For those of us who love what the Church truly should be – the Body of Christ and the true Temple of God, Jesus Gave two more parables in Matthew 13 which are a refreshing encouragement. After the parable of the sower, the wheat and the tares, and the parable of the Great Tree and the leaven, Jesus gave us the parables of the treasure hid in the field and the treasure of the pearl.
Mat 13:44 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.
Mat 13:45 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.
The man in the parables is the Lord Himself. He bought the field (the whole world) for the treasure that was hid in that field. And do you know what He did once He found that treasure? He hid it again! Again, The Lord was a Merchant Man who was seeking goodly pearls. When He found one pearl of great price, He bought it. Again, Pearls are hidden in the depths of the sea.
Pearls are also a type of the Church. As Chuck Missler said: “The pearl is the only “jewel” that is the result of a living organism. It grows as a response to irritation. And it is removed from its place of growth to become an item of adornment!”
Hidden Now, Manifested When He Comes
The treasure and the pearl are both hidden things, and these speak of the reality of the Kingdom in this age. There is a hiddenness to what is precious to God. Part of the reason why the great tree can so easily develop is because it grows by men’s desire for greatness and to be seen. But Jesus taught the value of being hidden and having a precious secret life that only the Lord sees. He promises to one day reward us openly (in the Kingdom.) Even though there are so many negative things on the surface, the reality of the Kingdom in this age is precious to God. It is so precious that He hides it (from the world). But nothing is hidden to Him!
Both the Pearl and the treasure seem to be allusions to the Holy City, New Jerusalem. The New Jerusalem is the culmination of every positive theme in the scriptures. It is the permanent dwelling place of God and man, made up of gold and precious stone (treasure). The gates to enter the City are made of Pearl. This is the building of God and is the masterpiece of the ages. This aspect of the Kingdom consists of the true believers who cling to His word and hope in His Kingdom in this age. In this age they are hidden from the world, being buried in the field, and even in the depths of the sea. yet will in the next age be revealed as the Holy City which is also called Bride, the Lamb’s wife.
Rev 21:9 And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb's wife. And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,
In this age the world does not see that the Holy City. Paul said
Col 3:3 “you are dead, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life shall appear, then you also shall appear with Him in glory.
John said something similar:
1Jn_3:1 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
From verses like this and others, we see that in this age we are not expecting to be manifested to or known by the world. The reality of what we are is hidden in God. It will not be manifested until the Lord Himself is manifested! Perhaps one of the chief differences between the reality of the Kingdom in this age and the outward (negative) appearance is in this point. We need to abide in the Lord, letting His word abide in us. We need to be content in this age to be hidden in Him. We are mistaken when we think that we need to do something great as an outward display to “show the world”. John said of the false teachers “they are of the world, therefore the world hears them. But we are not of the world, so the world does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error”. The enemy takes advantage of the “good intentions” to make a display to the world. However, the Bible tells us that if the world hears and receives the message, it’s not the message of the Apostles and is not the true gospel.
In contrast to the hidden treasure that will eventually be revealed as the New Jerusalem, the true building of God, there is the false system represented by the tree. It towers over everything in plain site of the world, and is populated with birds and will be thoroughly leavened. This is the result of the bad seed sown by Satan. It will eventually be revealed as Babylon the Great. This system is called a “whore” and in contrast to being the Lamb’s Wife (a chaste virgin separated unto the Lord), she courts and desires to marry the world.