By Dr. Kenneth L. Gentry Jr
But they do so by highlighting the kingdom’s hidden nature and its quiet discovery (cp. 6:33), rather than any catastrophically imposed appearance through warfare: “The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid; 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” (Mt 13:44–46).
These kingdom parables are quite relevant to Jesus’ disciples who must forsake all to follow Christ, even risking the wrath of official Judaism (Mt 4:20–22; 19:27–29).2 They must not be like the rich man who loved his riches and status more than the kingdom (Mt 19:16–22). This parable contrasts these true sons of the kingdom to those who reject it, while preferring the things of the world (13:20–22). Men enter Christ’s kingdom voluntarily through conversion now rather than catastrophically through political imposition later, contrary to the premillennial conception.
Notes1. R. T. France, Matthew, 539.
2. See also: Lk 6:22; Jn 7:13; 9:22; 12:42; 16:2; 19:38; 20:19.