by Wayne Jackson
This article is the second part of an article on the Value of the Kingdom of Heaven
(Christian Courier – https://www.christiancourier.com/articles/1564-value-of-the-kingdom-of-heaven-the)
The Kingdom: Worthy of Our Sacrifices
Another similarity between these two parables in Matt 13:44, 45 is the fact that both emphasize the deep sacrifice that one must be willing to make to obtain the blessings associated with the Lord’s kingdom.
In each case the man was willing to sell “all that he had” in order to embrace his treasure or pearl. Let us reflect upon some of the sacrifices that one must be willing to make on behalf of the Lord’s kingdom.
The Sacrifice of Self
The initial sacrifice that must be made in order to partake of the kingdom blessings is that of the sacrifice of oneself. Jesus taught that the person who would follow him must “deny himself” (Luke 9:23).
The hardest task that any of us will ever have is thrusting our own interests to the background and seeking the kingdom first (Matt. 6:33), but that is precisely what is required.
Paul left us a model for emulation: “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I that liveth, but Christ liveth in me…” (Gal. 3:20).
There are far too many within the family of God who treat membership in the body of Christ as if it were a hobby, some sort of civic organization, or a mere weekend exercise.
Many years ago, a man approached me expressing an interest in being baptized. As we talked, he made it clear that he had no intention of ceasing some of his vile habits or even attending worship services. He felt that if he were simply immersed that would be sufficient to obtain his hope of heaven. Needless to say, I did not accommodate his lack of commitment.
The Sacrifice of Relationships
One must be willing, if necessary, to sacrifice even family and friends for the cause of Christ. Jesus demanded:
bq. “He who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and he that loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me” (Matt. 10:37).
A young lady, seventeen years of age, was taught the gospel and happily embraced it. Her parents forbade her to attend worship. She would slip out of her upstairs window, climb down a tree, and make her way to services. Ultimately she won permission to serve God unrestricted; today, she is a faithful Christian grandmother!
The Sacrifice of Resources
A genuine Christian will sacrifice his time, talents, and money in the interests of the kingdom of God.
The parable of the talents (Matt. 25) is a somber warning of the consequences of failing to use what the Lord has placed at our disposal. Once one determines that he will truly give himself to God (2 Cor. 8:5), everything else will fall into place. As a favorite song has it, “heaven will be worth it all.”
We must all encourage one another to attempt to better catch the spirit of these two parables. Clearly they emphasize the value of the eternal, and the effort that must be expended in that interest.
A Difference Between the Two Parables
A significant difference between the parable of the hidden treasure, and that of the pearl of great price, would seem to be that in the former, the man accidentally “found” the treasure, whereas in the latter narrative, the merchant was “seeking” the goodly pearl. Perhaps this represents two classes of persons which are exposed to the gospel.
On the one hand, there are those who are pursuing their lives, busily engaged in daily activities, and who are wholly unaware of what they are missing by ignoring spiritual realities. They may be exposed to the truth by means of a neighbor, a tract, or some other method of evangelism, and thus be thrilled with their new discovery. They stumble over the Word of grace, recognize its value, and readily receive it.
The Samaritan woman in John 4 may be an example of such. When she went for water to Jacob’s well that day, little did she dream that she would find the treasure of spiritual water whereby her thirst could be quenched eternally.
Then, on the other hand, there are those who know their lives are disheveled. They are so very unhappy, and are looking for something to provide them with contentment of soul.
In their hunger and thirst for righteousness they discover, perhaps with the assistance of the unseen hand of Providence, the pure gospel and forsake all to possess it.
Nicodemas, who sought out the Savior by night (John 3), appears to have had this frame of mind.
What thrilling truths the Master’s parables contain. Let us explore them with great diligence.