The Parable of the Hidden Treasure (Mt 13:44) and the Parable of the Pearl of Great Price (Mt 13:45–46). Both of these parables speak of the kingdom’s priceless value and the “enthusiastic and wholehearted commitment” required to enter it.1
But they do so by highlighting the kingdom’s hidden nature and its quiet discovery (cp. 6:33), rather than any catastrophically imposed appearance through warfare: “The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid; and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has, and buys that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls, and upon finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had, and bought it” (Mt 13:44–46).
These kingdom parables are quite relevant to Jesus’ disciples who must forsake all to follow Christ, even risking the wrath of official Judaism (Mt 4:20–22; 19:27–29).2 They must not be like the rich man who loved his riches and status more than the kingdom (Mt 19:16–22). This parable contrasts these true sons of the kingdom to those who reject it, while preferring the things of the world (13:20–22). Men enter Christ’s kingdom voluntarily through conversion now rather than catastrophically through political imposition later, contrary to the premillennial conception.
1. R. T. France, Matthew, 539.
2. See also: Lk 6:22; Jn 7:13; 9:22; 12:42; 16:2; 19:38; 20:19.