Growing up I read the Bible to find out what I needed to do and how I needed to act rather than to know God. Although, I had a love for scripture (that I now understand is by no merit of my own, but a God-given gift) I didn’t see the grand narrative of redemption because I didn’t know to look for it. I didn’t know God’s redemptive plan was woven in from Genesis to Revelation and parables like this one, rather than being instruction for me, were actually revealing something intrinsic to the nature of God and the way He interacts with us.
Since I was always reading to find the application I assumed the main character talked about in this short parable, stuffed in the middle of Jesus’ discourse on the kingdom of heaven, was me or you. Obviously, what we’re supposed do is give up everything we have because we’re so happy we’ve finally found the kingdom, right? That’s the application. Count the cost to get the kingdom.
But here’s the catch, we have nothing to offer. And why am I buying a field? Every word Jesus spoke was intentional. We can’t just ignore the details we can’t explain. If I sold everything to purchase the field that the treasure was buried in, as it pertains to the good news of the Gospel, that doesn’t make much sense. Why would I buy the whole field when I can freely accept the gift of Jesus’ sacrifice for my sin? If you’re still hung up on this, let me put it this way, there is nothing you or I have that could ever purchase our redemption. But when we receive the good news everything we once held of value will pale in comparison to the riches of Christ. What a convicting thought! But the idea of us being the main character just doesn't fit within the context of the parable.
Rather, this story shows the incredibly intentional nature of our redeeming God and the man in this parable undeniably represents Jesus.
If that man is Jesus and the field is the world (vs. 38), then him selling everything and purchasing the entire field because of the treasure he finds there makes sense. Jesus has something to offer: His deity and His life.
In the parable, this man is overwhelmed with joy when He finds the kingdom of heaven. But He can’t just take it. That’s not how it works. Because God is just, it has to be done the right way. So, the man hides the treasure right in the middle of the ordinary place he found it so that he can go sell everything he owns to buy something that only he understands the immense value of.
But if the man represents Jesus why would the King of kings and the King of heaven need to sell everything to buy the kingdom of heaven? What is the “kingdom of heaven”? It’s not talking about what we typically envision when we think of a kingdom. I don’t know about you, but I generally think castles and princesses and dragons because I’m kind of a nerd and I like stuff like that. But what the phrase, “kingdom of heaven,” is talking about here is the rule and reign of heaven, God’s rule and reign. So basically, Jesus is bringing God’s way of doing things in heaven to earth.
Due to man’s rebellion, the rule and reign of heaven on earth and in the hearts of men had to be purchased back. The price tag on this process would cost God everything. Much like the man who expresses so much joy at discovering the treasure, we see Jesus “who for the JOY that was set before Him endured the cross”.
Jesus went on the greatest rescue mission imaginable; He gave up the comfort of heaven to bring the kingdom of heaven to us. He gave up everything He had to buy back a broken world, so that the kingdom of heaven would come to it’s fullest expression in the redemption of man. And that is a really, really good story. It’s a story about how much God values us. It’s a story about how treasured we are.
Of what great value is the treasure hidden in the field! If we only understood what a treasure we are to the One who has found us!
Your kingdom come,
Your will be done,
On earth, as it is in heaven!
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Other Great Reads
You know why I like Monday?
Because there’s no pretense about it.
Monday isn’t sexy. It’s not cute or fun.
This is it.
The best of the best.
This pastor, he dresses too hipster, so I don’t like him. His priorities are whack.
This other pastor thinks that God will provide for all his needs. Doesn’t he know it’s wrong to ask God for a car? Especially a nice car?
And then there’s this guy who has more than 10,000 people in his church and mega churches, they're just gross.
Have you ever met an insecure leader?
Well, have we ever met?
Unfortunately, I fit the bill sometimes.
But I think anyone who's a leader and a human being is going to struggle with insecurity in some shape or form.
LIL is short for "Little Insecure Leader."
I grew up as the youngest in a family of four.
When it came down to making decisions as a family there was practically no decision more difficult than determining where to go out to eat. In most cases, this conversation would be held on a Sunday, after church.
My dad and my sister (who was the oldest) were the more headstrong in my family, which usually meant the two of them making ample, even argumentative suggestions of what we should all consume.
My mom, who was the culinary genius, was fine with whatever, but would usually default to some form of asian cuisine. We all knew when she ordered there would typically be an amendment to an ingredient(s) in the food itself.
As many of you know I spend most of my days in my house with my little munchkins.
Many of those days I try to leave the house, even if it’s for something small, like to go to the store to grab an ingredient I need for dinner. I sit the girls in the buggy designed like a car and swing by the bakery to get them a free cookie. That cookie and car-shaped buggy have saved my life multiple times, let me tell you. Sometimes, I will take them to the park or the library and then coax them away with the promise of something “special” aka french fries.
First and foremost, I bid you all a very Happy Thanksgiving!
It’s Thanksgiving Day, and I’m likely beginning my day with a delicious cup of coffee. Now, there’s something to be thankful for—COFFEE! I am exceedingly thankful for coffee. I believe it to be the most enjoyable drink on the earth. And it’s a drink to be had in any season. You can drink it all year round.
For the cold months, there are a million ways to have it hot. There’s nothing better than sipping your favorite tasty latte to warm you from head to toe. Yet, even when the temperature outside rises too high, a well-made cold brew is absolutely appropriate, and quite refreshing.
A few weeks ago I shared that I was going to begin a Whole30. You can read that post here.
Honestly, there is a part of me that doesn’t want to share this. Is this really important? Aren’t there weightier things we could talk about?
I’ve recently come to terms with the fact that I cannot be who God has called me to be if I’m bound by an addiction of any kind. I am not as effective of a witness. I am not living free. If I can’t move past this then I am limited. My purpose is limited.
My birthday is just around the corner.
Now, I’m not that old, but the older I get it feels like the faster the world becomes.
I’m a child of the 80’s. I can still remember using my grandmother’s rotary phone (if you don’t know what that is click here. haha.) to call home as a kid.
Let’s say you’ve felt the call to ministry in some form. Or maybe you just know that you’re meant to do more with your life than just survive at a nine to five job.
But there is no obvious path to take. You feel apprehensive about moving forward because the unknown is frightening at times.
On the other hand, you don’t know if you’re wasting the precious time you’ve been given. Let’s face it, our time is a limited resource. After all, when we see Jesus face to face we aren’t going to say, “Wait, Lord. Can I go back? I didn’t do that quite like I wanted to.” We get one life. There are no second chances.
Have you ever felt like you are supposed to flourish but you’re just stuck?
You tell yourself you don’t have the time or you’re too busy or it’s too hard right now to do the things you know you’re supposed to. Maybe you can start later or next week or on a Monday.
I was once in a relationship that became super dumb. Those are the nicest words I have for it.
At first it was not dumb. It was great and fun. We laughed and frolicked in fields with daisies.
But then it happened. You know those people who get a boyfriend or girlfriend and then they disappear? That was me. I became needy and insecure. That, my friends, is not cute.