Jesus tells a powerful parable in Matthew 13 that produces a FREEZE FRAME for us of two men who went all out to secure a treasure that they could not pass up.
“The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field. When a man discovered it, he buried it again. He was so delighted with it that he went away, sold everything he had, and bought that field. Also, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant who was searching for fine pearls. When he found a valuable pearl, he went away, sold everything he had, and bought it.” (Matthew 13:43-44)
Jesus Made the First Move
In the first instance, Jesus is describing himself. Looking down from heaven, He saw the whole world (the field) and His eyes came upon us (the treasure buried in the field). He loved us so much that He gave everything to buy the whole world just so He could have the treasure.
Sit back, take a deep breath, and think about that for a minute! That is the Gospel in a nutshell! I like the part where He goes and sells all to buy the whole field (world). In other words, salvation is not just an individual event, it is a cosmic event!
“The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof.”(Psalm 24:1)
John recorded in his Gospel:
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him, nothing was made that has been made…The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:1-3,14 NIV)
God created it, and He owns it! Yet we see at the temptation in the wilderness that the devil offers Jesus “the kingdoms of the world” if He would just bow down and worship him. What gives?
Biblical scholars of all generations elucidate the Creation-Fall-Redemption story: The ‘very good’ of Creation was radically marred by the cataclysmic event of the Fall of man via the sin of Adam, bringing all of creation under the bondage of ‘the evil one.’ Along comes the ‘last Adam,’ the ‘Son of Man,’ the Redeemer who breaks the bonds of sin, death, and the devil.
The grand chorus of Revelation sums it up:
“When the seventh angel blew his trumpet, there were loud voices in heaven, saying,
‘The kingdom of the world has become
the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah,
and he will rule as king forever and ever.'” (Rev 11:15)
If that doesn’t give you goosebumps, I don’t know what will! Just to make sure, just 12 verses later we read this passage:
“Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying,
‘Now the salvation, power, kingdom of our God,
and the authority of his Messiah have come.
The one accusing our brothers and sisters,
the one accusing them day and night in the presence of our God,
has been thrown out.
They won the victory over him because of the blood of the lamb
and the word of their testimony.
They didn’t love their life so much that they refused to give it up.’” (Rev. 12:10-11)
Jesus was driven by a passion—and WE were the object of His passion. His love was so fierce that He gave everything He had to redeem us!
Jesus goes on to describe a 2nd man—a seeker of pearls—who comes upon a pearl so awesome that he sells everything he has to gain possession of it. This man describes us, all of us who see Jesus for Who He is: the Crown Jewel of the kingdom of God! Having struggled so long to find that missing piece to the puzzle that is our life, we find Him—and the search is over! We seize the opportunity of a lifetime! We “throw down” and give it up for Him!
When His Father presented the plan of redemption to him, the Son didn’t hesitate. He went for it. The long journey from heaven to earth was not an easy one. Just imagine the first step alone: Creator of Heaven and earth squeezes out of the fallopian tube of a teenage girl!
Just remember: He did it for us!
And by the grace of God, our every act of obedience to Him is simply a pay-it-forward moment in honor of Him!