In Matthew 13, Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. When such a large crowd gathered around him he got into a boat and sat in it in the water while the people stood on the shore so he could be better seen and heard. Picture a large crowd looking from the shore as Jesus uses something so simple and everyday as a parable about seeds to help us understand.
Jesus used parables as teaching tools. A parable is a story or illustration used alongside the subject matter being taught but in a simple and familiar language.
His message in Matthew 13 is about the kingdom of God and how the truths of the kingdom of God are received. They reveal how “fake” seeds are sown, how the kingdom grows and spreads and the values and surprises of the kingdom.
One of these surprises is verse 44 & 45. Here it says, “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all that he had and bought that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.”
What is the point of all this? Simply that the people who receive the kingdom treasure it more than everything else. You don’t buy it. You get it freely because you want it more than you want anything else.
It’s like a poor child who enters a toy store and the owner tells him, “you can have the best and most expensive toy in this store if you want it more than anything else”. In other words, there is a condition for having the kingdom—for having the King on your side and as your friend—but the condition is not wealth or power or intelligence or eminence. The condition is that you prize the kingdom more than you prize anything else. The point of selling everything in this parable is simply to show where your heart is. “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21)
The point of these verses in Matthew is that the kingdom of God is so valuable that losing everything on earth, but getting the kingdom, is worth it. Or to be more personal and specific, we can lose everything with joy if we gain Christ. Interesting that the word “joy” is in this verse. The loss of all things is not sad if we gain Christ.
I pray that God would help us to joyfully put Christ and his saving work above all things.