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Day 14

Day 14

Author: Nathan Shev
June 25, 2020

 

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 he had and bought that field. (Matthew 13:44.)

 

The parable of the hidden treasure is one of my favorites. In only two sentences, it provides a picture of the kingdom of heaven that I often return to for perspective and encouragement.

One part of the parable has recently caught my attention. After finding the treasure, the man sold all he had to obtain it, and we are told that he did this in his joy. It’s easy for me to gloss over that phrase and to focus instead on what the man did. Of course the man was in his joy after finding hidden treasure. Who wouldn’t be?

But the more I think about it, the more significant the phrase seems. The man was in his joy because he found treasure worth all he had and more. His joy was found in the worth of the treasure, and nothing—not even parting with all he had—could take that joy away.

Yet if joy is the obvious response to hidden treasure in a field, how much more should I be in my joy as a follower of Jesus. The hidden treasure is merely a symbol of something greater. The Apostle Paul called knowing Christ “the surpassing greatness,” and his response to that surpassing greatness was to count everything as loss so that he could “gain Christ and be found in him.” (Philippians 3:8–9.) Through everything he endured, including whippings, beatings, stonings, and imprisonment, Paul was determined to share in Christ’s sufferings and “press on toward the goal.”

Paul not only pressed on but he did so with joy. His letter to the Philippians, though written from prison, is filled with references to joy and rejoicing, and near the end of the letter, he exhorted the Philippians to “rejoice in the Lord always.” (Philippians 4:4.) It is that exhortation to rejoice in the Lord that takes us back to the man’s joy in the parable. Just as the man’s joy was found in the worth of the hidden treasure, so our joy is found in the Lord—a resilient joy that sustains even through loss and mourning because in Christ we have, unlike any other treasure, “an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade” and is “kept in heaven” for us. (1 Peter 1:4.)

 

Prayer

 

Father, I pray that you will give me a Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that I may know you better. I pray that the eyes of my heart may be enlightened so that I may know the hope to which you have called me, the riches of your glorious inheritance, and your incomparably great power for us who believe. And I pray that my love will abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that I may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God. Amen.

(Adapted from Ephesians 1:17–19 and Philippians 1:9–11.)


Nathan Shev


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