A Costly Investment
“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure, buried in a field, that a man found and reburied. Then in his joy he goes and sells everything he has and buys that field.” -Matthew 13:44
Recently while reading a book, I was reminded of the parable of the hidden treasure. This lesson from Matthew 13:44 offers a powerful message in just a single verse of Scripture. The beginning of Matthew 13 says that Jesus had been standing in a boat, teaching a crowd on the shore. Then, in verse 36, we are told that He left the crowd and went inside a house. When they were inside, the disciples asked Him to explain one of the parables He’d used, and once He’d finished that explanation, He offered another two-sentence parable.
In Jesus’ day, it was very common for people to bury money, treasures, etc., in fields. Often, men would do this before going to war in order to protect it from thieves. I’d be willing to guess that many buried treasures were never found when their owners were killed in battle. This parable, however, tells of a man who found one, and, after making the discovery, hides the treasure again.
At first, we might ask why he would rebury the treasure instead of just taking it. But this man understood the law and knew that unless he owned the field, the treasure would not be rightfully his. So, "in his joy,” he went and sold all that he had and bought the field.
Can you imagine what his friends and family thought? I bet they thought he was foolish when he shared his plan. Little did they realize that by selling EVERYTHING he owned, he was gaining a priceless treasure, worth far more.
What a powerful message! In just one verse of Scripture, Jesus communicates to us through an illustration that our relationship with God is far more valuable that anything we own. But here's the catch: We must be willing to give up EVERYTHING we have in order to get it. I'm not talking about material possessions, unless that’s what God is asking you to do, but more about who we are. Galatians 2:20 says that, just like the Apostle Paul, we are to be "crucified with Christ." We no longer live for ourselves; it is to be Christ who is living in and through us.
As athletes and coaches, it can be easy to get attached to the things of this world such as personal achievements, championships, trophies, records, recognition, starting positions, etc. But if we truly want to embrace the abundant life that God has for us, we need to be willing to offer all of those things up to Him so that we can discover the only treasure that truly matters: a relationship with Christ. That is the most priceless gift of all.
Yes, this business deal cost the servant all he owned, but look at what he got in return. And it’s the same for us. We can have this treasure if we are willing to sell out for Him knowing that it’s more than worth it in the end. Eternal life, joy, peace, freedom, unconditional love. It’s all more than worth the price.
- Am I willing to give ALL of me to have ALL of Christ?
- Do I consider a relationship with God to be the most valuable “possession” I have?
- Is God asking me to “sell” anything in order to obtain this relationship? If so, am I will to do it?