SynopsisI’m already going against what I said earlier and including two ESV section headings in one post. But it’s only three verses, and they’re essentially the same parable told in two different ways, so I figure I can safely do this.
ThoughtsThese two parables are really two ways of saying the same thing: being part of the kingdom of heaven is worth more than anything else, so if you had to give up everything you have to be part of it, it would be worth it.
Like any parables, we shouldn’t read too much into these ones; we aren’t to think that we can somehow “buy” our way into the kingdom of heaven by pleasing God or giving something to Him; the point is just that of how much the kingdom of heaven is worth. Then again, in a sense, we do give up everything we have to be one of God’s children; He [usually] lets us keep most of what He has given us, but we also recognize that it all belongs to Him, to do with as He pleases through us. (So, technically, we’re not giving it up so much as simply recognizing that it was always His.)
The ESV Study Bible also pointed out something I hadn’t noticed before, which is that in the first parable the person just stumbles upon the treasure, while in the second parable the person is in search of it. But at the end of the parable, the point is the same: Both people recognize the worth of what they have found, and are willing to give up everything they have to acquire it.