Again, the kingdom of Heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Again, the kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it. (Matthew 13:44-46)
Giving All To Have It All
The worth or value of something is based on the one seeking the treasure. Some things are valuable because of their cost. An automobile like the Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 Competizione is worth $3.5 million. The rarity of an item such as a perfect pearl can become very valuable to collectors who are willing to pay any price to attain their prize. Sometimes, the notability of a collection can make it a rare commodity many seek after. Autographed books by Martin Luther, Abraham Lincoln, or Albert Einstein will bring a considerable price at auction. Insignificant items can hold great worth because of their meaning to the heart of the one who holds them dear. Trinkets made by a child can have great value to their parents because of the sentimental worth. Value is primarily determined by a person’s willingness to expend whatever energies necessary to acquire the item.
Jesus taught the importance and worth of the only thing that is of value to man. In His series of parables of the kingdom, the Lord tells two stories about a man who finds a treasure in a field and a merchant who finds one pearl of great price. Both of these men are seeking the rare prize of a costly treasure. They know the worth of these treasures, and they are willing to expend themselves fully to find their reward. In the first story, a man finds a treasure of unknown value and he immediately sells all he has to buy the field where the treasure was found. Like the first man, a merchant finds the one pearl of great price and sells everything he has to buy the one pearl. Common in both stories is the decision of the men to sell everything they have to possess one thing.
It is a radical decision to return home, place the house up for sale, liquidate all the possessions in a sale, and walk away with nothing but the cash from the sell just so the man could buy a field or the merchant a single pearl. The neighbors would think these men insane. There is nothing that makes sense of what these men are doing. If someone asked the men why they were selling everything they had, the answer would astound the community. Why would anyone sell everything they have to buy a piece of land or to purchase one pearl? It makes no sense and lacks reason, but the men do exactly that. At the end of the day, one man owns a new field, and one man holds a pearl of great price.
The most valuable gift offered to man is the gospel of Jesus Christ. No kingdom is of such worth and power as the kingdom of Heaven. To possess the good news of salvation is to possess Heaven itself. Jesus came to bring light into a world of darkness. He died so that all men could live. His sacrifice was given so that no man would have to suffer the sting of sin. In death, Jesus conquered the grave, allowing men to face mortality with immortality. The guilt of sin was taken away by the gift of Jesus Christ. No prize and no treasure are worth so much as the kingdom of Heaven. The treasure is found in the field, and the pearl of great price cannot be attained without seeking. God is not willing that any man perish, but the heart of men must seek and long for the gift of salvation. The question for all men is what they are willing to pay to find that treasure or possess the pearl?
God does not expect His children to sell everything they have to find salvation. It is not about the monetary significance of the story but the two men’s willingness to give all to have it all. They emptied themselves of what the world values because it had no value. What mattered to these two men was the ultimate treasure – the kingdom of Heaven. If a man is unwilling to expend the energy to seek and find the greatest treasure or the pearl of great price, he will die empty-handed. The gospel does not come by photosynthesis or through natural laws of adaptation. It requires a heart that is willing to give all to have what will bring greater joy and happiness than this world can offer. Faith and works go hand in hand because one requires the other. No treasure will be found by those who are not seeking. The door will never open when no one knocks. To have the pearl of great price, you must pay a great price. Are you willing to give up everything you have for Jesus Christ? Remember – that is what Jesus did for you.