Reading the Word
Matthew 13:44–46 (ESV)
44 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, 46 who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.
Understanding and Applying the Word
As Jesus continues to teach in parables, he tells his disciples that the kingdom of heaven is like treasure that a man finds in a field. The man hides the treasure and sells everything he has so he can buy the field and obtain the treasure. In saying this, Jesus emphasizes that there is nothing that we have that is of more value than obtaining the kingdom. It is worth far more than we can sacrifice or give up in order to belong to it.
Jesus goes on to compare the kingdom to a fine pearl that a merchant finds. When he found it, he sold all he had so he could purchase it. Again, Jesus emphasizes the surpassing worth of the kingdom. It is worth far more than anything we can give up for it.
In these parables, Jesus is not saying that we somehow merit the kingdom by giving things up for it. He is saying that the cost of following Christ and belonging to the kingdom is worth it. Belonging to Jesus may cost us fame, fortune, friends, power, reputation, personal freedom, and even our lives. If we understand the surpassing value of the kingdom of heaven, whatever losses we may suffer will pale in comparison. Do you value the kingdom more than anything else?
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