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Parables: The Pearl of Great Price

To Remember: God's kingdom is worth all that we have

Vocabulary

  • kingdom of heaven: all the saved, Christ's church (and what it stands for - a right relationship with God)

Lesson

Matthew 13:44 The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which someone found and hid; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.

Matthew 13:45 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls; on finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it. (NRSV)

Do you have one toy that you like more than all the others? Do you have a best friend? What are you willing to give up in order to have that toy or be with that friend? In these verses, Jesus describes a treasure so great, so valuable, so precious, the men sold everything they had to gain it. They did not value anything of theirs as much as they valued the chance to have the treasure or the pearl.

Jesus compares the kingdom of heaven with this valuable treasure. What Christ has offered us is so great, so valuable, that there is nothing we have that is worth keeping if it means we can't be in the kingdom. Think about the treasure in the field. If the man sold his house, then got the treasure, he would have the money to build a bigger house. The kingdom of heaven is the same way. Jesus said:

Matthew 19:29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields, for my name's sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life.

There is nothing we could need that God can not provide for his people. He compares us to the birds and the flowers. If he takes care of them, we know he will take care of us, too.

Matthew 6:33 But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things [food, drink, clothing] will be given to you as well.

Have you ever had a yard sale? It can be difficult to decide how much your old toys are worth. Or even if you want to sell them at all. In life, we often have to decide how much certain activities or habits are worth to us. Should we keep them? Which is most important. Jesus is telling us in this lesson that the most valuable thing in our life is our relationship to God. Are we in the kingdom? Will our activities or habits keep us from staying in the kingdom? What could possibly be more important than saving our souls and pleasing God?

Matthew 16:26 For what will it profit them if they gain the whole world but forfeit their life? Or what will they give in return for their life?

Merchant Seeks a Valuable PearlPowerPoint Graphics: Pearl of Great Price PowerPoint Graphics - tell the story with these storyboards.


True or False

  1. The man who bought the pearl did not sell his house.                F

  2. God will supply all our needs.                                                        T

  3. The men thought for a long time before deciding to buy the treasures.                 F

  4. We must decide what is truly important in our lives.                    T

  5. We will never have to give up anything for God.                         F

Sing: The wise man built his house...

Discussion: What kinds of activities or habits can keep us out of the kingdom? What kinds of "pearls" should we be seeking in life? (List both on a board in opposing columns)

Memory Work: Use any of the verses above

Coloring Pages

  1. The man finds the treasure in the field

  2. The man buys the field for all he has

Review Questions for gameboard

 linguistic questions

  1. What is the kingdom of heaven?

  2. What is righteousness?

  3. Recite the memory verse.

  activity questions

  1. Draw something (or someone) you treasure.

  2. Lead a short round of "follow the leader". Who is our leader?

  3. Describe what it takes to find a pearl.

  emotion questions

  1. Describe how you felt when you had to give up something you loved.

  2. Describe a time when you received a great present.

  3. Describe what heaven will be like.

application questions

  1. What is the most valuable thing we possess?

  2. What might we have to give up to reach the kingdom?

  3. The merchant was searching for fine pearls. What should we be searching for?

fact questions

  1. Why did the first man have to buy the land?

  2. Who feeds the birds and provides the beauty of the flowers?

  3. What did Jesus give up to provide us with access to the kingdom of heaven?

review questions

  1. Give an example of how God provided for the Israelites in the Old Testament.

  2. Can we value anything other than the kingdom? (discuss)

  3. Name some things God has provided for you.