44 “The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid again; and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. 45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls, 46 and upon finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.
Many of us view these few sentences as two different parables: the parable of the treasure in a field and the parable of the merchant seeking pearls. They are actually very related. We see the relationship between these parables in the midst of Jesus’ explanation of discipleship in John 15:4, “Abide in Me, and I in you.”
The way the Kingdom of God works is that Jesus first invested everything in us. The only way to receive this gift is if we invest everything in Him. This doesn’t mean we must earn what He has given us, because grace cannot be earned. However, we must position ourselves to receive the gift. If we look at verse 44, we see that the man who found the treasure sold everything to buy the field in which the treasure was hidden. He treated it as a prized possession and became sold out for the Kingdom. We read this principle in the story of the young ruler in Mark 10:
17 As He was setting out on a journey, a man ran up to Him and knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 18 And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone. 19 “You know the commandments, ‘DO NOT MURDER, DO NOT COMMIT ADULTERY, DO NOT STEAL, DO NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS, Do not defraud, HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER.’ ” 20 And he said to Him, “Teacher, I have kept all these things from my youth up.” 21 Looking at him, Jesus felt a love for him and said to him, “One thing you lack: go and sell all you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” 22 But at these words he was saddened, and he went away grieving, for he was one who owned much property. 23 And Jesus, looking around, said to His disciples, “How hard it will be for those who are wealthy to enter the kingdom of God!” 24 The disciples were amazed at His words. But Jesus answered again and said to them, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! 25 “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” 26 They were even more astonished and said to Him, “Then who can be saved?” 27 Looking at them, Jesus said, “With people it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God.”
The reason the young man could not receive the Kingdom is because he was holding onto all of his worldly possessions. If you are holding onto something, your hand is closed. If your hand is closed, you cannot receive something. The young ruler would not let go and therefore could not receive. Maybe you find yourself in this situation. You are a “good person” but still can’t quite seem to be able to live in His Kingdom. The answer is to let go. If you can’t let go, ask God for His help. As Jesus said, “with people it is impossible (human strength), but all things are possible with God.” We must ask Him to help us let go and trust Him more. He is the author and perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:2) so if we lack trust and faith in Him, He will give us more! (Matthew 21:22)
Once we become sold out for the Kingdom, we begin to see that the Kingdom is sold out for us! We are then able to experience the glory and riches of God in our lives here on earth. We get to live out “God’s Kingdom come, God’s will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” He does it to and through us here and now!!! Isn’t that amazing? Who doesn’t want to experience that? I know I do…so we have to position ourselves (i.e. let go) so we can and then we will. We are all that one pearl of great value. Jesus paid the ultimate price for us; won’t you do the same for Him? You have everything to lose and even more to win.