People have been doubting who Jesus is. John the Baptist and his messengers doubted he was the Messiah (Matthew 11:3). The Pharisees hurled all kinds of doubtful accusations at him (Matthew 12:2).
It would be easy for Jesus’ followers to start to wonder, “If Jesus is the Messiah, why can’t everybody see it?”
Jesus answers with several parables. While each of them have their unique contribution to Jesus’ teaching on the kingdom of God, all of the parables, here, share one message: the kingdom of God is hidden.
Through parables about seeds, wheat, treasure, and fish, Jesus says that the kingdom of God has a secretive element to it (Matthew 13:44). But those secrets aren’t revealed to everybody. Like the parables about the sower, wheat, and fish, some get it and others don’t (Matthew 13:48).
Jesus quotes a prophecy from Isaiah to tell us why this is:
“You will indeed hear but never understand, you will indeed see but never perceive” (Matthew 13:14).
Humanity’s heart had become hard. Its ears had grown dull. Its eyes had closed shut (Matthew 13:15). So it could not believe, hear, or see the truth of what Jesus was doing.
So how did anyone, like the disciples, come to believe? Jesus said it was because it has been given to them to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to others, it had not been given (Matthew 13:11).
A free gift is the difference between those who hear and those who don’t.
Why is this good news?
The point of this passage is that the kingdom of God is like a secret, hidden from the world. Because of our hard hearts and dull ears, all humanity would have rejected it and received a punishment Jesus refers to as “weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 13:41).
But the good news is, God has chosen to reveal his kingdom to us in the person of Jesus (Matthew 11:27). In fact, the hidden secret comes to its high point in him.
After all, who thinks dying on a cross is the right way to build a kingdom?
But, the seemingly insignificant act of death would actually grow, like a mustard seed, into the Kingdom of God.
Jesus has revealed these secrets and offered to save us from the weeping and gnashing of teeth we deserve. So, we respond like the man in Jesus’ parable who came across the pearl of great price and sold everything he had to buy it (Matthew 13:46).
The point is not how much you are willing to pay to buy it. After all, we’ve already seen that the kingdom is a free gift. The point is, do you see Jesus as worth everything? If you do, Jesus says to you today what he said to his disciples then, “Blessed are your eyes, for they see” (Matthew 13:16).
See for yourself.
May the Holy Spirit open your eyes to see the God who has had a hidden plan from the beginning of time. And Jesus as the only one who perfectly completes that plan.