by Liz Kanoy
"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." - Matthew 13:44-46
What did Jesus mean when He said the kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field that when found should be re-hidden and then bought? Here’s what He did not mean. Jesus did not mean that the gospel should be hidden and not shared, and He did not mean that the gospel could be bought.
The parable was meant to show the value of the gospel that it is in fact the most valuable thing you could ever possess. That if you found it, you would sell everything you owned so you could have it.
However, the gospel is so valuable that it can never be bought. You could never have enough fine things to sell or offer that would equal the value. But that’s the beauty of the gospel! It is the most valuable thing in existence…but it’s also free!
This means that God knowing your inferiority, your inability to come close to His standards, came down to earth as a humble baby, lived a perfect life on earth despite temptation, and died a sacrificial and substitutionary death even though He was innocent, just so you could receive the gift He offers.
What is the value of the gospel? It is like a field with the finest buried treasure; you’d be willing to sell everything you had – not just yard sale type things, but everything even the things you need to sustain your life – just so you could look upon it. The good news is that you don’t have to, and even if you wanted to you couldn’t.
The good news is that Jesus died and rose again, so that you could have the most valuable thing in the world for free. The gospel had a high price, one that you and I could never pay. There was only ever One who could pay it, and He finished that payment once and for all on the cross. He did this so that those He calls can accept His grace and become His children and heirs forever.
As believers, do we really treat the gospel like it’s the most valuable thing we have? Do we speak of it to others like it’s the most valuable thing they can have? And do our lives reflect that the grace of Jesus Christ is free, or do our actions show others that we are still trying to earn something?
Intersecting Faith and Life: Reflect on the joy of the gospel today and every day…the joy that it is given freely and can never be taken from you, and share this joy with everyone you know and meet.
The Characters of Christmas is a podcast created to help you take a fresh look at the Christmas story by getting to know the minor characters that played a part in Jesus’ birth. It is the companion to Dan Darling's book "The Characters of Christmas: The Unlikely People Caught Up in the Story of Jesus."