear to present two different situations.  One man accidentally found a kingdom which he immediately recognized as having an answer to the life he desired.  He had the ability to recognize the value of the kingdom in relation to a higher life.  He may not have been actively searching for this life but he knew about it.  He may have sought higher levels in life in the past; but perhaps, he had given up on finding a kingdom that could satisfy his goals.  In either case, when he found the kingdom of God he knew at once he had found something of great worth.  According to the parable, he sold all he had in order to buy the field in which he had hidden this valuable treasure.

The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid; and from joy over it he goes and sells all that  he has, and buys that field.  Matt. 13:44

The difference in these two parables in our text may be in the two words, found and seeking.  The man in the foregoing parable found the treasure.  If this implies an accidental finding, then we do definitely have a difference because the other man was seeking fine pearls.  Whether or not there is a difference in these parables, we have information to stimulate us to contemplate the worth of God’s kingdom.

To accomplish the aim of our lesson let us consider what the man found “in the field.”  He found the kingdom of God as it is presented by Jesus Christ and the Apostles.  Here is what he found:  Can you imagine going to a country where the king sat at the right hand of God and His scepter was righteousness (Acts 2:33; Heb. 1:8, 9)?  In this hypothetical country the relationship of the citizens with God was Father/sons and daughters (II Cor. 6:17, 18).  There would be no danger of Jesus Christ, the king, being overthrown by another power as long as time lasts (Eph. 1:20, 21).  He would be able to finish all programs He began for the citizens.  We would have found everybody trusting the king of this kingdom because He had died for them so they could become citizens of His kingdom (Rom. 5:8; Col. 1:13).  All the people in this kingdom had already had all of their past sins forgotten in the mind of God at the time He begat them (John 3:3-6; Acts 2:38; 3:19).  Consequently, the citizens’ consciences were clean as if they were in their youth (Heb. 9:14).  In fact, they were known as saints (I Cor. 1:1).

Another unusual thing about this kingdom was how the king also served as the high priest for His people.  He would go into the presence of God Almighty “on a 24-hour call” and intercede on their behalf when they did wrong because of their weakness and ignorance (Heb. 4:14-16).  He could sympathize with people because He had once been in their position (Heb. 2:14-18).  They had a system for attaining righteousness that was quite unique.  No other kingdom has one like it.  The citizens walked by faith and they were counted as righteous (Phil. 3:9).  No one had to feel bad about their sins of weakness and ignorance because God granted them the grace of justification by faith (Rom. 3:21-26).  This could happen because the blood of their king/priest shed on the cross continued to serve as a mercy seat or sacrifice of atonement (I John 2:1, 2).  Even the members who sinned willfully could have all their sins forgiven if they were willing to confess, repent and ask for forgiveness (Heb. 8:1-3; Acts 8:22).

The program in this kingdom was for each citizen to develop the personality and character of the king (Rom. 8:29).  To help them do this a person just like the king came to live within them and lead them (Rom. 8:5-9).  He is the Holy Spirit (I Cor. 6:19; II Cor. 3:3).  The citizens did not need to write their own laws.  They had been given the law of life (John 1:4; Rom. 8:2).  It has eternal relevance.  This law described how the inner-man of each citizen could develop.  It detailed how the inner man was designed and how to arrive at happiness.  It was written in a book commonly known as the Bible – inspired by the Holy Spirit (I Cor. 2:12, 13; II Tim. 3:16, 17).

Another unique feature of this “supposed country” was the relationship  among the citizens.  They were “members one of another.”  (Rom. 12:5).  In this way, they formed the body of the king and functioned in harmony (Eph. 1:22, 23).  They identified themselves as the church of Christ because He was their head and He had called them out of the kingdom of Satan (Rom. 16:16; Acts 26:18).  This is the kingdom the two men found in these two parables.  Although it was not a nation in this world with a geographical territory, it was not a “supposed kingdom.”  It is the kingdom of God.  Its domain is in a spiritual sphere called “in Christ.”  Eph. 2:6.  It is absolute reality.

It may not be known whether the man in the first parable was looking for something like this or not but he immediately knew it had great worth.  The man in the second parable is described as a man who was a pearl merchant.  He was a connoisseur of pearls.  He was interested in only fine pearls.  One day he found a pearl he considered to be worth his entire inventory of pearls.

This man found the same kingdom the first man had found.  Since he was looking for something, we may be able to project a little farther with our lesson from this parable than with the first parable.  This man knew his pearls; therefore, he could represent a man who knew something about life and had spent all of his past looking for a better life.  When he found the kingdom of God he was able to see all of the beauties the first man had seen.  In fact, he may have been able to recognize its worth even more.  Perhaps he had seen within this kingdom a way to be lifted up to the high standard of life he had been looking for all these years.

Some people seek a high life in this world by disciplining themselves in morality and in their appreciation of the arts and science.  They try to make their nation a place where people will be like fine pearls.  This man may have been such a man; however, he had not found a perfect kingdom because he was still looking.  When he found the kingdom of God he recognized at once it could let him rise to the heights to which he had dreamed.  As valuable as his other accomplishments had been, he knew they could not give him what he had hoped to attain – “glory, honor and immortality.”  Rom. 2:7.

This man saw the blessings of the kingdom we spoke of earlier; however, he also saw the life that could be developed as a result of these blessings.  He saw how it was possible because of these blessings in the kingdom to put aside anger, wrath, malice, slander, lying and abusive speech from his mouth.  He could completely put aside his old self (Col. 3:8, 9).  He could reinvent himself with the king/priest blessings of Jesus and His sanctification program directed by the Holy Spirit (Eph. 3:14-19; 4:20-24; II Thess. 2:13).  He knew he would need the blessings of God’s kingdom before he could let Jesus rule over him; however, he also knew if he let Jesus rule his life, he would be able to put on a new self in the image of the One who created him.

He saw how, when he followed the Holy Spirit through the instructions written in the Bible, he would be able to put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience (Col. 3:10, 11).  He knew he would be in a kingdom where all of its citizens could bear with one another and forgive each other just like the king had forgiven them.

Beyond all of these things, this man who had now become a connoisseur of life could see how he would be able to put on love.  This was not the kind of love that most people knew about.  This type of love is called “agape” in the original language of the New Testament.  He could see how he would be able to finally love even his enemies; consequently, it is the perfect bond of unity in a group of people.  He could visualize a kingdom of people where the peace of Christ ruled in their hearts (Col. 3:12-15).  This peace transcended the goals of the kingdoms and organizations he had previously considered.  Evidently, he had considered some pretty good kingdoms in his time but he had found nothing like this one.

The kingdom of God is truly the pearl of great price.  It offers many blessings but the blessings alone mean nothing.  We must be able to see how these blessings can satisfy our desire for a higher life.  Of course, if we have no desire for a higher life, then we will put a low price on the kingdom of God.

The person who finds the kingdom of God by accident or because of a diligent search must be willing to give up all other goals as a main goal.  This is not to say we cannot be good citizens and help make the world a better place in which to live.  We still may want to pursue the arts but we no longer will look to these things for the total satisfaction of our inherited drives.

We know we must have the blessings of the kingdom to allow us to develop ourselves like Jesus Christ and be happy.  We recognize the kingdom of God is the only thing that will remain when all created things are dissolved (Heb. 12:28).  When we see God’s kingdom in this light, our value of it will rise day by day.

Questions for Discussion 

  1. How does a citizen arrive at the value of his country?
  2. Why do some citizens have a higher value of their country than others?
  3. Why do some people consider the kingdom of God to be worthless?
  4. How do the two parables in our text appear to be different?
  5. When people discover the kingdom of God, what do they find?
  6. When the pearl merchant found the kingdom, what projection was he able to make in relation to his goals in life?
  7. How do some people try to attain a higher life in this world?
  8. What attitudes will the kingdom of God help us put off and put on in relation to our personalities?
  9. When a person finds the kingdom of God, what must he or she do with their former goals?
  10. How did you arrive at the value of the kingdom of God you have at this point in your life?

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