What’s Christ’s kingdom worth to you?
Text: Matthew 13:44
In the treasure parable a man finds treasure in a field, like the discovery of oil or gold, he conceals the value to avoid competition for the field until after he buys the field. This is what a wise investor would do. It costs the man everything, but the man knows the treasure is worth it. In the pearl parable the merchant is seeking good pearls when he finds the most valuable pearl he’s ever found. The merchant must sell off all his merchandise in order to purchase the pearl.
These parables build on what’s already been said of Jesus Christ’s kingdom. It’s hidden, secret, and a mystery to the natural man. But Jesus Christ’s kingdom is also more valuable than anything a person possesses. Both men will sell all they have to obtain the treasure. You’re not told the monetary value and you’re not given a number for how much the pearl or the treasure is. Those hearing this, including you this morning, are told that it cost everything the men had.
This brings us to the point, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure. Let that sink in.
- Missionary in Peru years ago. Came to the states and was asked how hard it must be to live in a tent in Peru and live for Jesus. He said it’s not hard to live for Jesus Christ when Jesus Christ is all you have. It’s not difficult at all. Missionary said the trouble comes when I make the drive to the city, catch a flight to Lima, then to Miami, and sit down with someone my age, fairly successful according to the world, enjoy a dinner in comfort and luxury, that’s when my purpose starts to get cloudy. Then I get into a car that cost more than a church building and I get angry, frustrated, and confused. He said living where I live in Peru, life is hard, but living for Jesus Christ is not. I come back here, life is easy, but living for Jesus Christ is frustrating, confusing, and difficult.
- How about this, why does $50 at a ball game or $50 at the mall seem small, or on Amazon seem so much easier than $50 as an offering to the Lord? You know why? Because the ball game is real to you, it excites your senses, it has immediate value to the natural man. So to you, the exchange of $50 is not a big deal because the entertainment value is obvious. But $50 to God? What am I getting for this? That’s because Jesus Christ’s kingdom is not like treasure to you. Others of you have learned this and you’re very generous with your money and your time and your things. The kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure
- Some of you view church like welfare. You’re willing to partake of spiritual things, but you make no contribution to it. Others of you are extremely generous with what you have. This is something you’re already familiar with. The things of God are real and valuable to you. The kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure
Make a place for the kingdom
- The men in the parables were not in a position to get the treasure just because they were aware of the treasure.
- Receiving the benefits of Jesus Christ’s kingdom means you have to make a place for it. If you or I are going to participate in God’s free gift of eternal life in Jesus Christ, we have to make a place for life to reside. You might say, “I allowed Jesus to come into my life.” Your coworkers would reasonably ask what part of your life did He come into? He’s not in your heart because he doesn’t come out of your mouth. He’s not in your job because all you do is complain about it. He’s not in your work ethic because you’re lazy. He’s not in your family because making time for His things only happens if nothing else is going on. If you say you’ve received Jesus Christ, where did you put Him? How did you receive Him if there is no place for Him in your world?
- Luke 18:18-30 (parallel passage in Matthew 19:16-30). Jesus doesn’t argue that this young man has kept the law. So it isn’t about keeping the law for salvation apparently. Because the Lord Jesus Christ then adds something that isn’t law, but has to do with a relationship with the Messiah.
- Lay hold on eternal life. How? 1 Timothy 6:11-19 (vs 15 Christ the King. You say the kingdom is only for Jews. Not so. Kingdom applies to everyone. 1 Timothy 1:15-18 and Colossians 1:12-13.)
Can’t afford to lose this kingdom
- This man in the parable found the treasure, Jesus Christ’s kingdom, and it was of such value to him he wanted to make sure he didn’t miss it, he wanted to make sure it didn’t get away from him.
- Matthew 16:24-28 the worldly soul will say I can’t afford to lose the world, while the child of the King will say I can’t afford to lose Christ’s kingdom. Like the merchant making sure he gets the pearl, like the man making sure he gets the treasure, they both say there is nothing I have now more valuable than Christ’s kingdom (see Colossians 3:1-4, 23-24).
- There is an entire old testament book dedicated to the principle found in these parables. The book is Ecclesiastes preached by Solomon. His approach is from someone who gained the whole world, someone who made this world their treasure and found it to be vanity.