The Field and the Pearl
Matthew 13: 44-46 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. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.
We’re going to look at these last two parables over the next couple days. The first thing that might stand out in these parables is the significant commitment that each person makes to the treasure that they find.
The folks in both stories sold all they had.
Is this what Jesus is calling us to do? On the one hand, these are parables, and parables are not meant to be taken literally. But on the other hand, the repetition of this idea warrants consideration. In fact, these parables are not the only time Jesus asks a person to sell all they have in order to follow him. A couple chapters after this (in Matthew 19), Jesus tells a rich young man that in order to enter the kingdom, he must sell his possessions, give to the poor, and go follow Jesus. The young man leaves Jesus in sadness because he is simply unable to do this. Was Jesus literally asking the young man to sell everything? In that particular context, it seems like he was!
So what does that mean for us when we encounter these parables? What is Jesus asking us to give? And on the flip side (given that Jesus also claims that no one who has given up anything for him will fail to receive back 100 times as much), what does this imply about what the kingdom really is worth?