Okay, enough of my lame attempts at humor. Here’s the point – Though we answered most of the questions live in the service when we taught the two priceless parables (Matthew 13:44-46), two still linger that I’d like to comment on. (Listen to the message here) (And no, you won’t need your MasterCard if you want to hear the message.)
1. How do we change our mindset of valuing the who vs the what of the kingdom?
Essentially, I’d say a change like this starts by adjusting the input. What do I mean by that? Simply this: We tend to value publicly/externally what we focus on privately/internally. So if you value the “what” of the kingdom — activity, results, production — you’ll probably end up spending more time doing, somewhat like Martha (Luke 10:38-42), and you may find yourself frustrated a bit. But if you value the “who” of the kingdom — relationship, fellowship, intimacy — you’ll probably wind up spending more time at his feet listening, like Mary, who discovered knowing Jesus was actually the best things she could do after all.
The point? Spend more time with Jesus. Fix your eyes on him daily, and seek to spend larger amounts of time “staring” at him (Heb. 12). Be disciplined about your time in the Word and in prayer. Fuel up sufficiently every day. This is what I mean by adjust the input. As you pour more of him into you, he will become increasingly larger and bigger, and all the “whats” will be appropriately minimized by just how grand the “who” truly is.
2. I have heard an alternate interpretation that identifies God as the ‘man’ and us as the ‘treasure.’ What do you think of that view?
Yes, I have read of that view, but find nothing in the context of the parable — and nothing in the context of the parables in general — to suggest that is a legitimate interpretation. Even though we don’t make parables “walk on all fours,” that view, in my opinion, makes it difficult to pinpoint parallels that actually were intended by Jesus in his stories. Admittedly, it’s not sinful, but I do think it is a stretch of both the specific and general contexts.