Finding Jesus Christ, the Greatest Treasure and Meaning for our Lives
In Matthew 13:44-46, Jesus gives us the parable of the hidden treasure and pearl. They are similar stories, but with a key difference.
The parable of the hidden treasure is about a man who comes across a treasure in the field. Long ago, there were no banks and safe deposit boxes, so people would bury their valuables. By Jewish law, any treasure on land that you owned would be yours. So this man, who stumbled on this treasure, buys the whole plot of land so that the treasure could be his.
Many people also “stumble” upon church as well, whether it be seeing a sign on a street, a flyer handed out, or invited by someone they know. Whatever it is, people “stumble” upon church and keep coming back for more. The more they come back, the more they recognize that Christ is a great hidden treasure and recognize its great value.
Jesus this man bought the whole field by selling off everything he had. His happiness caused him to do something drastic, something others thought was crazy. There is something like that when it comes to finding Jesus Christ. We are joyful in Christ and keep coming back for more. It’s a great joy that is hard to comprehend unless you experience it yourself.
These days, there is so much cynicism in the world towards Christianity, you can pretty much call it a modern day anti-Christian movement. People say, “how can you believe in this mystical person and this mystical book?” People say that the Bible has many falsehoods.
Objectively speaking, there probably are a lot of things in the Bible that are hard to understand. How Jesus lived and what he taught doesn’t make sense from a secular perspective. In 1 Corinthians 1:25, it says that Christ is a stumbling block.
But even if Christ is a stumbling block, once you stumble upon it, you begin to realize there is truth in his teachings and in his life. It’s a truth that you experience that perhaps is difficult to explain from an objective, logical viewpoint.
In truth, that is how life is, we don’t experience joy from an objective, logical viewpoint, we just experience it. We find true joy because we feel it deep in our hearts and we know it. We know this is joy that you can’t experience in the world.
Secular definitions of joy speak about greed for money, pleasure, power, and fame. But none of those are lasting, it’s not truly joyful. Just because something is pleasurable, doesn’t make it joyful. When we are truly joyful, it’s hard for other to comprehend.
People might wonder why we follow Jesus, because Jesus doesn’t make you rich, powerful, or famous. The Bible does not talk about seeking these things. While faith doesn’t offer these things, it does offer true joy, a different level joy, that is a great treasure we stumble upon.
In the second parable, we see something similar story, but it wasn’t a treasure that a man came across. Instead it’s about a merchant who is actively looking for fine pearls.
Jewelry merchants are like this, they go trade shows around the world, examining jewels and looking for the best. They look at pearls, diamonds, and jewels under a microscope to look for the tiniest flaws. Merchants who do this for a living look at so many jewels that they understand what makes a great jewel.
There is a characteristic like a jewel merchant in all of us. We seek for something deeper and we seek for more meaning in our life.
Ecclesiastes 3:11 is one of my favorite verses, it says that “He has also set eternity in our hearts”. The Bible says we seek for something beyond us in eternity. Mankind is limited by time and space, so eternity is beyond us. We are living in a blip of time and space compared to the grade scope of eternity which we cannot comprehend.
Modern Physics can broadly be divided into two main branches. Relativity tries to understand the grand scheme of the universe, while Quantum Physics tries to the small minute parts of this world.
But the fact is, no matter how big or how small we try to understand, we can’t. Even when it comes to our own lives, we can’t comprehend the grand scheme of how we fit or even how the moment I am living right now matters.
We seek and search for the meaning of life and we struggle with this. We are seek for answers about who created us and we seek answers about where we go when we die. We want to know what real truth is, what is right and what is wrong, and we want to know what we should live for. We ask questions about our lives, about our place in the world, and seek spiritual meaning for our lives. When it comes down to it, we are very much like these merchants – we have wonderment for something deeper.
The reason we are like this is because God created us this way. Genesis 1:27 says that we were created in God’s image. 1 John 4:8 says that God is love. Love must be reciprocated and has a desire to get deeper and deeper. God’s love for us is that way and our love for God desires to get deeper.
When we receive love from God and return that love from God, it’s like a great jewel, this pearl we found. When we love God, we understand that God is the fulfillment of my life and only God completes the answers to my life.
These two parables both comes to the same conclusion, in that the man and the merchant sold everything they had and bought the precious treasure and pearl. Our love for God must be extreme like this.
When we have recognized the treasure or pearl for what it is – whether we stumbled upon it or were actively seeking it – the point is that God called us and we found Him. Faith is about finding Jesus in our lives, accepting him, and receiving his love and salvation.
For those of us that have found this treasure, will we fully commit ourselves to Jesus and the Great Commission he has given us? Will we sell off the baggage in this world and fully commit ourselves to this great treasure of Jesus Christ that we have?
Jesus says the Kingdom of Heaven is a place where people find this precious treasure and pearl. How great of an image is that? Heaven is a place where people have all taken off the baggage of this world and are living for the love of God.
We have been given something priceless in the cross that Jesus bore for us. With this priceless gift, we should seek to build the Kingdom of Heaven that Jesus spoke to us about in this parable.