Pearls and Other Treasures
What is the most valuable thing you own? Is value measured in money or in what it means to you?
What is your first impression of the parables of the found treasure and the pearl? There are two scenarios described here--one in which the person is planning for great gain in the future and the other which has an immediate return on his investment.
What can we assume about the merchant? How will he gain from purchasing the pearl? He doesn't know how long it will be until he sees this great gain, but he knows he will see it. He doesn't enter into this foolishly. How is that like the Kingdom of Heaven?
What do we gain with Heaven--what's Heaven like? Is it possible to get bored living forever? What about the places we can visit? What new things will we be able to hear and see? What about all the other people who will be there? How will we know them? And moreover, what is missing from Heaven? Grief, sickness, loneliness, jealousy, regret... Imagine life without any regrets. The greatness of Heaven is far more valuable than anything we could have now.
The man who bought the field had an immediate return on his investment. How is pursing a relationship with God beneficial for us right now?
If the treasure and pearl are symbols of salvation, then why did the people in both parables have to sell everything to buy them? God has things in store for us that are greater than we can comprehend--we should faithfully pursue God, regardless of the cost. Our rewards are abundant!