The fact that God is beginning to reign in our present time and space is presented throughout the Gospels as good news. And it is indeed good news as God’s reign is the only thing that will truly put things right in our lives no matter how messed up they have been. This good news demands that we respond. In this post we will examine two of the King’s stories that illustrate the joyful response of those who make the joyful discovery of the Kingdom of God.
“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. 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, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.” Matthew 13:44 – 46 ESV
There are a couple of differences in these stories that are worth taking note of. In the first story, the man involved was not looking for anything in particular. He was just living his life. He may have been walking home through a field when he suddenly tripped over something. When he looked to see what he stumbled over, he was delighted to find it was a treasure someone had hidden in the field.
The second man was a merchant on the hunt. He was on the lookout for fine pearls of rare value. During his search he finds one pearl that outshines all the others he has seen. Upon making this discovery he realizes his search has come to an end.
These stories reveal the two ways people discover the Kingdom. Some stumble upon it in the course of their lives. Others are looking for it, even though they may not know what it looks like. The end result is the same for both.
Both men in these stories realized they had discovered something more valuable than anything else they possessed. Both men paid the ultimate price for what they considered to be the ultimate prize. They gave up everything without hesitation. Neither man begrudged the price they had to pay because they realized that they were not losing through the acquisition. Both men ended up being wealthier than when they had started out.
Both stories illustrate the response Jesus calls for to the message of God’s reign. We must give up every other claim on our lives in order to give Him our absolute, total allegiance. The high demand only sounds stringent to those who have not really seen the Kingdom. The price is joyfully paid, however, by those who have discovered the great joy of living in the Reign.