Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the three-year lectionary.
Our Gospel passage for this week is from Matthew 13:44-52. Here Jesus speaks parables about someone who searches out and obtains a priceless treasure. He will sell all he has to gain t his treasure.
There are two ways we can look at these parables. In the common historic view, Jesus is the actor in the parables. He has seen a field in which he knows there is treasure. The field is the world. Jesus gives all he has to purchase the field. Through his death and burial he has bought the world, atoning for all its sin. In his resurrection, he claims his treasure. The kingdom of heaven is like this man who gives all he has to get something which he recognizes as treasure, though the previous owner apparently doesn’t.
What is this treasure which Jesus will give all to purchase? It is you and me. Even though we don’t appear to awfully precious on the surface, Jesus will not rest until he has redeemed us. This is the kingdom of heaven.
The other way of viewing these parables, more common perhaps in the last hundred fifty years or so, is to call Christians to their pursuit of the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God should look so precious to us that we would sell all we have to pursue godliness. It should cause us to give up even our lives because it is a precious pearl.
The problem with this point of view is that the old owner should have recognized the value of the kingdom of heaven and refused to let it go. The strength is that it recognizes humans not as priceless but as those who should pursue a priceless treasure.
I would affirm the first, historic understanding of these parables. However, regardless of your view, we find that the kingdom of God is priceless and that Jesus has in fact given himself to save all who believe. In the final analysis, the Lord has given a precious gift to all who believe. All praise goes to Jesus.
If this brief meditation was helpful to you, I hope you will check out the other materials on our website at www.WittenbergCoMo.com and consider supporting us.