Giving up everything to buy something that looks like it’s worth nothing is only a joyful situation to someone who has seen the treasure in it.
“Jesus said, ‘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.’” (Matthew 13:44)
After I read this verse, I mulled over it for days and days. I puzzled mostly over why the man didn’t take the treasure for himself. Why did he cover it up again, then sell all he had to buy the entire field? Who in their right mind does that? Wasn’t the treasure the only thing that had value?
I had no answers; all I knew was that God was challenging me. I had been praying about my workplace and my office, and God imprinted three words on my heart. It felt like they were ringing loudly in my ears. Buy the field, He said. I want you to buy the field.
God is looking for people who are willing to sell all to buy the field. But first, we must see the treasure in it. And God convicted me of this one thing: That my sacrifice is joyless when I don’t have vision. That is, after all, how Jesus was able to commit Himself to the biggest sacrifice of human history (see Hebrews 12:2).
He was able to go to the Cross to die because He saw the treasure that was the souls of man.
Our ability to see the Kingdom of God in what people claim as barren land is what’s going to restore it to its original purpose.
Only recently did I realise the answer to the mystery of why the man in Jesus’ metaphor put the treasure back in the field. It’s because the parable illustrates God’s desire for us to see every situation and environment through the lens of His redemptive plan.
The kingdom of God is in the field He’s sent each of us into. It’s the treasure we must find in it, wherever we are. The field to Him has purpose and destiny, and He knows that finding the treasure in it is what will motivate us to redeem it.
This is what God has always wanted: The souls of man. The souls in your workplace, the souls in your family, the souls in your circle of friends. What will you give to take ownership of where they are found?
Jesus proceeds to confront the Pharisees with this question in Matthew 23:19, “Which is more important – the gift on the alter or the altar that makes the gift sacred?” The treasure in the field sanctifies it. Our ability to see the Kingdom of God in what people claim as barren land is what’s going to restore it to its original purpose.
What field are you standing on that God is challenging you to sell all and buy?
If you’ve committed your life to God’s hands, then you can rest assured that nothing in it is left to chance. I know that if at work I cultivate the willingness to lay down my life for those around me, see the gold in them, and demonstrate the love of Jesus, I form a (possibly crucial) part of His pursuit of them.
When it’s time to be brave, be brave. Don’t settle for love that is anything less.
But before all that, ask God to give you the eyes to see the treasure in that field. Therein you’ll find all the joy you need.