Give your servant, therefore, an understanding heart…
What is the value of any object? A man buys an engagement ring for his girlfriend and pays $2500 for it. His fiancé is overjoyed at receiving it and cherishes this ring more than anything. One day she happens to lose the ring. At that moment, what is the value of the ring? Certainly it is not what was paid for it, as the object’s value is greater than any dollar amount you can assign to it.
This teaching on value is precisely the message Jesus has regarding the kingdom of God. In the two scenarios regarding value, Jesus uses hyperbole to drive home the point. No person would bury treasure in a field and then pay any price for that field any more than a merchant would pay all he has for the pearl of great price. But the kingdom of God really is that valuable, and we should regard it as so in our daily lives.
The way to have such value is found in the discernment of good and evil that Solomon asked of God, the same discernment God uses in the parable of the net dragged across the sea. The value of the kingdom is what provides the obligation – an interior obligation of love – that impels us to virtue, to continually improve our discernment of good and evil in our lives, so that we can arrive safely to the reign of God.