Prays Together: God Does Not Short-Change Your Identity
By Joel Luckemeyer
“The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in 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, who on finding one of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it” (Matt. 13:44-45).
It was common for Jesus to teach using stories, or parables to convey His point. In Matt. 13:44-45, Jesus told two parables to teach us a wonderful truth about how Jesus sees those who put their faith in Him. What we learn about the Kingdom of Heaven from Jesus in these parables is that His Kingdom is more valuable than any one person’s material possessions. After all, the man joyfully sells everything he owns to buy the field where he buried the treasure. Then the merchant of fine pearls finds the valuable pearl and sold all he owned for the pearl. Jesus is clearly saying that His kingdom is worth everything, if not more, than what we have.
Who is the man in the first parable and who is the merchant in the second one? It is common for pastors, preachers, and teachers to say that we must be like the man and the merchant. We must give everything up for the Kingdom of Heaven. Well, how much is enough? Unless you are stark naked with nothing then you haven’t come close; not to mention the fact that no one can buy their way into Heaven. No one can earn their salvation. Eph. 2:9 says that, “we are saved by grace through faith in Christ Jesus.”
The man in the first parable is Jesus Christ. The merchant in the second one is also Jesus Christ. His believers are the citizens of His Kingdom, the Kingdom of Heaven. His believers are the treasure in the field! His believers are the pearl of great value! Jesus gave up everything for us when He died on the cross for our sins. He gave up everything for those who call Him Lord and believe that He rose again on the third day. Jesus is telling us that God sees us as a treasure! God sees us as a pearl of great value! Think about that for second.
If you haven’t been the perfect parent, child, student, teacher, boss, employee, family member, or friend; If you haven’t perfectly loved God, and your neighbor (who is everyone by the way); If you have failed and have done wrong, God still sees you as worth giving everything for. Jesus gave it all up for you! You are loved. Could it be that God values you even more than you do?
Joel Luckemeyer is pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church. He may be reached by calling 559-592-4070.
Prays Together is a rotating column between the pastors of the First Presbyterian Church of Exeter, Church of Christ of Exeter, Nazarene Church of Exeter, Church of God of Exeter, the New Life Assembly of God and Rocky Hill Community Church as well as the Lemon Cove Presbyterian Church.
This column is not a news article but the opinion of the writer and does not reflect the views of The Foothills Sun-Gazette newspaper.