May 3, 2009

A new subject or passage each week for all to discuss.
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May 3, 2009

Post by millipede » Mon May 04, 2009 12:35 am

Matthew 13:44-46
44 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.
45 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls:
46 Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.

I wrote a bit on the whole chapter of Matthew 13 a while back. And when I went over this passage, I did some searching on the internet to try and get a better understanding of it. What I found suggested that this passage is about the Kingdom of Heaven that shall be upon the earth. It suggested that Israel is the treasure and that Jesus is the one who sold all He had to purchase it. It was an interesting analogy.
I'm not entirely sure that is how the verse is to be interpreted. The pastor at the church I attend shared a different view of that passage.

The Kingdom of Heaven is the treasure. That's what the verse says. This treasure is hidden in a field. Well, these days if you found a treasure in a field, chances are you'd just take the treasure and not tell anyone where you found it. The point here is that, this treasure is in a field that belongs to someone else. You want that treasure, so you might do what you can to buy the field so you can get it. The next part mentions pearls. Perhaps some pearls at a market or something. You find one of great worth and want it.
My pastor had an analogy of his own to add to this, the field part anyway. He told a story of how he used to pan for gold when he was a lot younger. If you were out somewhere and found there was a gold mine hidden in a large property, and perhaps nobody knew it was there. You would likely do what you could to raise the money to purchase that property. Why? Because the gold in that mine would be extremely valuable. Most likely worth far more than all you could sell to buy the property.
I hope the analogies are making sense so far.
The point of it all is quite simple. Look at what someone would do for earthly things. One might sell all that they had to attain something of such value. Is not the kingdom of heaven worth far more?
I think that quite often these days we aren't actively pursuing heaven as fervently as we ought to. I mean, Jesus already paid the price for our admission didn't he? He sure did, the price has been paid. But in all honesty, I do not believe that we should ever give up the pursuit of the kingdom of heaven. Heaven is for sure worth far more than anything we'll ever see in our lifetimes. Is it not worth selling all we have to buy it?
Wait, didn't I say we don't have to buy it? The price has been paid hasn't it?
Well, yes, but it's not that simple. Let's look at a passage from Luke.

Luke 18:18-30
18 And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?
19 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God.
20 Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother.
21 And he said, All these have I kept from my youth up.
22 Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.
23 And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich.
24 And when Jesus saw that he was very sorrowful, he said, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!
25 For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
26 And they that heard it said, Who then can be saved?
27 And he said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.
28 Then Peter said, Lo, we have left all, and followed thee.
29 And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God's sake,
30 Who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting.

Many of us have read this passage before. This man considered himself good. He kept all the commands that were required of him. And here he was wanting to have eternal life. Jesus didn't pick on this guy because he was a wealthy man. This man simply held his earthly treasures more valuable than his treasures in heaven.
The truth is, it is difficult for us to see heaven for all that it is. I mean, we don't actually see it with our eyes right now. And to some extent, we don't know for sure what it will be like. We know we want to be there. We know God will be there. We know it will be great. But right now, it is so intangible, it makes some sense that our earthly, tangible possessions might seem more important to us at times.
It's a little scary to see Jesus saying that it would be easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than it would be for a rich man to enter heaven. Makes it sound impossible.
Well, I used this passage to illustrate how there is more to getting into heaven than simply believing Jesus paid for our admittance. God wants for us to be willing to give up everything for Him, just to be with Him. Heaven is worth it. God is worth it. But are we willing to pay any price ourselves? Fortunately for most of us, God has not called us to sell everything we own. But, what is valuable to us? Are we willing to pay any price?
What if God asked you to sell all you have?
What if God asked you to stop smoking?
What if God asked you to befriend someone you didn't like?
I could go on with the what ifs... The point is simply; how valuable is heaven to you? Jesus himself said that the kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hid in a field. The man that found that treasure sold all he had to attain it. I don't know about everyone else, but I personally can wonder sometimes what I have given up for such a treasure. Have I really given up all that I need? Am I really willing to? I'd sure like to think so. But the truth is that we are weak. And whether or not we want to admit it, earthly treasures quite often do hold too much value to us.

Dear Lord, I thank you for today. I thank you that you have paid the price for us. Thank you for sacrificing so much so that we might spend eternity with you. Lord, I am weak. I ask forgiveness Lord for any earthly treasures that I might be holding too valuable. Spending eternity with you is worth far more than all the riches of the earth. I pray that I might always remember that. I pray that I might constantly seek that treasure Lord.
Lord I pray also for all those that have yet to find this treasure. I pray that I might be a guiding light showing people the way to find this treasure. Thank you Jesus for paying this great price for ALL.

"But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee:"
- Job 12:7

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