After the religious leaders rejected Jesus, he taught his followers about his kingdom in four pairs of parables. (Matthew 13)
The first pair taught that the message of the kingdom would be rejected. The problem was not in the message but in the soil that received the seed. There would be unbelief throughout history and in the final judgment those who believe and those who do not believe would be separated. Unbelief would be punished and belief would be rewarded. (Matthew 13:1-9; 18-30; 36-43)
The second pair of parables taught that the kingdom would start small and that its growth would be internal. It would also growth surprisingly large considering its small beginning. (Matthew 13:31-33))
The third pair talked about how people enter the kingdom.
Is if possible for people to come to faith differently?
The seed is the same but people may receive it differently.
The first parable was about the person who stumbled over a great treasure in a field. He was not looking for anything but found the treasure that would change his life. He must give all he has to buy the field and the treasure. (Matthew 13:44)
The second parable of the pair, parable of the pearl merchant, created an image of a person who was looking for the true message. He searched and looked at other pearls but finally found the pearl that was the truest, best, and worthy of giving up everything his has. Some people come to the kingdom after searching various messages of salvation, various religious. (Matthew 13:45-46)
I discussed this pair earlier when I talked about the conversion of the second century teacher Justin Martyr who tried various philosophies before he came to faith in Jesus. He sought and found the most worthy pearl.
One is looking and finds. One is not looking and finds.
They both give everything for the treasure. The same message but different paths to the treasure. Same faith…different pilgrimages.
Were you a seeker when you found Jesus?
Are you willing to accept others who came to faith through a different path?
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