Forthright Magazine

The value of the Kingdom

Jesus described a man who found a treasure in a field. He then hid it and went to buy the field so he could possess the treasure. It was common in Jesus’ day to hide treasure in the ground for safe keeping. The death of the one who hid it might mean the whereabouts of the treasure were unknown. Edersheim, in The Life and Times of Jesus The Messiah, says, "The law went so far as to adjudge to the purchaser of fruits anything found among these fruits.”

Jesus similarly described a merchant seeking beautiful pearls. He found one of great value and sold everything he had to buy it. While the man who found the treasure in the field likely did so by accident, this merchant knew he was looking for valuable pearls. The truth can be found in a manner quite accidental or very intentionally. It does not matter how one finds it as long as he recognizes its potential and gives up all to possess it.

God’s kingdom is worth more than all other possessions. Jesus gave his own blood to buy it (Acts 20:28). There is nothing more valuable than the salvation of the soul (Matthew 16:26). Seeking it should be each person’s top priority (Matthew 6:33).

One who realizes the true value of the kingdom will have an unquenchable desire to possess it. He will sacrifice all else to have the kingdom in his life. "Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for My sake will find it" (Matthew 16:24-25).

Paul was a Jew of the highest standing, yet counted "all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ" (Philippians 3:7-8). He urged the brethren at Rome to present their bodies as living sacrifices which would be acceptable to God (Romans 12:12).

The man who found the hidden treasure responded with joy and sold all he had to buy the field. Paul gave up much to be a part of Christ’s kingdom. He wrote, "Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4). He learned contentment in times of abasement or plenty. Want did not dissuade him from joy because he could do all things through Christ who strengthened him (Philippians 4:10-13). One can rejoice in giving up all else because he has found something of ultimate value!

The pearl merchant gives us insight into the source of joy. He had a single purpose. When he found the object of that purpose, all else was surrendered to obtain the pearl. That is the very attitude displayed by the apostle to the Gentiles.

“Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14).

Those who would experience the ultimate joy must focus on the single goal of heaven. Like the Eunuch, those finding the will of God will not want to be hindered in their obedience. Once such is completed, they too will go on their way rejoicing (Acts 8:26-39).


Gary C. Hampton
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