Background: Matthew is the first book in the New Testament and was written by Matthew to carefully document that Jesus is in fact the long awaited Messiah and fulfilled all of the Old Testament prophecies.
In this section of Matthew (Chapters 12-15) Jesus tells 7 parables (earthly stories that explain heavenly realities) to those who follow Him. These stories were intended to be understood by those who were true followers of Christ but not understood by those who were only interested in themselves.
Ask the children…
What does this story say that the Kingdom is heaven like?
“Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant on the lookout for choice pearls.” (Matthew 14:45)
So the Kingdom of Heaven is extremely valuable and not easy to find. What does the merchant do when he finds it?
“When he discovered a pearl of great value, he sold everything he owned and bought it!” (Matthew 14:46)
Like the merchant, Jesus was instructing His followers that they should be seeking to find the Kingdom of Heaven. In their case the Kingdom of Heaven was standing right in front of them, Jesus was the Kingdom of Heaven. They were to sell all their other treasures in life and seek after Him. It is not easy to see that Jesus is that great treasure unless you look really hard at Him. Otherwise the other pearls in life will look just as valuable if not more.
Ask your children if Jesus is their greatest treasure in life? What other treasures do they have that appear to hold equal or greater value for them? Spend some time talking about Jesus as a great treasure. What are some of the treasures that come from Him to us? Hint: Authority (Matthew 10:1); fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22, 23); mansion in heaven (John 14:1, 2) and that is just a start.
If you like what you read about ways to teach children the Bible, check out the children’s book, Hooked on the Book, on this website. It is great for parents and kids because it provides the Big Story of God’s miraculous plan for His children in all 66 books in the Bible. CHECK OUT A FREE SAMPLE OF CHAPTER ONE BELOW.