More on the hidden treasure and the pearl of great price

October 4, 2011

“The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure that somebody hid in a field, which someone else found and covered up. Full of joy, the finder sold everything and bought that field.

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls. When he found one very precious pearl, he went and sold all that he owned and bought it.” (Matthew 13:44-46, Common English Bible)

We can find plenty of treasures in this world apart from the one we find in Jesus Christ. We may find treasures in our career, our relationships, our family, our possessions, our bank accounts, our favorite hobbies, our favorite sports. And all these competing treasures may be perfectly good in and of themselves. But they won’t satisfy our deepest longing.

The gospel of Jesus Christ isn’t one treasure among others; it’s the most valuable treasure. It isn’t one pearl among other pearls; it’s the most precious pearl. Even though God gives it to us freely—by grace through faith— it is worth nothing less than everything that we have to give.

And everything we have to give is exactly what Christ wants. C.S. Lewis puts it like this:

Christ says “Give me All. I don’t want so much of your time and so much of your money and so much of your work: I want You. I have not come to torment your natural self, but to kill it. No half-measures are any good. I don’t want to cut off a branch here and a branch there. I want to have the whole tree down. I don’t want to drill the tooth, or crown it, or stop it, but to have it out. Hand over the whole natural self, all the desires which you think innocent as well as the ones you think wicked—the whole outfit. I will give you a new self instead. In fact, I will give you Myself: my own will shall become yours.”

C.S. Lewis, “The Christian Way” in The C.S. Lewis Bible, NRSV (New York: HarperOne, 2010), 1076-77.

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