Read Matthew 13
My wife is a good shopper. If there is a deal to be found, she will find it. She also seems to have a nose for quality. It does not matter what we are shopping for; it can be shoes, it can appliances, it can be clothing, it doesn’t matter. When she finally settles on the item she likes, it invariably is the most expensive one on the shelf. Now, we don’t always buy the most expensive item on the shelf, but occasionally it actually turns out to be the best value in the long run.
She also has discovered that when she finds a pair of shoes she really likes, it is best to buy them in every color right away because by the time she wears one pair out and is looking for a replacement, they typically are no longer in production. To her – it’s all about value, and it hasn’t worked out too bad for us, she did, after all pick me to spend her life with but I rather suspect I got the better deal in that arrangement.
In today’s reading Jesus describes the kingdom of heaven, as treasure worth trading everything one has in order to acquire it.
The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. (v. 44)
This reveals a number of characteristics of the kingdom of heaven. He describes it as “hidden in a field” suggesting that it is something we may have to seek in order to find. The kingdom is also apparently something of immense value since the man “joyfully sells everything” he has to buy it.
This can also be a lesson about priorities for us. Just a few chapters back Jesus told his followers to “…seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33) When we focus on putting God and His kingdom first, we soon realize that there is little else that we truly “need”. There may be many things we “want” and perhaps some we justify as a need, but until we can honestly say that as long as we have Jesus – we have everything we need, we don’t really understand the kingdom of God. This doesn’t mean we should all be poor, homeless beggars that own nothing, it simply means that we recognize that all we have is not ours but Gods. He entrusts us to manage it for Him by “adding all these things” to us. How we manage “these things” then reflects the degree to which we are “seeking first His kingdom”.
Interestingly, God doesn’t micro-manage us. He allows us to choose the degree to which we trust Him and empowers us by the Holy Spirit as we step out in faith. The best deal I ever found was when I found the kingdom of God.