Treasure Found In A Field

In Matthew 13: 44, “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.”

Now here is a news story from today in the United Kingdom, actually from South Wales (not far from where my father was born and raised). It is not a perfect modern day equivalent of the Gospel parable, but in that there are many similarities, I thought it was worth sharing. Something to think about (meditate on) for sure.

The Lawn Mower Parable

Andrew Wilson writes: but if he does, he knows who he is:

We all know that words, without deeds, are dead. All of us have seen the terrible effect of a person who does not practice what they preach, and if we haven’t, then we have read the New Testament and found such people in its pages.

But fewer of us recognize that deeds, without words, are also dead. I don’t know whether Francis of Assisi ever uttered the words attributed to him – “preach Christ at all times, and where necessary, use words” – but whether or not he did, they are obviously inadequate. And this is true, not only because the gospel of Christ simply cannot be proclaimed without words, but also because the very act of trying to “preach” with our deeds does, in fact, preach something, and it isn’t the gospel.

Let’s say I have a neighbor, and I want to “preach Christ” to him using my deeds. I greet him over the garden fence. I invite him and his wife round for dinner, where I show them the best hospitality of which I am capable; I explain that I am a Christian, but make no attempt to shove the gospel down his throat. Noticing that his garden could use a bit of work, I offer him my lawnmower, which he accepts, and eventually, through repeated usage, breaks. I do not complain, or ask him to replace it; I replace it myself, and continue to allow him to use it whenever he sees fit. I help whenever I can. In all things, I seek to display unconditional kindness towards him, and to love him as I love myself. Eventually, he dies.

Now: what have my actions preached to him? They have preached that Christians are people who do good things for their neighbor. They have preached that niceness, and kindness, and morally upright behavior are what make you a Christian. In short, they have preached justification by works.

Your works have indeed “preached” something. But it isn’t the gospel.

Interpreting the Parables of Mark’s Gospel

Dr. Hans Bayer, professor of New Testament at Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri, teaches on “How to Interpret the Parables in Mark.”

Why Parables Jesus?

Matthew 13:10-17

10 Then the disciples came and said to him, “Why do you speak to them in parables?”

11 And he answered them, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. 12 For to the one who has, more will be given, and he will have an abundance, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 13 This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. 14 Indeed, in their case the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled that says:

“‘You will indeed hear but never understand,
and you will indeed see but never perceive.
15 For this people’s heart has grown dull,
and with their ears they can barely hear,
and their eyes they have closed,
lest they should see with their eyes
and hear with their ears
and understand with their heart
and turn, and I would heal them.’

16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear. 17 For truly, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.

Also, in the parallel account in Mark:

Mark 4:10-12
10 And when he was alone, those around him with the twelve asked him about the parables. 11 And he said to them, “To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside everything is in parables, 12 so that

“they may indeed see but not perceive,
and may indeed hear but not understand,
lest they should turn and be forgiven.”

And in Luke:

Luke 8:9-10
9 And when his disciples asked him what this parable meant, 10 he said, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of God, but for others they are in parables, so that ‘seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand.’

According to Jesus, the reason that He spoke in parables was so that God would leave certain people in their blindness, while at the same time, using them to reveal His truth to others (to whom these things had been “given”.)

“To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given.” – Matt 13:11