Have you ever had something cross your path in life that you just had to have and you would do ANYTHING to get it? You constantly daydream about it. It consumes your mind at work and while lying in bed at night. It may have been a car, a house, clothing, or some “treasure” that you just can’t forget about. Maybe it was a relationship with someone that you wanted so badly that it consumed your thoughts and dreams. At some point in our lives, it would be safe to say that the majority of us have had that “treasure” that was just too irresistible to let slip out of our hands. In an illustration known as a parable that Jesus was sharing with His followers, He uses the concept of “irresistible treasure” to explain salvation. This is what He says:
“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. The in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys the field. –Matthew 13:44 ESV
In this parable, Jesus tells of a man that finds treasure that is so valuable to him that he immediately covers it back up for safekeeping. This may sound crazy, but in a time in history in which banks and safety deposit boxes were nonexistent, this makes perfect sense! This treasure is extremely important to him, and he wants it secure. For us, this would be the equivalent of our “irresistible thing” that keeps us awake at night. Once we get our hands on that prize, we are going to do everything we can to safeguard it! Now, this is where things get crazy! The man is so overjoyed that he has found this treasure that, not only does he hide it for safekeeping, but he goes and sells all his possessions to buy the field that the treasure is hidden in. This is where things get crazy, because, there may be things in life that we want, but there aren’t too many things, if anything at all, that we would be willing to give up all our possessions to get. However, this man is willing to give up ALL to gain this treasure. No questions asked! The question is: What would be so wonderful that it would warrant giving up everything to gain? The answer is simple and Jesus gives it right at the beginning: The kingdom of heaven. In modern language: Salvation.
What is Jesus saying in this parable? He is saying that there is a treasure that is worth sacrificing every worldly possession that we could ever own to gain and that is the salvation that He gives. Why is salvation that valuable? What is it about salvation that makes it more precious than anything we could ever own? First, salvation reaches beyond the time restraints of this life and goes with us into eternity. Jim Elliott, the great missionary and martyr, said,
“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep, to gain that which he cannot lose.”
See, your cars, your money, your gold, and your fame cannot go with you into eternity. Once this life ends, your possessions end with it. However, salvation is the one thing that matters after this life ends. It is the ONLY thing that matters! When we stand before God, we will not be able to buy our way into heaven, but we will be able to enter based on faith in Jesus Christ. That will be the only currency that matters. Second, salvation is beyond the value of any other treasure because of the relationship with Christ that comes with it. Jesus said in John 17:3 ESV, “And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” Eternal and meaningful life is not found in the treasures of this world, but it is found in the relationship that we have with God through Jesus Christ His Son. In that relationship is an abundance of peace and joy. That treasure is worth giving up everything we could ever consider valuable here on earth to gain. That is treasure that matters!