April 28: The Treasure and the Pearl

Read Matthew 13:24-46

The “kingdom of heaven” was the recurring theme in the parables you read today. That is an interesting term. One seldom used in churches and among Christians today. Truth is, we talk instead, almost exclusively about “heaven” (void of the words “kingdom of”). Most of our descriptions of “heaven” are of a place that we enter for free while having . . .

The beauty of our favorite rose garden (minus the thorns);

The food from our favorite restaurant (minus the calories);

The music from our favorite musician (minus the long waiting lines);

The health we have always dreamed of (minus the exercise).

But while we talk much about heaven, Jesus taught much about the “kingdom of heaven.” With 31 references in Matthew’s gospel, it was clearly a focal point of Christ’s pre-crucifixion teaching. Even between resurrection and ascension, Acts 1 tells us that Jesus “appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God” (v. 3).

This is a kingdom that is both present and yet to come. It is one that offers you as a subject all kinds of blessings while at the same time really being focused on the actual King. And, it is one that is at the same time both free and costs you everything.

Verses 44-46 point out this latter reality. The kingdom is like a hidden treasure found in a field. It is like a priceless pearl discovered by a pearl expert. The treasure of salvation through Jesus Christ and life under His reign was not clear to all leading up to His coming and even to those who witnessed His ministry. It is not clear to all today. But those who recognize it see it as the most precious commodity available. It trumps everything with regard to priority. No sacrifice associated with it is too high. As they contemplate the thought of possessing the treasure or the pearl, they joyfully sell everything in order to call it their own.

Is that your perspective of the value of life in Christ’s kingdom? There is nothing better.  There is nothing more important. There is nothing that brings you greater joy. There is nothing more worthy of any sacrifice you have made, are making, or one day will make.

sbk

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