I think that Matthew 13.44-46 contains two of my very favorite parables of Christ. They’re both joyful comparisons of the kingdom of heaven. They’re so compelling, so inviting, and so deeply challenging that you find yourself meditating on them long after you’ve read them.
The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls.When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.
Notice the exuberant joy in both discoveries. Notice the immediate and radical life adjustment. Selling all you have to possess something you’ve just found is generally not wise. However, in both cases, Jesus obviously intends to commend the action rather than condemn it. In fact, he compares this spontaneous and immediate realignment to how a person should respond to the kingdom of heaven.
So here’s the kicker…. how have you responded to the Gospel and the kingdom?
- Has it totally realigned your life and priorities?
- Are you willing today to radically embrace its pursuit?
For most of us, the kingdom of heaven means living in a way that is radically different from our neighbors. It means a daily submission and implementation of Jesus’ teachings. More than that, it means a daily quietness of heart in order to hear the continued teachings of His Spirit.
One other thought… the discovery of the kingdom in each parable provokes unashamed joy. “…in his joy he goes and sells all that he has…” I’m reminded of Nehemiah’s confident declaration in the Old Testament, “The joy of the Lord is my strength.”