Ethics in the Kingdom of God
Ethics in the Kingdom of God

Ethics in the Kingdom of God

I have a question for theological cracks concerning the parable of the Kingdom in Matthew 13:44. You can read that somebody finds a treasure in a field, hides it back into the ground and then buys the field. My Christian ethics tell me to do business transparently and honestly. My interpretation of this parable tells me that Jesus is the one who buys the treasure (thus establishing the Kingdom of God). So, does this say that Jesus was not acting ethically correct? And if so, what to do with this example?

Any suggestions?

PS Don’t answer too quickly. Read Luke 16:9 for another (seemingly?) ethical conflict – maybe even more of a mystery than Matthew 13…

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  1. Mark

    So, none of you sees himself as a theological crack? 🙂
    We talked about it in the office a few times, and I got some possible ‘solutions’ and some more questions regarding this passage. For example: did not the land belong to YHWH in the first place, was it not illegal to sell land? Or, maybe it was a war situation where treasures of war were hidden quickly.

    I guess most of the answers would be that this parable does not address an ethical or moral issue, and I agree. I do believe that – in the first place – this parable tells exactly what it tells: God himself comes down, giving up everything He has to buy us.
    But: I do also believe no word is too much in the bible, and therefore I suggest an extra dimension to this story: that of the spiritual conflict between God and Satan.

    In the previous verses in Matthew 13, Jesus tells the parable of the seed. He explains then that the field is the ‘world’. So, it is safe to say that in this parable, the field is again representing the ‘world’. We know from Scripture that Satan is the ruler of the world, so it is also safe to say that the owner of the land is Satan. The fact that the person in the parable hides the treasure back refers to Jesus and his mission, which was in many ways a hidden mission, one that played a trick on Satan, so to speak:

    … O death, where is thy victory? O death, where is thy sting?… (1Cor15)
    … having despoiled the principalities and the powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it… (Col2)

    Nice, he?

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