What is the Kingdom like?
The Kingdom of Heaven, the truth of the gospel and kingdom living is so precious once you have it, you are compelled to keep it safe and hidden. If you like in this story it seems the man stumbled across it, it doesn’t say he was searching.
But once he found it such a profound change was in him, so important was the find that he had to keep it safe to protect it, sell everything he had to keep it. He did this joyfully.
Then we have the next parable
The merchant is searching for fine pearls; when he found the one of great value he sold everything and bought it. He was searching for it.
Once he got it, it became the most important thing to him. Nothing he owned, had, or had done could compare. All of it given up so he could have it.
The truth here that we overlook, either willingly because it is too hard or because we haven’t been taught or haven’t understood is this:
The kingdom of heaven is available to us all; you stumble across its truth or you can search for it, no one is blocked from receiving it.
Jesus uses parables to get across difficult teaching in ways his listeners can understand.
In these two parables you can be sure Jesus is not just talking about money when he says they sold everything to buy it. If he was just talking about money just take some time to think how radical it is.
Give it up, If you want to access the kingdom of heaven in this life or the next sell everything.
No Jesus wasn’t just talking about money! He is asking for:
If you want to access the kingdom of heaven in this life or the next this is what he is asking of you, He is asking for everything. I’m sorry if that sounds radical, extreme or fanatical to you.
I did not make this up, this is what is asked of us.
This still however does not get to the truth in these verses, we are close but not there yet.
The truth in these verses is that you can never buy your way into the kingdom of heaven, it is not for sale. The kingdom of heaven is given freely to us by God, we cannot buy it or earn it.
It is NOT a treasure, it is NOT an object, it is not even solely an idea! It is a way of life, living as a citizen of heaven in this life and have access to live as a citizen of heaven in the next. It is a gift to live this way and it is given freely, so important is the gift that it must be protected, kept safe. So how do we keep it safe?
We do not water it down, we don’t change it to suit people or society, we hide it away deep in our hearts and there we guard it, there it grows and then we share it.
Why has this teaching “The teaching of giving everything” been sanitised and watered down over the centuries?
To make our message more user friendly? Friendly to who?
Satan is very happy with Christians that attend church, say prayers, give in the tithe and do absolutely nothing about there faith. They give nothing, sacrifice nothing and behave like church is a social club; to fit in with everyone else and not stand out.
If we profess to believe in Jesus we must do as he says regardless of our own feelings and sensibilities.
Or what society has to say
Am I saying go and give all your money away? No, however I am saying this; if you profess to follow Jesus you have to be willing to give it all away, more than willing in fact, joyful.
Through him we have access to the Kingdom of Heaven there is nothing you own or I own, nothing any of us have done or will do that is more important than that access given to us.
We have the promise of heaven and we are the promise of heaven; this is the truth in these two verses.
When we live like the men in these parables we are modelling heaven. We find the treasure or the pearl of great value. When we meet with Jesus and see the truth of the gospel. When we live like Him and do as he says.
God’s word and his works are our treasure, all of the material things that bind us are stripped away.
They are nothing when we do the works God has set for us, we build up eternal treasure.
I have been told by some church leaders living by faith like I am is not for everyone; It is. We are all called to put God first, to answer when he calls us and to give everything for that pearl or treasure; or we are not ready to follow Him.
What do you put in front of God, what is more important to you than the kingdom of heaven and the kingdom’s work:
This is radical teaching coming from a fire brand fanatic who wants to see the world changed!
His name is Jesus.
Who do we follow? What is most important? If this is uncomfortable to listen too why is it, are we not followers of Jesus?
If we disagree with Jesus on these points why are we here?
The truth is we all need to make sure our priorities are inline with the priorities in these parables.
Jesus is very clear, if we have ears to hear him then we should put it into action!
The treasure is the truth of the gospel, we are the man who finds a great truth hidden in plain sight, not many places to hide things in a field, the truth is so precious to the man he protects it, he gives everything to keep the knowledge safe.
The pearls are wisdom and teaching all the different schools of thought; the merchant was searching for knowledge but only one teaching is of great value. The merchant is us looking to answer his questions, who did he acquire the pearl from? Only God can give it. What was the price: Everything you can possibly give.
Where is our fire for the treasure? What are we willing to give? God gave everything in Jesus’ sacrifice so we can receive this gift. There is no greater gift than the kingdom of heaven, there is no greater privilege than to be in that kingdom now and after this life. You, me, all of us must never forget what the kingdom of heaven is like nor what it costs.
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I hope you enjoyed the study.
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