“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.Matthew 13:34-35
Some time ago, a clinician told me a question she has posed to patients; “If someone could observe you unnoticed for a day or two or three, what would your life reveal?”
The answer is that our lives do reveal a lot about each of us. We talk about what we value. Our lives reveal our character, our loves, our priorities… what would you add to the list?
In the verses above, the Gospel is the priceless treasure and the extraordinary pearl. Maybe he had a treasure map with an “X” to help locate the hidden treasure, but with joy, the first man sells everything to gain the treasure. The second man, the merchant, recognized the value of the single pearl and did the same by selling all he had in order to buy the pearl.
The two parables do not tell us that somehow we can purchase our salvation, but it is all about counting the cost of following Christ. When we recognize the value of Him above all else, we will gladly surrender all that we have and receive so much more in return. But, can you imagine what the people around each man thought of their “irrational” behavior? Who would give up all they have for a piece of land no one valued? Why sell everything for a single pearl?
I’ve heard the story of a little girl who had a beautiful set of plastic pearls. When her father offered another strand of real pearls as a gift, she refused. Why? She loved her little strand of pearls and was so attached to her plastic set that she couldn’t see the value of the real thing.