You recall, the first four parables depict a progression of decline while the remaining four depict a progression of restoration. I call it the “Isaiah 60 principle:”
Darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people, but the Lord will arise over you, and His glory will be seen upon you (verse two).
While conditions are getting worse for some, they’re getting better for others. It’s called God’s favor. His people end better than we start. It’s His style. Let’s track the progress of restoration in these last days—the restoration of Israel, restoration of the Church, His bride, restoration of ministry, and restoration of the new.
First, a word about the kingdom of God. I believe Scripture teaches the “not yet but now” revelation regarding the kingdom. God’s kingdom is not yet fully come but has already come. The Bible calls two seemingly contradictory statements a paradox. Truth is always held in paradoxical tension. For instance, Scripture teaches that no one can come to the Savior unless the Father draws him (John 6:44) but it also teaches that whosoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved (Acts 2:21). My point is, when Jesus came, He brought His Father’s kingdom with Him. The kingdom has already come.
“If I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you.” (Mt.12:28).
However, though the kingdom has come, it won’t be fully manifest until the millennium. And even then, it will continue to advance. Isaiah tells us, “Of the increase of His government (kingdom) there will be no end.” His kingdom is always advancing.
The Hidden Treasure
The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hid in a field, which a man found and hid, and for the joy over it
he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. (Matthew 13:44)
Again, we need to identify. Verse 38 tells us the world is the field. The man is the Son of Man and the treasure is Israel. The parable also tells us the man found the treasure and then hid it. Jesus, during His first Advent, found the House of Israel. His people rejected Him and then He hid them in the world. Israel is still hidden, scattered in various parts of the world to this day. The tribe of Judah is found and has settled in their homeland, the land we refer to as the Holy Land with Jerusalem as their capital.
The parable also tells us, “for the joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.” Paul tell us we “were bought with a price” (I Cor.6:20). And Peter tells us what that price was. We were redeemed, bought, with the “precious blood of Christ” (I Peter 1:19). It cost God everything. God shed the precious blood of His son. And Jesus, for the joy that was set before Him, endured the Cross. He bought the whole world for His people Israel. That’s how much He loves them. The price He paid was His life and the shedding of His precious blood. It goes without saying, Israel is special to the heart of God.
I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I gave Egypt for your ransom, Ethiopia and Seba in your place. Since you were precious in My sight, You have been honored, and I have loved you; therefore, I will give men for you, and people for your life (Isa.43:3-4).
Latter-day Israel will be restored, once again gathered, gathered to their Promised Land, and embrace their King.
This article is part 1 of part 2 in a series of articles by Lynn Ridenhour.
Parables of Matthew Thirteen Part one:
Parables of Matthew Thirteen Part two:
- Parables of Matthew Thirteen: The Hidden Treasure
- Removing Spiritual Adultery