Most people have heard of the Parable of the Treasure in the Field and Pearl of Great Price.

You've probably heard sermons about how you should be like the guy who goes and sells all he has.

Not a bad application of the text at all.

But it is not Jesus's point.
For all of Matthew 13, Jesus has been preaching parables that are condemnations of Israel's unbelief. Matthew explicitly tells us this is why He began preaching in parables.


It was not to give cute illustrations for pop evangelicals to sell books.
So when he gets to these parables He not giving a cute illustration about how you should be like the man who finds the field or the merchant who finds the pearl.

You should be like them, to be sure, but that isn't what it is about.
Both of these parables are like the Parable of the Prodigal Son in Luke.

It, too, is a parable of condemnation, and the condemnation is for the one who is barely mentioned: the resentful son who stayed home, who clearly represents unbelieving Israel.
The Parable of the Treasure in the Field and Pearl of Great Price is about the men who had this priceless treasure/pearl in their possession the whole time and give it away.
Who could Jesus be talking about there? Those who had GOD IN THE FLESH dwelling among them, revealing Himself through awesome signs and wonders, who they TOTALLY REJECT and MURDER.
That is who Jesus tells these parables for. These men are Esaus giving away their priceless possession for nothing, showing utter contempt for it.

(Why Jacob is always good, and Esau/Isaac/Laban are bad is for another time).
Only after understanding the context of Israel's rejection of Jesus, can you understand what going and selling all you have and buying that field/that pearl actually means.
I preached on this last Sunday, and if you are interested, you can see more here:

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More from @BonifaceOption

24 May
Most people have the perception that Jesus's parables were these cute, little anecdotes that help illustrate whatever point He was making.

I'm sorry.

That is wrong.

It is very wrong.

It could not possibly be more wrong.
In Matthew 13, Jesus starts to tell the people parables. Because we grow up hearing these our whole lives, we don't realize the point of a parable is not to illustrate something to make it more clear.

The point of a parable is to make it LESS clear.

It is to conceal.
In Matthew 12, Jesus gets in a huge, public fight with the scribes and Pharisees.

The seminary provosts and denominational presidents show up to verbally brawl with Him.

And He drops condemnation after condemnation upon Israel for their unbelief.
Read 20 tweets
20 May
It is shocking how badly people mangle the story of Jonah.

It is not about a guy terrified of the scary Assyrians flaying or boiling him alive.

It is also not primarily a story of an ethnocentrist angry that God would show kindness to people other than Israelites.
Some of it is from that stupid vegetable cartoon. But that just comes from terrible exegesis more broadly.

I say this all the time because I have to:

Bad OT exegesis comes from treating the Bible like a random collection of fables rather than an organic, cohesive narrative.
That is the problem with most children's storybook Bibles btw, (beyond how sappy and sentimental and moralistic they are).

Children grow up having no idea how these stories are deeply interwoven with each other. They have no idea how they are all connected.
Read 15 tweets
8 Mar
In American evangelicalism "the gospel" centers entirely around are you going to heaven or hell when you die.

When you read the gospels carefully, that does not seem to be the case at all. "The gospel" in the gospels is not really about where you are going when you die.
Obviously, salvation from hell is something that Jesus accomplishes for His people. That is not in dispute.

But that phrase "the gospel" is used in the gospels in a way we are completely not used to.
When Jesus & His disciples preach "the gospel" in the gospels they don't show up & say "here is your free ticket out of Hell."

They are announcing that the kingdom of God has arrived.

American evangelicals reduce that to shorthand for "ask Jesus into your heart & go to heaven."
Read 19 tweets
3 Mar
The fact I can find multiple illustrated versions of The Illiad that look like this but the “best” illustrated Bibles are barely any better than Precious Moments has far more explanatory power regarding contemporary Christianity than anything I can articulate.
What exactly *would* an artist’s rendition of Abimelech’s head getting crushed by a millstone look like?
Read 4 tweets
2 Mar
A common theme that I constantly return to is that the age we live in is one of profound loneliness, isolation, atomization, alienation, and despair.

I don't think I can emphasize this enough.
You would have to be EXTREMELY naive to believe these circumstances exist by accident.

All of this has been socially engineered since the early 20th C.

I am not gonna footnote it all here, but these people wrote about their designs right out in the open.
This tweet is funny; and this is because it is barely an exaggeration.

Human beings were not designed to live this way.

Read 19 tweets
12 Jan
I say this without a shred of hyperbole: nearly all the problems of contemporary Christendom can be traced back to a defective view of worship.

Even most of the best churches, that otherwise seriously believe the Bible, don't pay attention to what it says about worship.
What the contemporary church believes worship is for:

TEDtalks w/Bible verses
Theology lectures
Impressive rock concerts
What the Bible says worship is for:

God's people gathering before His presence
God renewing His covenant relationship with His people
God's people receiving grace from Him
God's people responding with praise
God's people returning a portion of the grace He has given
Read 13 tweets

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