The kingdom of heaven is like treasure. Matthew 13:44
My friend Ruel attended a high school reunion held in a former classmate’s home. The waterfront mansion near Manila Bay could accommodate two hundred attendees, and it made Ruel feel small.
“I’ve had many happy years of pastoring remote rural churches,” Ruel told me, “and even though I know I shouldn’t, I couldn’t help but feel envious of my classmate’s material wealth. My thoughts strayed to how different life might be if I’d used my degree to become a businessman instead.”
“But I later reminded myself there’s nothing to feel envious about,” Ruel continued with a smile. “I invested my life in serving God, and the results will last for eternity.” I’ll always remember the peaceful look on his face as he said those words.
Ruel drew peace from Jesus’ parables in Matthew 13:44−46. He knew that God’s kingdom is the ultimate treasure. Seeking and living for His kingdom might take various forms. For some, it might mean full-time ministry, while for others, it may be living out the gospel in a secular workplace. Regardless of how God chooses to use us, we can continue to trust and obey His leading, knowing, like the men in Jesus’ parables, the value of the imperishable treasure we’ve been given. Everything in this world has infinitely less worth than all we gain by following God (1 Peter 1:4−5).
Our life, when placed in His hands, can bear eternal fruit.
What have you had to live without for the sake of following God? How does Matthew 13:44–46 encourage you?
Father, let each day of my life be a celebration of the treasure I’ve found in You.
The two brief parables in Matthew 13:44–46 appear amid the telling of seven parables on the kingdom of heaven (vv. 1–52). After Jesus told the first parable (the farmer scattering seed, vv. 3–9), His disciples asked why He always spoke in parables (v. 10). His answer was telling: “Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them” (v. 11). He told the disciples, “Blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear” (v. 16). Then He explained the parable (vv. 18–23). The disciples desired to know the true meaning of Jesus’ words, and their desire was rewarded. They’d left everything to follow Him. In essence, they were living out the parables of the hidden treasure and the pearl (vv. 44–46) because they were receptive to the message of the gospel. They’d found the treasure.