Jesus tells this story –
“The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure that a man discovered hidden in a field. In his excitement, he hid it again and sold everything he owned to get enough money to buy the field. Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant on the lookout for choice pearls. When he discovered a pearl of great value, he sold everything he owned and bought it!” ~ Matthew 13:44-46
This story is often interpreted as meaning that heaven is so great that I need to be willing to give up everything to obtain it.
Here’s the problem with that interpretation – the Bible is clear that my works (everything I attempt to do to earn God’s love and favor) are like “filthy rags.” The Bible is also clear that God’s standard is perfection. I don’t know about you, but I missed that mark a long time ago. Heck, I cannot even live up to my own standards for “being a good person,” and I assure you my standards are much lower than perfection.
So maybe we’ve missed the true meaning of Jesus’ story. What if Jesus is not putting the responsibility on us to get into the Kingdom of Heaven by being willing to “sell everything”? What if He is the One who takes on that responsibility? What if the “treasure” the “pearl of great value” is not describing heaven, but something else?
Today’s Good News is Jesus is the One willing to do all it takes for you to experience the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus is the One willing to sell everything. Jesus is the One who wants to buy YOU back.
YOU are the “treasure”! YOU are the “pearl of great value”!
This changes everything about Jesus’ story and aligns with the Good News gospel of God’s grace. Yes, the Kingdom of Heaven is valuable, but you are more valuable. You’re the reason for the Kingdom. And Jesus is the one who redeems (buys back) you and me. This is why He is called our Redeemer.
This is beyond amazing – you don’t buy your way into the Kingdom – Jesus paid it all so He could have you back. Jesus rescues His treasure (at great cost to Him) and brings you into His Kingdom. Now that’s really Good News!
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