Summary: Where yoour Treasure is, your Heart is also
† In the Name of Jesus †
Does Familiarity breed contempt?
Grace and peace is yours, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ!
On any given Friday, people leave the greater Los Angeles area, in search of great treasure. They will travel for nearly six hours, maybe more, across the rugged southern Mohave desert, across the border into Nevada, and eventually end up in a city, where nothing is real. They will often leave, disappointed in their search for treasure, insistent on the date of the next excursion, sure that on that trip, they will find the great treasure that they seek. Millions of people make this journey, but few are ever satisfied.
Four hundred and eighty nine years ago from this Tuesday, a man who had re-discovered a treasure that he had never seen before, stood at a door, with a invitation that he was going to post to all who were interested. The treasure was not just for him, but for all that would hear. A treasure that would change lives, that would change his country, and eventually change your life and mine. His journey, was not measured by miles, but time, and persecution. And those who heard, millions in the nearly five hundred years, have received that treasure.
The last journey happened last year, when for as many hours as it takes to drive to Las Vegas, people walked through the mountains. To celebrate the arrival of a great treasure. We have seen pictures of that day, and read of the great celebration, as the Kobon people received Bibles, for the very first time in their language. They came in great expectation, and left fulfilled. Two men were their that day, and celebrated along with the Kobon. One was from the Haruai, the other from the Ti peoples. And both while celebrating for the Kobon people’s great treasure, longed for the day when they too, would have the precious gospel, the good news of Jesus the Messiah, in their language, for their people.
Which journey shall we take?
I often think that in today’s culture, the concept of familiarity breeding contempt is too often applied to our faith. Would we value the Bible, and spend more time devouring its message, if we had to travel to Las Vegas to get “a” Bible? Would we spend more time in church, and at Bible studies, if we had only just discovered that God loves us, like He loves the people in other areas?
Or would we still be like the disciples in today’s gospel story? Who thought themselves free, but who didn’t have a clue to the life that was waiting for them?
Perhaps, in looking at their situation, in seeing what Jesus taught them, we can develop in us, the fire and desire for God’s word, that seems to be prevalent in those people, who would travel six hours, to see a Bible in their language for the first time…
The Word ignored, the road to slavery
The nature of sins bondage
Without knowledge of sin’s weakness how can we escape
The disciples of Jesus had a very unique advantage over us, and those who have received Christ since. They knew He was coming, and they knew the prophecies that told of Him, and how He would restore the people of Israel, how He would free them from the bonds of sin. It was a prayer of the young women of Israel, that they would be the one, through whom the savior would be born. Young men often spent a lot of time, looking for the Messiah, investigating every person who claimed to be Him.
How did they miss the treasure? How could they not see that Jesus would free them, as He revealed the Truth of who He was?
How do we miss it? I mean, how many people in this room, have their own Bible? Some of us have more Bibles than we have televisions! Side note, I do have to wonder what the Kobon, Haraui, and Ti people would say, if they could see my office, with three bookshelves of different Bibles.
How often do peopel abide in that word of God? How often do people read Old Testament books like Ezekiel, which is cram packed with references to Jesus, or the Book of Philippians, which tells us of Christ’s great love for us? There are opportunities, great opportunities to study God’s word together!
We live in a world, that like the disciples of Jesus, are captive to sin. They are not free to live, but are slaves to temptation, to sin which scripture describes as that which would ensnare us. That would enslave us, and imprison us, and use cages of guilt and shame to wreck our lives, both now, and eternally.