Yesterday at BBC Pastor George preached on Matthew 13:44-46
“The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid again; and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls, and upon finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.”
After explaining to the disciples how the kingdom of heaven is brought about, Jesus encouraged them in this passage by illustrating the value of this kingdom.
The first description Jesus gave his disciples was one that was easily understood by people of that time. Without the convenience of banks, men would often store their fortunes by burying it underneath their property. But if the owner did not tell anyone about it before he died, it would remain hidden.
In this parable Jesus describes a man who, quite unintentionally, stumbled upon one of these hidden treasures. What he discovered was worth more than everything he possessed. It gave him such great joy that he sold everything he owned in order to buy this field. This is Christ’s own picture of how much his kingdom is worth.
The second illustration Jesus gives his disciples in v. 45-46 show a man who, unlike the first man, was actively seeking fine pearls. This picture would also be common to the people listening. Due to the absence of modern SCUBA gear, many people died diving for pearls. Only the merchant described here, however, found a pearl worth dying for. The merchant’s reaction was the same as the other man’s. His search was over and he sold everything to purchase it.
So what is the kingdom of heaven like? It is an immeasurable treasure. Why is it worth so much? “Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord…that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.” Phil. 3:8-11.
Paul counted the cost and counted all things as loss for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. So we must be ready to count even our lives as loss so that we may gain Christ. If we have found him, we have found the greatest treasure there is. So whether we stumbled upon him one day or found him after a long and arduous search, let us gladly forsake all for his sake!