We all have that one verse that changed everything for us. It’s that one verse that caused us to see the whole thing differently. It’s that one verse that passes through your teeth without hesitation every time someone asks you your favorite verse. Well, here’s mine:
Matthew 13:44 “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.”
In this chapter Jesus begins to teach the people in parables, which are short stories comparing something to the kingdom of God. In my favorite little two line parable, Jesus compares the kingdom of heaven, or you could say he compares himself, to treasure.
Treasure is value. Just put yourself in the man’s shoes. You happen to take a walk through a field and discover a box in the middle of the field. You open the box to find treasure; gold, diamonds, silver, and money. Lots of money!
You immediately calculate the treasure to be worth millions, if not billions. Next, you notice a sign in the field that says, “For Sale by Owner”, with a phone number attached to it.
Without hesitation, you dial the number and inquire about the price. The voice on the other line says, “$150,000”. You know this is way too overpriced for this two acre lot, but immediately you shout, “Sold!”, and hang up the phone. Next, you find yourself running as fast you can to your house, with your garage and your cars, TV, and all your stuff. At that moment, you take inventory of all your assets, all your money in the bank, all your retirement and stock options, which all adds up to about $150,000.
Then it hits you. In order to buy the field, you must first sell EVERYTHING you have. And then a smile begins to fill your face, and you dial the realtor. As news begins to circle around town, people begin to ask questions, “Why in the world are you selling all your stuff? Have you lost your mind? Are you crazy?” But you just keep smiling.
You see, the point of the parable is not how much the field costs; it’s about how much the field is worth. Because the worth of the field outweighs the cost of the field a trillion to one. And the same is true with the gospel. As Jesus demands that we repent, sell, even give up our very lives in order to gain Him, Jesus gives us something a trillion times better. He gives us Treasure. He gives us Himself. And for those who have gained Him, the smile is still stuck to your face when you think about all you have gave up, versus all you have gained.