Is It Worth It?
I remember when it hit me. That moment in time when I knew I was going to marry Amy. Something had switched from being in love with the idea of love to knowing that she was the one. There is no other that shines so bright in my universe.
If I could choose to spend time with any person in the world, it would be her. I cannot imagine living life without her. Even in the moments when we drive each other a little (or a whole lot) crazy, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. When we’re at parties and on different sides of the room, I live for the moments when we catch one another’s eye and just grin stupidly.
Jesus, told a couple of parables that go like this,
The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which someone found >and hid; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls; on >finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it. (Matthew 13:44-50)
These are parables that I have heard taught time and time again. Almost always the focus has been on what you have to give up. The teachers focus on the “selling all” bit. They ask questions to the crowd about what it is that they need to let go of or give up. What’s holding your heart? What do love you more than the treasure that is Jesus? Do you need to let go of a relationship or of some object? What is it you’re willing to give up for Jesus?
As I have reflected on this passage I think that we are missing something when we focus our attention on the “sells all that he has...” bit.
Before I go there though, I think that the reason that we focus on what we must give up is because we are focused on brokenness and sin. It is almost as if Genesis 1 & 2 do not exist. We live in Genesis 3. Everywhere there is this constant refrain of “I am so sinful,” “This world is so broken,” and the like. Are we imperfect? Yes. Is the world imperfect? Yes. But, Jesus not only died on the cross, he also rose from the dead and ascended to the right of the Father. If that is true, then this world has been reconciled, it has been made new, there is a cosmic reality that the resurrection and ascension has ushered in.
Why don’t we live like this?
I think the answer to this question gets to the heart of the message of the parable. We have missed the beauty, the glory, the worth of the kingdom fo heaven.
The center of these parables is not that the people “sell all.” It is that they are completely and utterly captivated by the beauty that is the kingdom of heaven. As they bask in the infinite worth of the kingdom of heaven there is nothing that compares.
I don’t think we are sufficiently enamored with the beauty, the joy, the glory, of the kingdom of heaven.
In a very real sense, when I pledged my love to Amy, I gave up all other relationships with other women. But that was of no cost to me, it was of no value, because she was of infinite worth.
Do you see the world through a resurrection and ascension lens? Do you see the “it is finished” reality that Christ crucified, risen, and ascended has brought to reality?
The infinite worth of the reconciled world that is the kingdom of heaven is worth it.