Post 108 / The Next Language
September 19, 2022
“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: … But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” [Phil 2:5, 7-8 KJV]
From God’s perspective, the redemption process was an emptying procedure from start to finish. That is very instructive. Christ’s teaching and subsequent modeling and orthodoxy by the Apostles suggest that what happened to Christ was a pattern for what we should expect as we continue the redemptive process. God gave everything and asks everything in return (including death if necessary) so that the lost will be won.
“The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord. It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?” [Matt 10:24-25 KJV]
“And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all.” [Mark 9:35 KJV]
“Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.” [John 15:20 KJV]
To nail the comparison even more directly Christ said, John 20:21 KJV – Then said Jesus to them again, “Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.”
I see this dual and all-inclusive logic in Christ’s teaching on the kingdom.
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.” [Matt 13:44 KJV]
Some expositors take this parable to represent God’s redemption of the earth. This logic is compelling. God is focused on redeeming the Church which He sees hidden over generations around the world and to accomplish that He purchases the whole world. (Mat 13:38 KJV – ” The field is the world.” ) The title deed for the world, lost to Satan when Adam fell into sin, passed away from Satan to Christ on the cross. When Jesus with His last breath said, “It is finished,” He used an accounting term that meant paid in full. Satan may be still resident but he is very bruised and he is under the authority of Christ and His obedient servants. God’s ultimate plans for both the Church and the earth and the nations are as totalitarian as the promise to Abraham whose promise encompassed “all families of the earth” (Gen 12:3).
God’s final eternal reign will be over a new heaven and a new earth where for the first time the oft-repeated prayer will be reality, “Thy will be done in earth as in heaven.”
The next in this sequence of parables teaching about the Kingdom of God is on the pearl of great price.
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.” [Matt 13:45-46 KJV]
Neither of these parables have Jesus’ interpretive commentary for help. We could assume they are two parables making the same teaching point. Problem is that in the first the Kingdom is likened to the treasure. In the second the Kingdom is likened to a merchant man. Strong’s defines merchant in the following way- “one on a journey, whether by sea or by land,” in contrast to a stationary retailer. Here is the picture of the nomadic missionary looking to expand the kingdom. A pretty close picture of the recordist looking for those unrecorded languages.
I agree with the commentators that interpret this parable as the disclosure of how the Kingdom is accomplished from the earthly perspective. If the Kingdom is the quest for the lost or the pearl of great price, it speaks to the price we should be willing to pay to obtain it. The merchant poured everything he had into obtaining that unique and valuable pearl. Those of us about the business of filling out that Kingdom should be doing the same.
“So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.” [Luke 14:33 KJV]
“Jesus is Lord of all or He is not Lord at all.” (Attributed to both Samuel Zwemer and Hudson Taylor.)
(To be continued next week.)
Larry DeVilbiss | Executive Director
Global Recordings Network USA
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