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Matthew 13:44-46 This sermon could also be titled, When you still haven t found what you re looking for. How many of you have pets? Animals are pretty uncomplicated. They want food and to make babies, and that s about it. If they re dogs, they want you to love them. Compared to animals, people are very high maintenance. We are all a bit needy. Here is a diagram of Maslow s hierarchy of needs. The point of showing this is not that this is correct, but just to demonstrate the complexity of human needs. Notice there is no basic need for Apple products like the Macbook, iPod, iPhone, or iPad.
Humans are very complicated. We are not easily satisfied. We spend so much time and money on the latest gadgets, entertainment, or fashions, always looking for the latest and greatest. Why? We all want to surround ourselves with friends and family who love and care for us. No one wants to be by themselves all the time; they want to share their life with someone who is committed to them. We are all looking for relationships where people understand, appreciate, and love us. We want to know where we came from and what our purpose is. Right now in Switzerland, scientists are working on the Large Hadron Collider that will smash protons and allow them to learn more about the physical laws that God set in place. Why do humans have the need to do this sort of thing? What are we looking for, really? We want to know why we are here. [Play U2 s I Still Haven t Found What I m Looking For. ]
The Bible says something interesting in Ecclesiastes 3:11, He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God s work from beginning to end. This is very interesting because it tells us one of the reasons why we are always restless and searching for fulfillment. God created us with a sense that there is something more than this finite life we are experiencing. The fact that we have these questions this yearning, this seeking tells us there is something completely outside our normal experience that we long for. The Parables of the Hidden Treasure and Precious Pearl Jesus talked about the search we all go through. He said that, in the end, we will never stop seeking until we find God. He told two parables to illustrate this. v. 44 The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. This man finds a treasure. We do not know whether he was searching intentionally or happened upon the treasure. But, when he finds it, he realizes its worth and is careful not to lose it. It means so much to him that he considers everything else cheap in comparison. This treasure gives him great joy because he finally found what he was looking for. This type of joyful discovery can happen to us when we re older believers as well. We can find out something new about God or experience Him in a new way. It s like discovering a new treasure and gives us the same joy. God is a treasure of inestimable worth. When we first discover Him, we only understand a little bit of who He is. As we walk with Him through the trials of life, He becomes even more precious to us as we come to know Him better. How faithful, how true to His promises, how constant! In Matthew 13:52, after he finishes telling his disciples these parables, Jesus says the things we learn about the kingdom of God are like treasures that we store up in our heart. A man or woman who knows God is the wealthiest person in the world! v. 45-46 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it. This time, a merchant is looking for something very specific. He can t find what he s looking for so he keeps searching. He is wealthy, but is not satisfied. He will know it when he sees it. When he finally finds that pearl, he is willing to sell everything he has in order to buy it because he recognizes its worth.
Do you recognize the worth of Jesus? Have you seen and heard enough of this life to know how precious Jesus is? Have you been disappointed and disillusioned with romantic relationships, career, and empty entertainment? In the Psalms, King David wrote: Psalm 42:1-2 [b] As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. 2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God? Have you ever been thirsty and without water? You d give anything for water. Think about people who are shipwrecked or stuck on a small raft in the ocean. They have water all around them, but if they drink it, they will only become thirstier. They need fresh water. In the same way, we can fill ourselves with the things of this world, but it will never satisfy the thirst in our souls. Only Jesus can do that. Do you recognize the worth of Jesus? Mary Magdalene recognized Jesus worth. The Bible says she brought a pint of an extremely expensive perfume worth a year s wages and anointed Jesus with it a week before He was crucified. The disciples complained that it was a waste. Why are you wasting that? It could be used for so much good! I tell you, nothing is too precious for Jesus! Never feel as though what you have done for Him is a waste. If it is done as worship to Him, it is not a waste. It is only waste if we fail to recognize how worthy He is. Mary had the same attitude as the merchant in this parable. Paul also had the same attitude. In Philippians 3, he said that all his excellent Jewish background was worthless to him if only he could know Jesus more. Philippians 3:7-8 But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ Do you recognize the worth of Jesus? Does the way you live show that you recognize His worth? What do you prize and honor in your life? What do you hold as dear to you? Jesus Is the Answer For those of you who might still be searching for your treasure or precious pearl, I want to tell you that Jesus is the treasure you ve been seeking. He provides for your every need. y Physical needs. Jesus provides for all our physical needs. When we find Jesus, we don t have to worry about anything, but we can lift everything up to Him in prayer because He loves us. We
know that Jesus died to provide us with tremendous blessings. We ask Him to give us what we need to do His will, and we can be confident that He will do it. y Relationship needs. We all need someone who knows us truly, who will never leave us or forsake us, and who loves us unconditionally. When you have a relationship with Jesus, it is like a bedrock foundation for all your other relationships. Do you know that some sailing ships have very deep fins that do down into the water? Those deep fins give the boat a lot of stability on the ocean in the wind and waves. In the same way, we can have stability in our relationships when we have a deep relationship with Jesus. We can be a truer friend, or a better husband or wife. Spiritual needs. When you find Jesus, it is like coming back home. We are like lost spiritual sons and daughters without a father or mother, but when we find Jesus, we are brought into God s family and He is our heavenly father.
Do you long for this type of answer? Finding Jesus doesn t mean that you can t enjoy anything else. It just means that you can relate to everything else in the right way. That hunger that you have is good if it brings you to God. But, don t tamp it down with things that do not satisfy. Don t be satisfied, but desire more of Him. Come and get something real! Isaiah 55:1-2 1 "Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. 2 Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare.
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