In the Gospel reading, Jesus speaks to the crowd in parables (earthly stories with heavenly meanings). Each of these parables has something to teach us about the Kingdom of God. The first parable is about a hidden treasure found by a man in a field. He quickly realizes its value, puts it back where he found it, and with joy goes home to sell everything he owns in order to return to buy the field and make the treasure his very own. The second parable is about a pearl merchant who discovers a fabulous pearl. He, too, leaves it, goes to sell all his worldly holdings and then returns to purchase the marvelous pearl.
Through these stories, Jesus was speaking about the Kingdom of God; that is, the rule of God by faith in the hearts and lives of those who believe in Him and confess Him to be their Lord and Savior. When we think of the “Kingdom of God,” we are mindful of heaven, the forgiveness of our sins, salvation and the most precious gift of eternal life which God wants to be ours through faith in Christ.
The treasure, the pearl and the Kingdom share at least four characteristics. They are…
- Real – they really exist! The Kingdom is sure and certain.
- “Now but not yet,” “present but still future.” In other words, we possess them, but they will be more fully realized, appreciated and appropriated at a time yet to come. (The treasure and the pearl when they are possessed by the new owners and the Kingdom when we are a part of it in Heaven.)
- For anyone and everyone to find. Anyone could have discovered the treasure and the pearl. God wants everyone to become a part of His Kingdom of Grace.
- Priceless. The treasure and the pearl were worth selling everything to possess. The Kingdom of God is the greatest of all treasures, and there is nothing greater than joyfully being included in God’s mercy, grace and Kingdom!
Jesus paid the ultimate price for His Kingdom. He established and won His Kingdom through His sacrificial life, death and resurrection for us, His beloved children.
What’s His Kingdom worth to you? The Gospel writers record Jesus’ words telling us that possessing His Kingdom is greater than any love the world has to give. (Matthew 10: 37-39) It’s worth the sacrifice of denying ourself and daily taking up our cross to follow Him. (Luke 9: 23-26)
On one hand, it’s “easy” to make the claim that we are willing to DIE for someone else or something we believe is important, but are we willing to LIVE for them too? Our willingness to live as Christian disciples is the greatest test of our love and the true value and worth we place on the Kingdom of God!
May God help us to live, speak, think, act, give, worship, and study His Word in ways which truly demonstrate the value we place on the Kingdom of God! His Kingdom (and our possessing it now and more fully in heaven) is truly the greatest of all treasures!
See you in church this next weekend!
Blessings in Christ,