From the beginning of time, humans have had difficulty discerning what is beautiful and valuable from what is worthless. Over and over again we have traded what is good and glorious and given by God to bless us for what is destructive and diminishing and intended to trouble us. The psalmist described how God’s people did this in the desert when “they traded their glorious God for a statue of a grass-eating bull” (Psalm 106: 20).
The people of Jesus’ day had the same problem. The Son of God stood before them and they did not recognize how beautiful and valuable He was. Standing in a boat at the water’s edge, Jesus told a story about two people who recognized an object’s true value.
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)
Though most who heard this parable had a hard time understanding its meaning, Jesus was telling them the He is a priceless treasure, a valuable pearl. It is worth trading everything you own to have him.
It is only as the Spirit of God works in us that we can see the true value of things, and most importantly, the truly magnificent value of Christ. This is what the psalmist was saying when he wrote, “I would rather be a gatekeeper in the house of my God then live a good life in the homes of the wicked” (Psalm 84: 10). The writer of this psalm saw it as a good trade to give up the stuff of this world for a relationship with God. Paul also recognized the value of Christ and so was willing to trade anything and everything to have him. “Everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it as nothing, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him” (Philippians 3: 8-9).
Recently, we have come to see the fragility and insufficiency of the treasures of this world. But Jesus is a priceless treasure that will never pass away. Let us value Him more then anything.
Prayer – Jesus, priceless Treasure, how my value system needs an overhaul. I so often value the things of this world that are worthless and passing away. I devalue what is worthwhile, priceless and eternal. Only your Spirit can give me a heart and eyes to see your beauty and worth. Help me to value you as the magnificent treasure that you are.
In 2023, each week's blog is a follow-up reflection written by the preceding Sunday’s preacher to dig deeper into the sermon topic and explore engaging discussion questions.