This section has one of my favorite parables.  It’s a short one:  “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.”

The Lord has ministered to me several times through this verse.  The things that we have are precious–our lands, our families, the things that form our identity.   I would not easily give these up.  But if I am to sacrifice everything, and I mean everything, then I can obtain great treasure.  With that treasure I can not only gain back what I lost, but so much more.  But only if I let EVERYTHING go.  Because it will cost everything to buy that field.

But the pain of sacrifice is overshadowed by “his joy” and that is exactly the spirit in which he sold everything.  I’m sure his friends and family would have thought of him as stupid and foolish, but he wasn’t.

There is a similar theme with Jesus.  It was the “joy set before him” that he endured the cross, suffering its shame.  It was a stumbling block to the Jews and foolish to the Greeks.  More than that,  it was painful beyond what we can fathom at the cross, but the “joy before him” was his motivation to give up EVERYTHING, and I mean everything.   Because he did this, I am part of his joy and he is part of mine.

Memorized:  Matthew 13:36-52 (Jan 29)