Summary: The message of salvation enriches our lives.
TWO STORIES, ONE RESPONSE
“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 the field.
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it” (Matthew 13: 44 – 46).
Here we have two simple stories that anyone could tell. Two stories about two men. One man was not what you would consider rich - a field worker. The other man was slightly better positioned in life, he was a pearl merchant. Both men were about their work for the day, one working hard in a field preparing the ground for cultivation, the other was looking for fine and beautiful pearls. As one man is digging up the field maybe with a plough, his disturbing of the earth brings to the surface treasure. The other man employed in his trade discovers a sizeable and beautiful pearl. Both men make a find and what a find! One man made his discovery by accident or chance, the other man made his discovery in a place that was most likely to offer such a fined. The only common element in the two stories is that the two men went away sold everything they had and made the purchase. The treasure in the field, and the pearl of great price were worth all the energy and expense to be had.
These two stories are not just stories, but are stories that have meaning and significance. Meaning and significance for us today as well! The men were going about their daily activity. They were engaged in making a living for themselves and maybe for their families. They possibly got up in the morning and thought this day would be like any other day. They left home that day to do what they normally did, a day in the field, and a day trading. How many times had they left home and nothing exciting had take place? How many long hours had they laboured without joy (v. 44) and satisfaction (v. 45)? How many times had they felt exhausted after their days work for little return? It is the extreme ordinariness of these men’s lives that allow us to identify with them – the labourer and the businessman. It is the ordinariness of their lives that should be noted. There was nothing inherently special about them.
Whilst there was nothing particularly important about these two men, their very ordinary day became an extra-ordinary one. We also can identify with that! How many times have we wished that our day would offer up some pleasant surprise - that the dreariness and drudgery of the day could be exchanged for some measure of happiness?
We are ordinary people! Some of us are unskilled or semi skilled workers, others are business people and professionals, but our days can become very different days, by making a discovery.
What is it that can make our lives different? What is it that can bring joy? What is it that can bring immense satisfaction? The truth is, joy and satisfaction are found in the message of the Kingdom – the message of the gospel – the message of salvation. Do you need to be surprised by joy? Are you satisfied with life?
The two men did not mistake what they had found. And we need to explore their response. They exchanged all that was theirs, things of value, things that were important, things that they had already achieved, to have the hidden treasure, the pearl of great value. They were prepared to forfeit, surrender, or give up that which was theirs to make that which was not theirs their own. The things that once had value and worth could not be compared to the discoveries that they each made. Nothing can be compared to the discovery of salvation. Are you prepared to surrender ‘all’ to possess salvation?
The things that the men sold were valuable to others, however the treasure of the field and the pearl in the trader’s shop were obviously of greater value for it took all the realised wealth of the two men to make them theirs. The two men saw in what they were gaining all that would make life better for them. The message of salvation can only enrich our lives. Do you need to enrich your life?
Is this day only going to be another uneventful day? Or is this day going to hold a new joy and greater satisfaction?