PS stands for Plain and Simple! I love writing stories to enhance reading of God's Word. The Holy Bible has always been transforming lives and penetrative to our inner souls where no other books can ever do. I desire every Christian to love God's Word as fresh bread from the oven of heaven!
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
THE PARABLES OF THE HIDDEN TREASURE AND THE PEARL
William stares at the photo of his best friend, Ryan for quite a long while. This has almost become a ritual for him before he retires every night. “Tell me, Bro, what it is?” he asks playfully again, not expecting any answer from his long dead friend. Staying focus is his aim and so, by talking like this every day perhaps he may churn out some clues from his mind.
Ten years ago…
“Come on Bill, you have to run faster,” Ryan yells! Running like there is no tomorrow, William dashes towards his best friend. There they frolic in the waters like two children who have not been to the beach for a long time. William has always been captivated by Ryan’s innate joy like those rippling waters they have just created. More than that, Ryan’s ability to envision a future world keeps him enthralled. It was like a contrast to his life, for him there is no task worth dying for. In fact, William is miserable about everything at this moment. He has always wanted to ask his buddy about the secret to his sense of direction.
“Ryan, what makes you happy? I mean what really makes you happy?” William asks casually. “That’s a secret, my friend,” Ryan laughs.
“Oh! Come on!”
“You really want to know?”
“You have to catch me first!”
Ryan wades ahead deeper into the sea, throwing himself against the waves. William rushes playfully towards him. “Ryan! Okay, you win,” William shouts to his friend. All he can hear are sounds of waves pounding into the foaming sea. He dives in trying to find Ryan with every wave pullback but to no avail. No sound from him. No sight of his best friend. All William can do is to yell for help but his frantic shouts are drowned by roars of the waves.
William has gone on to become a successful entrepreneur in the fashion industry since that fateful day Ryan’s body washed ashore. Nevertheless, he cannot fathom what really makes him happy amidst all the riches and fame he has amassed. His friends tell him that he has made it and all he needs to do is to just sit back, relax and enjoy. The more he sits back, the more unsettle he becomes.
Ryan’s mother has shown William everything her son possessed but deep within him, that “this is it!” feeling still goes unfulfilled. “Ma’am, do you remember any other things he had that made him so fulfilled in life,” William presses. “I don’t remember any other,” Mrs Goldstein speaks warmly. The small apartment is filled with fragrance of flowers, with the evening sun lights up the mood with an orange glow. Mr Goldstein strolls carefully in with a teapot of warm Earl Grey and some homemade cookies.
“I am sorry to bring up the sad news again after so many years,” William confesses. “That’s all right, son. We have moved on in life,” the small-built man explains with a smile. William stares at the smiling photo of Ryan, hanging on the living room. He senses a strange burning sensation from within him. He leaps up from his chair, to the surprise of the old couple, their eyes widen with the antic of his son’s best friend.
“It is not things! It is not things!” William bursts out.
“What not things?” Mrs. Goldstein asks in amazement. The visitor amuses her.
“Now I know! Ryan’s fulfilment was not in things. I mean material things. It was people! It was you both!” he shouts.
“Okay. I got it! That explains why he had always gone over to the old folks home down the road,” Mrs Goldstein remembers.
“Ryan would be extremely happy when others were happy,” Mr. Goldstein declares. “He wouldn’t stop talking about some kids he got connected with,” he continues with a sense of pride.
William quits the fashion industry and sells off his stake in the company and all its subsidiaries. He even mortgages his bungalow for a smaller home. All the money collected is being channelled to charitable homes especially that one home Ryan, his friend, had grown fond of. Meanwhile his friends and colleagues commented, “Which planet do you come from?”
William stares at the photo of Ryan before he retires. “Hey Buddy, I have found it. Thank you,” he closes his eyes and smiles.
The Parables of the Hidden Treasure and the Pearl are only found in Matthew 13:44-46. These parables were uttered to the disciples only when they pressed Jesus for explanation to the previous parable. And the disciples must have understood these two parables as Jesus did not need to explain further.
These two parables speak about an individual’s quest for “This is it!” moment. He will not stop looking until he finds something so extraordinary, something so precious to him that he is willing to give up everything just to have it.
What represents the hidden treasure in the field? What is the fine pearl in the vast ocean? In the previous parable, we got to know that the field represents the world. Perhaps the ocean also signifies the same as these two parables are related.
What could be so precious in this world for the kingdom of God to engulf itself upon it? What makes God so interested in this world today? The answer should be obvious! People!
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
And who gave everything away just to purchase the treasure to himself?
“Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death-- even death on a cross!” (Phil 2:5-8).
The verses above clarify something else that both these parables speak of. That the sons/daughters of the kingdom must be willing to do the same! And that our treasures are not gold and silver but precious lost souls who are to be brought back into the kingdom of light! All things in life must pale in comparisons to human lives!
Do we have the urgency enough to reach the lost? Are we purposeful enough like Jesus Christ who came to seek and save the lost? Or are we hanging on to worldly toys today that choke our call to do the same?