Sermon Starters

Support and Resources For Pastors and
Christian Ministry Professionals

Thomas F. Fischer, M.Div., M.S.A., Editor

Tenth Sunday After Pentecost
Series A

Option #1: "Two Parables of the Kingdom of Heaven"
Matthew 13:44-52
Rev. Wayne Dobratz, B.A., M.Div.
I. The Hidden Treasure

    A. The field wasn’t his, but rabbinic law allowed him to claim this treasure.

    B. Buying the field was worth all that he owned--Prov 23:23; Isa 55:1; Matt 6:20-21; 1 Tim 6:19

II. The Pearl of Great Price

    A. It was so valuable that, once found, all the searching was worthwhile– Prov 8:10-11, 18-21

    B. You must search in the right place--Deut 4:29; Ps 105:4; Prov 3:13-17; Lk 11:10; Acts 17:27

III. THE Point of Comparison

    A. What treasure map are you consulting?--Prov 2:1-5, 16:16

    B. How long will your treasure last?--Matt 6:20; Col 2:1-3, 3:1-2; Phil 3:7-11; Heb 11:24-26

Thomas Guthrie: "In the blood of Christ to wash out sin’s darkest stains, in the grace of God to purify the foulest heart, in peace to calm life’s roughest storms, in hopes to cheer guilt’s darkest hour, in a courage that defies death and descends calmly into the tomb, in that which makes the poorest rich and without which the richest are poor indeed, the gospel 'has treasures greater far than east or west unfold, and its rewards more precious are than all the stores of gold.'"

The blessing of being a child of God through faith in Christ is utterly priceless, more valuable than all the possessions the richest man could acquire. There is absolutely nothing to compare to it in worth and beauty, because it is "an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away" (1 Pet 1:4). It is forgiveness, love, peace, happiness, virtue, purity, righteousness, eternal life, glory, and more. God offers His priceless kingdom to any person, no matter how poor, how insignificant, how sinful, to anyone who trusts in Christ.

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Object: a "map" to find hidden treasure, with a cross at the center of it.

(Mat 13:44 NIV) "The kingdom of heaven is like 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."

A lot of children and their parents hurried to the bookstores last week because they are "wild about Harry." When I was your age, there were books about hunting for hidden treasure. Jesus tells us a story about a man who wasn’t hunting for treasure, but found it by accident. When he discovered the treasure, he sold everything he had so he could buy the field where he had found the buried treasure.

Some of the hidden treasure stories when I was young became movies or TV shows. Someone had found a map and now all they had to do was follow the map to the hidden treasure. A CROSS marked where they would find the treasure. It still does, but this is no story in the fiction section of the library or bookstore. This is the truth. Jesus tells us today that HE is the hidden treasure. Nothing is more important than having Him as your Savior. That’s because He paid for all of our sins on the cross and He promises us that there is a room waiting in our heavenly Father’s house for all who love the Lord Jesus and follow Him.

That’s the real treasure, and it’s not hidden. It’s right there for all to see in God’s Word. Look for the CROSS and you will find it.

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Option #2: Matthew 13:44-52
Rev. Mark Borchert, B.A., M.Div.


(Thoughts are based on the works of Dr. Jeff Gibbs)
1. Context of Chapter 13 is that things are not going well in the ministry of Jesus: the leaders want to kill him, people see the miracles but do not believe, John the Baptist is questioning him, his own family doubts him.
2. Verses 51-52 wrap up the entire section of Jesus’ teaching in Chapter 13.
3. The Parable of the Net (verses 47-50) bookends with the Parable of the Weeds.
4. When speaking of the kingdom of heaven, Matthew is referring to the ministry of Jesus of Nazareth on behalf of his disciples.
5. The Parable of the Hidden Treasure (verse 44) and the Parable of the Pearl of Great Value (verse 45-46) are coupled and connected by the phrase “he went and sold all he had and bought.” These are the focus of this sermon starter.
6. In the parables presented in Matthew, "finding" always refers to God’s activity through Jesus to reach out to the lost.
Man cannot sell everything he has to pay the price. Note the parable of the Unforgiving Servant (18:23-25) and the Rich Young Ruler (19:16-26).
7. Jesus’ purpose for coming is “…to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many,” (20:28) that is, Jesus has come to exchange his life for others, to give up everything to purchase us.
8. Jesus finds in order that he may purchase treasure, a pearl of great value. The treasure is the disciples of Jesus. (Old Testament references to Israel as the treasured possession of God and Titus 2:14, 1 Peter 2:9, as well as references to God’s people as the jewels in the gate of heaven of Revelation 21.)
9. The Parable of the Pearl of Great Value intensifies the Parable of the Hidden Treasure.


Point: We can have security in Christ even in the midst of a fallen hostile world.

Problem: We face difficulty all the time--temptation, hastles, etc. Things often are not going well.

Promise: Even when things are not going well, this is what the Kingdom of God, that is, Jesus’ ministry, is like: Jesus searches

                us out and gives up everything to purchase us.

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This page was revised on: Monday, November 13, 2006 10:23:12 AM