Buried treasure

Jesus gave the people this analogy.

“The kingdom of heaven,” he said, “is like a farmer who sowed good seed in his field. But during the night, while everyone was asleep, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, then slipped away. When the wheat sprouted and began to form ears, the weeds also appeared.

“The farmer’s workmen were very concerned and went to him.

“‘Sir,’ they said, ‘you sowed good seed in your field, didn’t you? So where have all these weeds come from?’

“‘An enemy has done this,’ said the farmer.

“‘Do you want us to pull out the weeds?’ they asked.

“‘No,’ he said, ‘because you might also uproot the wheat if you do. Let both grow together until the harvest. Then I’ll tell the harvesters to first gather together the weeds, tie them into bundles, and burn them. Then they can harvest the wheat and put it in the barn.’”

Here is another analogy Jesus gave: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed which a man planted in his field. Although it was the smallest of seeds, it grew to become the largest of garden plants. The it developed into a tree, and the birds came and make nests among its branches.”

Jesus also used this analogy: “The kingdom of heaven is like the yeast a woman used in making bread. Even though she only added a little yeast to three measures of flour, it worked through every part of the dough.”

Jesus always used analogies and illustrations like these when speaking to the crowds. In fact, he never spoke to them without using such analogies. This fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet: “I will speak to you in analogies. I will explain things hidden since the creation of the world.”

Then, leaving the crowds, Jesus went inside a house. His disciples came to him and said, “Please explain to us the analogy of the weeds in the field.”

“The Son of Man is the farmer who sowed the good seed,” he said. “The field is the world, and the good seed represents the people of the kingdom. The weeds are the people who belong to the evil one. The enemy who sowed the weeds among the wheat is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are the angels.

“Just as the weeds are separated and burnt in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will remove from his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. Then they will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the honourable will shine like the sun in the kingdom of  their Father. Now, just stop for a moment and think about that!

“The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure that a man found buried in a field. In his excitement, he reburied it and sold all that he had to buy that field.

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant who was looking for the best pearls. When he found a pearl of enormous value, he sold everything he had to buy it.

“The kingdom of heaven is also like a fishing net that was thrown into the lake and caught fish of every kind. When the net was full, the men pulled it to the shore, sat down, and sorted the good fish into crates. But the bad ones were thrown away. That’s how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked people from the honourable, throwing the wicked into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

“Do you understand all these things?”

“Yes,” they said, “we do.”

“Then,” he said, “every teacher of the law who becomes a student in the kingdom of heaven is like a the owner of a house who brings puts on display new treasures as well as old.”

When Jesus had finished teaching, he left that and returned to Nazareth, his home town. Then, when he began to speak in the synagogue, everyone was amazed.

“Where did he get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?” They asked. “Isn’t he the carpenter’s son. And we know his mother, Mary. And his brothers: James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas. His sisters even still live in the town! So where could he have learnt all these things?”

And they took offence at him.

Then Jesus said, “A prophet is not without honour except in his own town and among his own people.”

And he didn’t do many miracles there because of their lack of faith.

Matthew

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