by Kurt Bekins
Kurt and his family recently moved to Croatia to continue making disciples and to serve the church. Pray their consistent life, where action matches faith and proclamation, would bring many to glorify God (Matthew 5:16; 1 Peter 2:11-12)
When I was a kid, my cousins and I loved to play with toy cars. We treasured these classic 1:64 scale die-cast toy vehicles! We were trading 3 for 1 in some cases, not because of the price paid (in pop can money), but because of their personal worth. Some of these cars I happened upon in the store, others I looked for hard and long or traded as many as 6 cars to get them from my cousins. Less than a year ago our family made a big move, having to sell or give away much of our belongings. But you know what? I took along a few of those “precious” cars for the nostalgia. These $1 toys were still so valuable to me.
A Hidden Treasure and a Valuable Pearl
I was thinking about the worth of these cars while I was studying Matthew 13. In chapter 13, Matthew displays seven of Jesus’ parables about the Kingdom of Heaven. Here are the fifth and sixth:
44 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.
45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. 46 When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.” (NIV)
Both of these short parables show us the sacrificial cost of being a citizen of the kingdom of heaven. Both the man and the merchant went and sold everything to obtain their treasure. They both sold EVERYTHING they had. Those who take serious the value of the Kingdom don’t see the cost as an obligation, but pursue it JOYFULLY!
The man was glad to part ways with all that he had because his long-term return would be far greater. And the merchant would have been an expert in the value of pearls and yet he sold everything he owned for this pearl of far greater value.
Counting the Cost
When I think about the application of this passage, I think about the Rich Young Ruler who came to Jesus with his flattering compliments and great knowledge of the law. He was genuinely seeking the Kingdom. But he wouldn’t set aside his wealth to follow Jesus, a far greater treasure (Col. 2:1-3). The cost was far too great for him. “Silly ruler,” we say in our minds.
There is a cost to following Jesus. It will cost you everything. It may cost you your possessions, selfish desires, wealth, worldly status, relationships, or your very life. But it is worth so much more.
Proverbs 3:15 “She is more precious than jewels; and nothing you desire compares with her.”
Go joyfully. Pursue the treasure. Cherish Christ in your life!