What’s your relationship with Jesus Christ? Who is He to you? You may be a Christian; you may go to services on Sunday, and try to read your Bible and pray; you may even be involved in your church. But in your personal life, where it’s just you and Him–is Jesus is your everything–or is He just an add-on to an already full life?
“God’s kingdom is like a treasure hidden in a field for years and then accidentally found by a trespasser. The finder is ecstatic—what a find!—and proceeds to sell everything he owns to raise money and buy that field. Or, God’s kingdom is like a jewel merchant on the hunt for excellent pearls. Finding one that is flawless, he immediately sells everything and buys it.” (Matthew 13:44-46 MSG)
Jesus Christ is everything–everything that matters. He is “…the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His being, sustaining all things by His powerful word…” (Hebrews 1:3 NIV) He is the treasure we will sell all to acquire; the pearl we will disinvest ourselves of everything to gain! But what does this mean? Must I literally rid myself of everything else in my life and sit in a cubicle hands folded, 24/7? Absolutely not! But it’s not just a wealth thing.
I used to somehow imagine that I would love Jesus more when I got older and literally had less of the “other stuff” distracting me; then God brought into my life a series of experiences with people already approaching the end of their earthly journey, and I realized that it doesn’t get easier when, “the night is coming when no one can work…” (John 9:4); it gets harder!
It is dangerous to imagine that you will love Jesus more when you have less because you may not love Him any more than you now do–you may merely mourn the loss of everything else! Our bodies typically deteriorate and increasingly fail with the progression of time, and if I don’t value Jesus now–when I can still function and don’t experience excruciating pain or debilitating physical hardship–why do I imagine I will care more about Him when I may be preoccupied with physical pain or no longer possess the full capacities of my mind?! If anything, it will be harder! If I don’t recognize His value now, when I am fully functioning mentally and physically, I will almost certainly not love Him more when I am distracted by the physical failings of my person later in life.
No, we must not wait to be deprived of all else in order to recognize the inestimable value of Christ! In this parable, the individuals involved do not first lose their wealth and then stumble upon the treasure; they first find the treasure and then sell everything else to acquire it! Participation in God’s kingdom through Christ is not a second-best, a consolation prize; it is the main event–it is everything! And the goal is not poverty for poverty’s sake; it is recognizing the true value of gaining Christ Jesus and using whatever we have to gain Him–even if it costs us everything–because nothing can or will compensate for the loss of having missed out on Him!
The treasure in this parable is participation in God’s kingdom through Christ; if we gain Him we also gain the Father and participation in His kingdom, because you can’t have one without the other–Jesus said, “I and the Father are one.” Jesus is, in fact, the access point to everything: to right standing in the Father’s eyes, to true goodness and righteousness, to fellowship with the Father, to eternity with Him, to participation in His kingdom–His family of those born again into His image–to literally everything I need or rightly want or could even ever imagine!
That is why He is the most precious of all treasures, and why I would reveal myself the greatest of fools were I unwilling to relinquish anything that stands in the way of gaining Him! Remember, “Those who want to save their lives will give up true life, and those who give up their lives for Me will have true life.” (Jesus, Matthew 16:25 NCV)
Be more precious to me than anything else in this world–than anything else in my life. Help me do all–give anything necessary, even everything if need be–to gain You! Amen.