- Sermon Notes
Answer the Call
Illus. Caller I.D.
As we have been going through Matthew chapter 13, we have studied Jesus’ words about the kingdom of heaven. His words about the kingdom in this particular chapter have all been in parable form. A parable being a picture, metaphor, or story that would highlight a physical reality, something easily seen, alongside a spiritual reality which was not as easily seen.
As Jesus tells His followers and disciples all about the kingdom, He endeavors to make sure they have a caller and kingdom I.D., evident for those with eyes to see. There were kingdom truths and realities, but the people who were following needed to understand the kingdom mentality…That their pursuit, would be worth it all when they answer the call.
Read: Matthew 13:44-51
Here Jesus continued to talk about what the kingdom of heaven was like and gives an illustration about a man who found a treasure in field and gave up
everything he had to purchase that field so that he could obtain that treasure.
The kingdom of heaven in light of that, is like a man who gave His all…A spiritual reality, but nothing they had yet seen physically, until now… The greatest example of this is found in Jesus, who gave it all for your sake and mine. Jesus was the greatest example of one who answered the call, and placed the kingdom above all.
In seeing the man who gave everything in order to obtain that which to him meant everything, Jesus is giving His identification. The identification of Him who came and gave His all, so that we would have a way to salvation. He gave it all so that we would know the way and live our lives in response to what He gave by answering His call…
I.Follow Jesus’ Lead
Matthew 13:44, “The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid again; and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
- In that day and in that time, the place where money was stored, was not in bank accounts or retirement funds, rather, treasures were buried somewhere on a person’s property for safe keeping.
- Most of the time keeping a map of their property of some sort, so that the treasure could be found if needed.
- The most likely scenario illustrated here was of a day laborer who was out working in the field of a wealthy landowner, who found buried treasure while working the field, but then covered it up so that the landowner would not claim it for himself.
- According to rabbinic law, if a worker came across buried treasure in someone else’s field and lifted it out of the ground, the treasure would belong to the owner of the field and would need to be surrendered…If not, and it remained buried, it was still buried treasure.
- In this story, the laborer was careful not to lift the treasure out of the ground…Yet when he found that treasure, he recognized its value, gave up all he had, selling everything he had so that he could buy the field and obtain the treasure.
- The man went ahead and sold all he had for that treasure, gave everything he had to obtain it, and did so joyfully.
Matthew 13:45, “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls, and upon finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.
- With the treasure in the field, the man stumbled upon the treasure, the pearl merchant here is looking for pearls and finds one with more value than anything else he owned.
- Divers sought pearls in the Red Sea, Persian Gulf, and Indian Ocean, and some imported pearls were worth the equivalent of millions of dollars.
- Knowing the value of pearls, the merchant understood what he was selling everything for, and willingly went, sold all he had, and bought it.
- In both examples, the one selling everything did so willing, because that which was being received was worth everything.
- That which was being obtained was worth the exchange…There was joy over the exchange.
Illus. Buyers remorse.
- This is not an example of buyer’s remorse, rather, this was a merchant, who understood the value of pearls, and went all the way in for the pearl of great price, the value was no mystery to this merchant.
- Jesus is giving an example of willingly going all the way in, holding nothing back.
- No greater example of this can be found than Jesus Himself.
Philippians 2:6-8, Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to His own advantage; rather, He made Himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled Himself by becoming obedient to death- even death on a cross!
- What did death on a cross mean? He died the death of a criminal, though He Himself was sinless…
- He emptied Himself (v. 7), Why? To come and live a sinless life, humbling Himself in order to make a way to purchase you and me, with a price we could not pay.
1 Corinthians 6:20, You have been bought with a price…
- Jesus went all the way, what is the kingdom of heaven like? What did Jesus do?
- He laid it all down, went all the way in, setting an example of those who would follow.
- Jesus gave everything for that which to Him means everything.
- Jesus set the example…And in this parable Jesus is circling the importance of giving your all for that which means everything!
- Paul said it this way, let this mind be in you which was also in Christ, giving His all for the kingdom call.
Hebrews 12:1-2, Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
- The writer of Hebrews exhorts the church to lay aside every encumbrance and sin, to run with endurance the race set before us…and uses Jesus as the illustration and example of that in reality.
- For the joy set before Him, He endured the cross…The joy set before Him was God’s glory in the redemption of a fallen humanity.
- He died on the cross, laying His life down, taking on sin and shame, so that you and I could be saved by no other name.
1 Peter 2:24, He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.
Romans 8:1, Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
- therefore, there is joy set before us in the life we have in Christ…I willingly lay aside every encumbrance, and anything that entangles…
Illus. Laying aside encumbrances.
- Certainly, there are encumbrances that try to creep up in into our life with Christ…
- But we follow His example when we lay them aside and run the race set before us with endurance…Setting the joy found through fixing our eyes on Jesus, before us!
- Go all the way in
Illus. Until something better comes along.
- There can be any variety of encumbrances that keep you from going all the way in, it could even be dependent on the day.
Illus. Why not start now?
Illus. Crossing over.
Proverbs 3:5-6, Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.
- What is holding you back from going all the way in?
Philippians 3:8, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ…
- Paul counted it all as loss, in view of knowing Jesus. He is talking about the stuff and the things that hold you back.
- And for some this morning, you have to step past stuff, and make Jesus enough.
- When Paul says “I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them rubbish so that I may gain Christ” there are various translations…
- Even so, we so easily get caught up on those things…That is why Paul says to lay aside the encumbrances and sin that entangles…so that you are uninhibited in going all the way in.
- Jesus is giving these illustrations to provide the example of one who gave everything when he found what was worth everything.
What is worth everything to you?
- Paul says he counts it all as loss.
- Don’t get lost counting the cost
Count what gets in the way as loss…
Illus. That’s too much…
- In verses 47-50, a parable about a dragnet is given and it is here that Jesus draws our attention again towards the end.
- A dragnet was often drawn between two boats and would be taken through the waters, with weights holding down the bottom and corks keeping the top afloat.
- Once pulled up, the net would be filled with all sorts of fish. The fish would at that point be sorted…There would be good and bad (inedible or unclean Lev. 11:10-11).
- Like in the parable of the wheat and the tares, the good are sorted from the bad.
- Jesus is drawing the distinction between two eternal realities. Known and unknown, the good and the bad, those who reject Him and those who reflect Him.
- At the end of the age, final judgement, there will be the final fates of those who receive Jesus and those who do not.
John 10:27, My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.
- Jesus asks a question in verse 51 to His disciples… “have you understood all these things?”
- The things of His kingdom are important for us to understand as well…so that we can continue to answer the call.
Revelation 21:4, He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.”
John 14:1-3, Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.
Psalm 27:4, One thing I have desired of the Lord, that will I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.
Illus. We’re going there!
Colossians 3:1-3, Therefore if (Since NIV) you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
“The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid again; and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls, and upon finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it. “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet cast into the sea, and gathering fish of every kind; and when it was filled, they drew it up on the beach; and they sat down and gathered the good fish into containers, but the bad they threw away. So it will be at the end of the age; the angels will come forth and take out the wicked from among the righteous, and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. “Have you understood all these things?” They said to Him, “Yes.”