Wednesday, February 25. Matthew 13:44-58.
Now, imagine that you had discovered that the field contained a rich deposit of diamonds that no one else knew about. Imagine that, if you owned that field, you would be guaranteed to make at least $20,000,000.00 overnight because of those diamonds. What would you do?
My guess is that you would get your whole family together, tell them about the investment, convince them to sell everything–houses, cars, toys–in order to raise the $500,000.00 needed to buy the field. They would probably think you were crazy, but you wouldn’t care, because you knew the sacrifice was worth it.
Jesus said, in Matthew 13:44, that the Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure buried in a field, like the story I just told. Hmmm…
Have you ever wondered why more people in our culture aren’t excited about following Jesus? He did say some pretty uncomfortable things. He said the first will be last; if you want to gain your life you must lose it; take up your cross and follow. Who would want to do that, especially if you have everything you need in life, right now?
I think the reason that most of us are apathetic about following the ways of Jesus boils down to the message of this simple parable. We don’t believe there is a treasure in the field. We might think Jesus was a nice guy, but we don’t actually believe that living the radical life that he invites us to live is really worth it in the end.
Jesus invites us, every day, to die to our selfishness, pride, and self-protective fear and hatred, so that we can live to share the love of God with everyone. The treasure is not personal safety, riches, fame, or power. The treasure is the freedom and peace that comes when we resonate with the heart of God.
Do you believe (1) that treasure actually exists, and (2) that following the way of Jesus is worth it?