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. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it. (Matthew 13:44-46)
For the past few weeks, we've been on a journey to learn more about God's kingdom from Scripture. What we've looked at so far is that God's kingdom is more about God's rule and reign in our lives than an actual location or realm. We've looked at how when we believe in Christ and accept the reality of his kingship, we become citizens of the kingdom and ambassadors. What we have yet to look at is the kingdom's value, or rather the value of having Jesus as King over our lives and being a part of his kingdom.
Jesus told parables to help people understand deep concepts, and the heart of the parable is the main point. In the parable above, we see that two men find treasures of great value, and once they find it, they sell everything that they have to obtain it. Jesus is trying to make a point about the kingdom of God in the parables above. In the words of John Piper, a preacher and theologian, the point of the parables is that "the kingdom of God is so valuable that losing everything on earth, but getting the kingdom, is a happy trade-off. Or to be more personal and specific, we can lose everything with joy if we gain Christ."
These men sell everything to gain the treasure, but the kingdom of God cannot be bought. You can't buy, earn, negotiate, or barter for God's kingdom, because it is received without pay. It is a gift freely given. However, the point is that if it costs you everything in order to obtain it, the cost is completely worth it. The apostle Paul elaborated upon this in his letter to the Philippians:
"But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ." (Philippians 3:7-8)
Paul counted knowing Christ as being of greater value that everything, and he counts everything as rubbish (trash, garbage, filthy rags) in comparison to knowing and gaining Jesus Christ.
So why is the kingdom of God a treasure worth giving up everything you have? And how does one receive this treasure? We'll take a look at these questions tomorrow.
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