The kingdom of
heaven is like unto a treasure hidden in a field. Which a man having
found, hid it, and for joy thereof goeth, and selleth all that he hath,
and buyeth that field. Again the kingdom of heaven is like to a
merchant seeking good pearls. Who when he had found one pearl of great
price, went his way, and sold all that he had, and bought it.
By St. John Chryostom
Much as in the
other place, the mustard seed and the leaven have but some little
difference from each other, so here also these two parables, that of
the treasure and that of the pearl. This being of course signified by
both, that we ought to value the gospel above all things. And the
former indeed, of the leaven and of the mustard seed, was spoken with a
view to the power of the gospel, and to its surely prevailing over the
world; but these declare its value, and great price. For as it extends
itself like mustard seed, and prevails like leaven, so it is precious
like a pearl, and affords full abundance like a treasure. We are then
to learn not this only, that we ought to strip ourselves of everything
else, and cling to the gospel, but also that we are to do so with joy;
and when a man is dispossessing himself of his goods, he is to know
that the transaction is gain, and not loss.
Seest thou how both the gospel is hid in the world, and the good things
in the gospel?
Except thou sell all, thou buyest not; except thou have such a soul,
anxious and inquiring, thou findest not. Two things therefore are
requisite, abstinence from worldly matters, and watchfulness. For He
saith "One seeking goodly pearls, who when he had found one of great
price, sold all and bought it." For the truth is one, and not in many
And much as he that hath the pearl knows indeed himself that he is
rich, but others know not, many times, that he is holding it in his
hand (for there is no corporeal bulk); just so also with the gospel,
they that have hold of it know that they are rich, but the unbelievers,
not knowing of this treasure, are in ignorance also of our wealth.