Devotion in Motion
I don’t know about you but my wife and my grandkids love going yard saling.
They love going from place to place just looking and digging for that one thing that they don’t even know that they were looking for. But every once in a while they go and they come back home with treasure.
Something that at one time meant something to someone else but is now old and rusted or a little broken or even tarnished. They bring it home and clean it up, fix it up and it to them is the treasure they had been looking for.
Well in the same way the parable that Jesus is about to teach us from is the same thing. He is always in search of treasure and in the end of these parables you will see just what he considers to be invaluable.
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.”
Remember the story of Ruth and Boaz. Boaz was a wealthy landowner. He redeemed the field of his relative Elimelech – not because he wanted another field. As the family redeemer, he not only could reclaim his relative’s land he could marry his widow – the beautiful Ruth. Boaz bought the field to get the treasure. This is why Jesus redeemed the world.
Not because He needed another planet. One astronomer calls the Earth, “a fifth rate planet revolving around a tenth rate sun in a forgotten corner of the universe.” There’s nothing special about the third rock that Jesus would sell all, even His own life, to purchase it. But He paid the price because He found a treasure. And the treasure is us. You are the treasure for which Christ sold all He had – and even gave up His own life…
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.” Notice both the treasure and the pearl are hidden from view. The treasure is buried in the field and the pearl is on the bottom of the ocean. Likewise, don’t expect this world to notice your value and worth.
The esteem that comes from worldly pursuits is transitory. Our true value is measured by what Jesus was willing to pay to obtain us. He bought the whole world to retrieve you. He sold all He had to purchase you and me. We are of infinite value in Jesus. There are scholars who view the treasure in the previous parable as Israel. Throughout the Old Testament Israel is viewed as Jehovah’s special treasure. She’s been scattered and hid in the Earth for 2000 years, but in the last days Jesus will gather His people, and redeem the world to rescue Israel. If the treasure is Israel, then the pearl is probably the church.
The pearl is found in the sea – and throughout Scriptures the sea is symbolic of the vast ocean of Gentile population. Jesus plucks out the pearl from the ocean. It’s interesting that the pearl is the only gem that doesn’t need to be cut to bring out its beauty. It grows by irritation… Listen to this description of the pearl’s growth, “A pearl begins as nothing more than an irritating speck of sand in the shell of an oyster.
The oyster coats that troublesome speck with layer upon layer of crystalline substance called nacre, which hardens and becomes the actual pearl. The more irritating the grain of sand, the more beautiful the pearl.” This is how we as Christians grow spiritually – through irritation. Seldom do we grow in the good times. It’s the trying times and difficulties that cause us to grow. The one thing that ruins a pearl is human perspiration – and the one thing that will arrest our spiritual growth is to go off in our own efforts and try to sweat it out.
Just remain in the oyster. Trust God. Let difficulties discipline and trials train.
The treasure is you and me, the pearl is you and me. When we stay in the Lord we will be disciplined, and we will be trained but that not to hurt us but to shine us up , to make us into what he sees us to be. An invaluable treasure.
Maybe you feel lost in the yard sale of this world but Jesus is searching for you and today he found you.
Let him pay the price that only he can pay for the one thing that you thought you never were and that is a treasure of great price.
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