What’s it this all about then?
“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. Matthew 13:44
Giving everything up for God? Not quite. The key phrase in te story is
“in his joy he went and sold all he had”.
It’s a parable of the kingdom so this little story, only a few lines long, gives us a principle of how God likes things to be and how they are as he has his way. The kingdom of God is characterised by a giving up in joy of everything for something far more precious. Its not just that we give everything up for God its that in Jesus we find something so precious that in our joy we give up everything else for him.
In Jesus we find forgiveness, adoption, purpose meaning love, eternal left etc (etc seems such a belittling word to put after such a long list! But there is more, inheritance, new resurrection body, freedom from the power of sin, united to Jesus as part of the church….etc!) but its Jesus that ultimately captures our attention and gives us such delight. Not the gifts but the giver, as people often say.
If someone gives me a wonderful present I am pleased but I am attracted to something in the giver that is even more wonderful. Kindness and grace and love and mercy and justice have their foundation and focus in a person. Jesus. When we see Jesus we would joyfully give up everything for him. And people do. And count it a small thing.
But remember this is a kingdom principle. Its not saying that we are the man (or the merchant in the next verse) and Jesus is the treasure (or pearl). That’s just one application. This is a principle that characterises the kingdom and supremely it characterises the king. God gave everything up for us. He saw in us something so precious that he was willing to give up his only begotten son to a horrific death on a cross. Jesus gave up his life for us. Can you see how this forsaking all others and everything else for the joy found in anther is so central to the kingdom of God. This is what “the kingdom of Heaven is like”.