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Dragnet-Just the Facts

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SBS:  As you might have noticed either from today’s Scripture reading or from the sermon title, one of the parables is about a dragnet.  I was going to ask Samuel if he could play the Dragnet Theme for me (dun du dun dun), but I was afraid that the office might run out of blue cards.  Come to think of it that might not be such a bad idea. 

Prayer:  Lord help us to see your word in stories as well as in epistles, in poetry as well as in proposition, in life as well as in logic.  Help us today as we look at these stories that your son told to listen carefully to them and to allow your Spirit to speak to us in a mighty way.  We pray this in Jesus name.

Off the coast of Nova Scotia lies tiny Oak Island, site of a feverish hunt for buried treasure that began in 1795. The center of the search is a pit, twelve feet in diameter, hopefully called “The Money Pit.”

Digging down, treasure hunters have found wooden platforms every ten feet. But no one has yet been able to reach the bottom of “The Money Pit.” The pirates who dug the pit built flood tunnels that have repeatedly sabotaged efforts to reach the bottom which is below the tide level.

Treasure hunters have spent one-and-one-half million dollars in a futile effort to find the treasure they believe is at the bottom. The only treasure found to date has been three links of gold chain.

There are interesting theories about what lies at the bottom: Captain Kidd’s gold, the treasure of Blackbeard, Inca valuables stolen by Spaniards, or perhaps the French crown jewels which were spirited away during the French Revolution.

grasping the meaning is that the center of the book is very important.  Jesus gives five speeches.  This is the third speech, the center one, and this is also the center of Matthew’s gospel.  So we should all pay special attention to the way that Jesus ends his third speech and these stories of the Kingdom that Matthew passes on to us.

EVERY PERSON SHOULD LOOK FOR REAL TREASURE:

1.  Real Treasure is Secret.-Treasure

  • Get the big picture here, don’t dwell on the detail of whether this man was ethical.  There are some who spend all of their time dwelling on little tiny details for other people.  Giesler and      Going at each other  “Once again Norm out of my whole paper the only thing that you have heard is your own name.”  Some people in the church don’t hear the sermon, or the lesson, or the choir, or the special, they hear only the mistake.  Then they come to tell you and anyone else who will listen about it. Nit-Picking and Gossip, that is their spiritual gift.  Don’t get caught up in that, hear the big picture.
  • Get the fact that the Kingdom is very valuable, but that it is secret, that it isn’t what everyone expected.  You have to look carefully.
  • My brother Leon is going to buy that old lot down on the edge of town.  Not Leroy, he only has one thumb, Leon has six fingers.
  • Hidden in terms of its PEOPLE, REWARD, SAVIOUR.  One of the most difficult things about Christianity is that you don’t have to do anything.

2.  Real Treasure is Significant.-Pearl

  • Pearls in NT times were more valuable than any other jewel.
  • Note that this is the one pearl, the finest pearl of all time, the pearl of great price

3.  Real Treasure is Serious.-Dragnet- a large net with floats and sinkers

  • Whenever lines are drawn there will be conflict.
  • The angels separate, just like last weeks passage.
  • Despite the fact that there is conflict there is hope, where there is weeping there are also pearls, where there is casting away there is also treasure.

At some point all of us will come to the end of our earthly existence.  It may come quickly like a shot in the dart or it may come slowly and ponderously like the slow sputtering of  an old car.  But the end of our lives will come.  At that point the question that we will all be asking ourselves will not be “what did the market do this morning?” but it will be “what did I do with the pearl of Great Price?”  Be careful what you treasure. 

Alexander the Great was marching on Persia, and it looked as if the great empire was about to crumble, as later it did, before his armies. There was a critical moment, however, which nearly resulted in disaster. The army had taken spoils of silver, gold, and other treasures in such quantities that the soldiers were literally weighed down with them. Alexander gathered all together in one great pile and set fire to them.

The soldiers were furious, but it was not long before they realized the wisdom of their leader. It was as if wings had been given to them—they walked lightly again. The campaign proceeded to victory.

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