Matthew 13:44-53 – Parables of the Treasure, the Pearls, and the Net—Treasures New and Old


Matthew 13:44-53


Belonging to the kingdom is like finding hidden treasure or that one fine pearl. Like a net of fish, at the end of time the righteous and evil will be separated. As ones who have been “discipled” for the kingdom (the word translated “trained” is the same word as the “make disciples” in Jesus’ Great Commission of 28:19), Jesus’ followers understand his message as a treasure that binds together the old and new of God’s promises.


Jesus’ parable discourse now concludes with three parables unique to Matthew and exhibiting characteristic Matthean themes. The description of the kingdom as like finding treasure or a fine pearl underscores the surprising grace of the kingdom, while the parable of the net, with its separation of the good and the bad, emphasizes the seriousness of disciple response in the face of the coming judgment at the end of time. Matthew’s disciples confidently assert that they have understood the message of Jesus’ parable teaching. As if to confirm their judgment, Jesus does not contradict their yes, but now encourages them to use this understanding in the conduct of life in the meantime, as they “bring out of that treasure” the rich resources of the old and the new.