The kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls, and upon finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.
– Matthew 13:45-46
Throughout the ages, the lure of finding fabled treasure has captivated the imaginations of men.
The hope of a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow drives everything from buying lottery tickets to exploring the depths of the seas in search of riches.
Ironically, history is full of stories of people who lost their lives, families, and fortunes in the vain pursuit of a golden dream.
And yet, God commands us to be treasure hunters. In the thirteenth chapter of Matthew, Jesus compared the kingdom of heaven to buried treasure and a pearl of great value. In both cases, the man who found this treasure joyfully sold everything he had to obtain it. He realized nothing else he possessed could compare with the riches of this discovery.
What is so valuable about the kingdom of God?
For one thing, there’s forgiveness. Walking in the freedom of a pure conscience is priceless.
And there’s eternal life. In the new kingdom, we have life lasting forever. Jesus’ sacrifice did that for us. With His blood He paid the impossibly high debt we owed, released us from a prison of our own making, and restored us to our Father.
Being freed from an eternal death sentence is enough to inspire our allegiance to Him. The promise of eternity in a new body in a world without decay is a hope that should keep us in continual worship of this amazing God.
But that’s not all. That’s not even the half of it. We get to live with our Father and know the endless wealth of His majesty. We get to be in His presence, unsinged, unafraid, and beloved. I believe when we stand before Him on that great day, our eyes will be filled with the completeness of His glory.
Salvation is so much more than a get-out-of-hell-free card.
It’s more than cheating death. When we find the pearl of great price that is the Savior, we’ve only just begun to discover the riches of God. We have time without end, beginning today, to learn to love our Creator. And there’s so much to love.
Two thousand years ago, a king gave up the riches of His kingdom for something He thought was worth more. He purchased, at a huge cost, an entire world for the treasure it held. Buried in the dirt, covered in the dust of humanity, He found a pearl of great value.
That treasure is you.
They will be Mine, says the LORD of hosts,
On the day that I make them My jewels.
– Malachi 3:16-17a