Tag Archives: parable

Discipleship in the Parable of the Pearl of Great Price

The kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls, and upon finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it (Matthew 13:45-46).

China 2011-95-S

The merchant sold all he had for the pearl of great value because he was able to recognize its value and beauty. Once he possessed it, however, he was functionally poor (in the sense he couldn’t buy food, clothes, pay rent, etc).

This parable is not about using God to become wealthy, but it’s about the worth of the Kingdom of God – the worth of ‘possessing’ Jesus.

In the parable, the merchant sees its worth. Now, in order for him to become a merchant, and to be able to recognize the worth of the pearl, he had to be taught. He had to apprentice under someone (probably his father, in that culture).

This is where we see the importance of discipleship in the Christian life. Teaching, but also modelling and apprenticing others in the ways and teachings of Jesus, “teaching them to obey everything [He] commanded…” (Matt. 28:20).

The challenge for all Christians is to see the beauty and glory of Jesus so much that we devote our lives to Him, “selling all that we have,” and “taking up our cross daily and following Him.” And the job of mature Christians is to help others  in the church to see Jesus properly (that is, to see His beauty, glory, and inestimable worth). This is especially true for church leaders – elders, deacons, teachers, worship and small group leaders, and of course, even the pastors.


Having said that, we can only train others as far as we ourselves have gone. If I’ve only studied to learn about the size, colour, and shape of pearls, then that will be all I can teach and show. I won’t be able to teach about the lustre, surface quality, or nacre quality of them.

The other aspect of this is that being able to see Jesus’ true worth is a gift and grace from God. So maybe it’s not so much teaching and modelling to others how to see Jesus, but to see Him better, or, to see Him more accurately.

And so the challenge for me then is to know Jesus intimately and recognize His presence, work, glory, and beauty in and around me and in and around the life of those around me, in order to point them to Jesus to be able to recognize Him better themselves.

And as we see the glory of Jesus, we are changed more and more to be like Him (2 Cor. 3:18).

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The Parable of the Unforgiving Monopoly Player

The Parable of the Unforgiving Monopoly Player

Three people were playing Monopoly. One of them, who happened to be the Banker, was doing extremely well and had properties with hotels all over the place. The 2nd one, the Hat Player, was doing all right with quite a few houses and hotels. The 3rd player, the Wheelbarrow Player, was doing terribly: a few properties, but no sets and no developments.


At some point late in the game the Hat Player landed on Boardwalk with a hotel, which was owned by the Banker. The rent was $2000, which the Hat Player currently didn’t have, all his money being tied up in developments.

“Pay up!” said the Banker. “Looks like you’ll need to mortgage some of your properties.”

“Wait!” cried the Hat Player. “Have a heart please, I’ll have the cash soon after a few rounds and I’ll make sure to pay you before the game ends.”


The Banker was feeling generous and decided that, instead of giving the Hat Player more time, she would just absolve the debt altogether. The Hat Player felt great relief, and the game continued.

On the very next roll, the Wheelbarrow Player landed on Mediterranean Ave. which was owned by the Hat Player. The rent was only $2.00, but because he had been having such a bad game, he couldn’t even afford it.

“Pay up!” cried the Hat Player. “Mortgage your properties until you can afford it!”

“Wait! Have a heart please, I’ll pay it as soon as I pass “Go” and collect $200.”


“Nuts to that,” replied the Hat Player. “Looks like you just went bankrupt.” And the Hat Player laughed one of the meanest laughs you’ve ever heard.

The Banker, understandably, was quite angry by the Hat Player’s actions. “I had mercy on you when you owed a huge debt, shouldn’t you have had mercy in the same way to your fellow player, who owed such a little one?” And with that the Banker flipped over the whole game board in anger, and a few of the pieces hit the Hat Player in the face, who went crying home to his mommy.

The end.

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A Parable about Reading Scripture

What can I compare to reading the Bible? It is like a famous and talented chef, who went to a city and opened up a restaurant. Every day he would prepare unique, delicious, and exquisitely prepared meals for free to all who would eat them.

Exquisite Meal

The rich of the city never went, since they were always full on their own food.

Of those who recognized the generosity and value of the chef’s meals were three people:

One man would come every day and take a tiny fork-full of the meal and swallow it without chewing, and then would rush on to his day’s work.

One woman would only come once in a while, but when she came she would eat as much food as she could. She always thanked and complimented the chef and say how much she loved eating his food, but then would disappear for a long time before she came to his restaurant to gorge herself again.

Finally, one man would come for a meal every day, and take his time eating the meal and tasting and savouring every bite, and getting to know the chef personally, then would go on to his day’s work with the energy it gave him.

Now, who do you think the chef appreciated the most? Let them who have a heart to obey, obey.

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