The Kingdom of Great Cost
“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 13:45-46)
Everyone likes treasure. Whether that treasure is jewels, food, friends, or something else, we all have something we love. We cherish that thing and take care of it, doing all we can to ensure no harm comes to it. The only thing that would tempt us to separate from it would be something even more valuable.
In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus described the kingdom of heaven as a treasure. When He refers to the kingdom of heaven, He isn’t telling us about a literal, earthly kingdom. Instead, He’s talking about salvation. When we’re saved, we enter the kingdom of heaven. But we can’t enter that kingdom and still place our loyalty with the things we loved before. Following Jesus is costly. He asks you to do hard things, things like telling a stranger about Him, moving to another country, or being polite to your grouchy neighbor. As the merchant in the parable of the pearl did, we have to give up things in order to gain Jesus. You may not be called to sell everything you have and give it to the poor, but you will have to give up something. Maybe it’s a material thing, but more often it will be a state of mind, such as pride.
This is hard. As humans, it’s in our nature to become attached to things. We like our comfortable lifestyles and nice stuff. But the thing is, Jesus is worth far more than anything the world has to offer. He is a great treasure. He created us to be in a relationship with Him, and though we have broken that relationship through our sin, He still loves us. He is worthy to be followed; He is a treasure of great value. Nothing in the world can ever compare to Him. He wants you to follow Him, to be a part of His kingdom. But we have to be willing to give up everything for Him. And indeed, the kingdom of heaven is the only thing worth everything.
This week, what is something God may be calling you to do? Is there something you need to give up so you can better follow Him?