Matt. 13:44 The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field. When a man discovered it, he buried it again. He was so delighted with it that he went away; sold everything he had, and bought that field.
Welcome To The Light-Washed Path,
Nothing could be more clear in Jesus’ statement about the Kingdom of God: The person who found the treasure bought the entire field in which it was found, and did not simply pluck out the treasure and run home with it.
Let’s define the elements in Jesus’ illustration: The Treasure is Jesus, Himself, the Savior and Lord of all. The Field is the Gospel, the whole message of Jesus. The Kingdom of God is the entire sphere of Christ’s rule. The Finder should be YOU.
The basic message of Jesus is the offer to you, of a new life, in a new Kingdom. His offer is not one of a “fix” for your kingdom, but an offer to live anew, in His kingdom. In His illustration about God’s Kingdom, the Treasure comes with the Field. In other words, Jesus is not offered apart from the Gospel of the Kingdom, but through the Gospel of the Kingdom.
It’s purchasing the Field that gave the Finder legitimate right to the Treasure. Jesus’ illustration never conceives of a Finder who simply lifts the Treasure from the Field and scurries home with it. Like oil in the ground, the Treasure of the Gospel is found within the Kingdom. Think about that for a moment. You can actually trace most people’s failure in faith to attempts at taking Jesus into their hearts while separating Him from the claims of His Kingdom message. Is it possible to have Jesus in your heart without entering His Kingdom? The fact is that there is a big difference between going to Heaven with Christ in your heart, and living a fruitful and productive life in His Kingdom, here upon the Earth. If you’re the thief on the cross having no time left to live out your faith, after your encounter with Jesus crucified beside you, then you have no chance left to live your life under His Lordship. But even then the thief acknowledged that the treasure of Jesus lay within the realm of His Kingdom. For he said, “Remember me Lord, when you come into your Kingdom.”
Jesus is a King with a kingdom.
Yes, Jesus the Savior entered our world; created by Him, and placed under our management. The kingdom of man had collapsed, having fallen into the hands of Satan. Jesus entered it, not to become it’s new King, but to offer it’s fallen subjects the opportunity to enter a new Kingdom, the Kingdom of God. Jesus cannot heal your old life and make it meaningful in the fallen kingdom of darkness. He can’t make things right for you, if you insist on holding onto your old citizenship in a sin-cursed kingdom. The Finder in Jesus message of the Kingdom of God, sold off all his assets and claims in this world, in order to purchase the Field of Treasure. In other words, you must take the Gospel (the Field) and make it YOUR NEW HOME in order to have its Treasure, Jesus.
What does this really mean in practical terms?
Jesus is telling us that if He is going to be able to be a “Treasure” to us, then we must live within the guidelines and priorities of His Kingdom in order to receive His benefit. In short, when we are pulled between the demands of this life and the claims of the Gospel’s higher priorities, we should be putting His Kingdom’s interests first. In the simplest of terms, if Christ is King then His interests should rule. The business of the Gospel is the business of His Kingdom. While our “business” is of interest to the Lord, His business is His priority, and that’s how it should be with us.
Do Christians today feel as though they’ve bought the Field?
When a Christian leaves church and heads off into a new week, how does he/she view their path? I gave God His time, so now my time can be blessed? God is not unsympathetic to our responsibilities, but if something needs to be done for His Kingdom, are we open to disrupting our plans in order to answer the call? Why did Jesus say, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” — Matt. 6:33?
Wasn’t that statement a reminder for those who want the Treasure but not necessarily the Field? No Field, no Treasure. Jesus proves the real worth of His Treasure every time we put prayer, fellowship, witnessing, sacrifice for His Church, and the like, before our own interests, and then watch Him bless us (and others) for it. The Kingdom of God is expanded every time a believer inconveniences his/her own schedule to give their time and energy to the cause of Jesus’ Gospel. Individuals adding Jesus to their agendas do not make the Kingdom of God visible. But when individuals set aside their agendas to join the efforts of His Kingdom, they are acting in His interests and under His rule. That’s the Kingdom. That’s purchasing the Field.
But how far should you go with such sacrifices. The needs of the ministry seem never to end? For that answer, be sure to read tomorrow’s devotional. In the meantime …
Stay On The Path!