What would you give for a beautiful soul? Trygve preaches on the parable of the hidden treasure in a field and the parable of the pearl of great value.
““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.””
I. What would you give?
One of the keys to a successful life is recognizing the value of something in the moment and responding to it!
It’s why I love to indulge in one of my guilty pleasures: Pawn Stars! …
Imagine you were a baseball card collector. You go to the local mall and browse through the cards on display for sale. You notice a mint 1909, it’s expensive, more money than you have on you. What should you do? If you are a collector, a serious one, you should sell your entire collection to purchase it. It’s more valuable than anything you have. It’s priced on the market for about 2.5 million dollars.
Maybe you like to spin vinyl. You go to the local record store and you are fingering through theused bin, and you come across a mint condition, unopened signed copy of The Beatles Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. It was expensive, but you went home and sold your bike, your car, your computer, all just to purchase this one album. Why? It’s worth about 300K!
If you find you are browsing through a comic book store and you came across an Action Comics No. 1, in mint condition, the first comic book featuring Superman, you would give all you had to purchase it. Why? It sells for about 3.21 million dollars
If you were at a local art gallery and you saw an original Mark Rothko, #1 – (Royal Red and Blue) you would sell your house to own it. Why? In 2012 it sold for $75.1 million dollars
If you know the value of something that is rare, something that is unique, something that is valuable, you will do whatever – pay whatever – to obtain it. To do so won’t feel like a sacrifice because you know the value. You will be so overcome with joy that whatever you give up will feel like a steal in comparison. It’s all about understanding and recognizing the value of what you are getting.
That is what Jesus is teaching us in these two parables. The parable of the treasure in the field and the parable of the pearl of great price. These two parables taken together are referred to as the parable of the gems. In the first, there is a field and in the field a treasure is found and then hidden. No one else knows this is here. So the person who recognizes the treasure is filled with joy and goes and sells all that he has in order to buy the field and with it, the hidden treasure. I am sure that his family and his friends are saying, “Why are you selling all that you have for a lousy field? Look, it’s rocky! It’s not worth what you are paying!” The man knows different. He knows that there is a treasure hidden in the field that will change his life and that of his family. He knows that despite selling all he has – this is a bargain!
The second parable is that of a merchant. He is looking for fine, rare pearls. Pearls were to the ancient world what diamonds are to the modern world. He goes to the place where you buy pearls. He looks over the inventory – there are thousands to choose from – all kinds of fine pearls. But one – one simple pearl – catches his eye. It is pure – without blemish – and he immediately recognizes its worth. He does not buy it right away. It’s too valuable. He leaves it with the owner – says he’ll come right back – and he goes and sells all that he has – and comes back and buys the one pearl. Imagine, he sells all that he has – everything he owns – for one pearl!
Why? In both instances, Jesus wants us to see that because of the value, selling was no sacrifice. It was joy that drove the sacrifice – because in giving up all they had, they actually got what they most desired! The joy is finding the treasure and the pearl of great price in an unexpected place. Something so special and valuable mixed in among the ordinary places. The challenge is giving up all that we have to obtain it.
Here is the thing. Not everyone recognizes the value of the field or the pearl. Other merchants went by and saw the same pearl. They passed it by. The cost was too high. Others passed by the field but could not discern its worth. The secret to life is to recognize something worthy when it is staring you in the eye! The greatest things in life – the greatest gifts – are most often lost not because we lose them, but because we don’t recognize their value in the moment, and we pass them by!
Now let me ask you a question. It’s personal. Only you can answer it. What would you give for a beautiful soul? What would such a soul be worth to you? What do I mean by beautiful? A soul that is alive with life – that is no longer poisoned by the jealousies ambitions that create anxiety and fear? A beautiful soul is one that is at peace with God – a soul that is in communion with its creator experiences harmony.
What if I told you that you could have that soul – you could have that life with God? What would you do? Would you want it? You can, but it will cost you – not money, but it will cost you your heart and your mind and your will. God gives us his soul in the Holy Spirit, but he does ask from us that we give him everything. But in giving everything, you get what you have most desired your whole life. So really, it’s not sacrifice, it is joy!
What is more important than your soul? Nothing. In Matthew 16:24, “Jesus told his disciples: If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit them if they gain the whole world but forfeit their life? Or what will they give in return for their life?”
IV. Christ is the Treasure
Jesus is saying “I am the Kingdom of God found in the field.” Jesus is saying “I am the pearl of great price that is cast among the ordinary gems. Sell all you have – give all you have – to be with me! And if you do, you will discover the greatest bargain of your life.”
These parables are teaching us that the greatest gift is finding the Kingdom of God breaking into our daily life. The good news is God – the reign of God in your life, God with you, God for you – is offered to you! Jesus is offering it to you right now. But you have to see it, you have to recognize its worth. You need to respond.
Give all you have for joy. Do whatever you have to do, sell what you need to sell, stop doing whatever you are doing that is getting in the way, and go get the one great pearl – which is Christ and his life in you! Imagine: the very life of God in you for you – now and forever. All you need to do is say yes to Christ and give yourself to him. And if you do – if you do – you will be richer than you ever hoped or imagined. For you will have everything! You will be with God!