Today’s Scripture – January 2, 2017

Matthew 13:44 (NIV) “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.

This parable of the treasure talks about the great value of God’s kingdom.  But the value of the treasure was not readily apparent, and many people walked past that piece of ground without seeing a thing that would make them take a second look.

This man, however, was different.  He had eyes that noticed something that the rest had missed.  He turned aside from his way, and took the time to investigate, to dig down below the surface to what was buried there.  And what he found blew him away!  It was the most amazing treasure imaginable.

This treasure was not a chest of gold, but more like a gold mine.  A chest could have been carried away all at once and spent.  But a gold mine would continue to bear its riches to the one who owned the land for a whole lifetime and beyond, IF that person was willing to diligently work it.

The man was so sure of the ultimate worth of what he had discovered that he bought the land, even though it cost him everything that he had, and he felt really good about it.  He knew that what he had discovered in his early explorations had only scratched the surface of the riches that were stored up there.

In the same way, those who had eyes to see beyond the surface of who Jesus was and what He was teaching could get a glimpse of the unimaginable riches of the kingdom of God.  Those riches are not things that can be taken quickly, or be bought, or sold, or traded for the riches of the world.  Instead, they are deep riches that will continue to bear spiritual fruit in the person who is willing to put forth the time and effort to mine them out.  And those riches are far more than a person can gather in a whole lifetime of digging.

Those people who could see the potential for these great riches, among them the disciples of Jesus, were willing to give up all that they had, to leave behind land, and home, and family, and jobs, and felt really good about it.  Even the glimpse of the heavenly things revealed to them by Jesus had convinced them that there were breathtaking things to be seen below the surface.  It was a treasure beyond all value.

Father, for those of us with eyes that see and ears that hear, it is easy to see that the treasure of Your kingdom reaches far beyond mere salvation.  That is the door, to be sure.  But there is a whole kingdom life beyond that door. A life to be lived in relationship with You, starting here and now, and reaching all the way to forever.  It is a gold mine of life that is long, high, and wide, and deep, a life that is really life to the full.  And it is a life that has been worth all that I ever had, or ever will have, to possess it.  Your kingdom really is a treasure of infinite worth!  Thank you for it.  Amen.


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