In the ancient land of Israel where Jesus lived and taught, on occasion, people accidentally found hidden treasures that had been buried hundreds of years beforehand by some wealthy member of a forgotten civilization. Naturally, if the fortunate finder didn’t own the land where he found the treasure, he would attempt to buy it, thus gaining the land and, more importantly, the treasure. If the purchaser thought the treasure was valuable enough, he might sell everything he owned to have enough money to purchase the field. It would be worth it, however, because he would regain all he sold and more, once the treasure was in his hands.
A place in the kingdom of heaven is like that because it is the most valuable thing anyone could possess, and it would be worth giving up anything and everything else to gain it. People who truly believe the gospel, who believe there is a place in heaven to gain, value their salvation above all else, and it shows in their lives. They repent of their sins and will give up anything that they know might keep them out of heaven. Their relationship with Jesus is the most important thing. It is their hidden treasure and their priceless pearl!
I’m sure you easily understood the parable of the fishing net, so there’s no need for my explanation. However, this would be a good time to learn something about interpreting Jesus’ parables. Usually, each parable serves to illustrate one primary point, and to try to find spiritual significance in every detail of a parable is dangerous. The point of the parable of the fishing net is that there are two categories of people in the world: the wicked and the godly. One day they will be separated, and the wicked will be cast into hell. That’s what Jesus wanted to teach through this parable. There is no spiritual significance to the net, the beach or the crates mentioned by Jesus, and we shouldn’t look for any.
Q. What would you be willing to take as a trade for your salvation?
A. If you answered, “A billion dollars,” or named anything else, you probably don’t really believe the gospel. True believers value their salvation above all else. There is nothing they would take in trade for it.
Application: When the men of the first two parables realized what could be theirs, they did whatever it took to gain their desire. Following Jesus does cost us something, and many people decide not to follow Jesus because they value other things more highly than eternal life, like respect from other people, or their wealth that they don’t want to share. We should value what God values, because He knows what is truly valuable.