The legend of El Dorado, a mythical city of gold, attracted many explorers to South America during the Age of Exploration. Conquistadors and adventurers embarked on perilous journeys searching for this fabled treasure. Like the Eldorado seekers, we can search for ultimate fulfillment from sketchy sources that drain our souls instead of filling them with treasures only Jesus can provide.
In the enlightening parable below, Jesus explains how obtaining the immeasurable worth of God's kingdom is the source of ultimate fulfillment in a sea of options.
“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. “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. (NIV, Mt 13:44–46)
In this parable, both men accidentally discover the treasure of surpassing value. And so it is with us, engaged in our daily agendas, God pursues us and reveals His kingdom when we least expect.
Whether we are a day-laborer working the fields, a wealthy trader, or somewhere in between, the Father wants to reveal the immeasurable worth of his kingdom to you. Though the kingdom is available to everyone, not all will find it. Jesus said, "The time has come, the kingdom of heaven is at hand, repent and believe the good news!" (Mark 1:15)
What Jesus means is that we must turn from our sin and believe the good news that He is our means of rescue from the curse of sin. His death satisfies God's wrath against our rebellion and His resurrection assures us victory over death. This beautiful gift of grace is worth everything we have.
One man unexpectedly finds the treasure hidden in a field and is immediately struck with its value, so much so that he sells everything to purchase the entire field.
The merchant is searching for pearls of value and is surprised to find one so valuable he extravagantly releases his considerable worth to make one pearl his own. Both men consolidate and release all their assets instead of trying to obtain the treasure.
This is what it looks like when God works in our lives. We discover that everything else pales in comparison and release our self-pursuits to bring all that we have under the Father's ownership.
The whole field in this parable refers to everything that comes with ownership - hardship, loss, persecution, and rejection. Yet the surpassing joy of finding God's kingdom transcends them all.
This joy is realized when we understand that God the Father spared no expense to rescue us from the shame and curse of sin. He sacrificed His only Son so we could be eternally reconciled to Him. Paul writes of God's sacrificial and grace-filled pursuit when he says,
"You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:6–8)
In light of God’s love and sacrifice on our behalf, let us invest everything we have for Him and receive the ultimate fulfillment that only becoming part of His kingdom can bring.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for pursuing us while we were still rebels, revealing your matchless kingdom and eternal purpose for our lives. Teach us to remove every substitute that keeps us from the joy of experiencing your plan for us. Help us to always look to you when we experience hardship or loss, reminding us that our hope and ultimate fulfillment is in you alone.
1. Do you believe that God is inviting you to experience His grand kingdom? Why or why not?
2. Are there any material goods or personal pursuits that have become a barrier to your securing the true treasure of God’s kingdom?
3. What is the Holy Spirit saying to you about trusting Jesus’ work on your behalf to reconcile you with God?
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (ESV, Mt 11:28–30)
And a ruler asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery, Do not murder, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother.’ ” And he said, “All these I have kept from my youth.” When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” (ESV, Lk 18:18–22.)
Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me. I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (ESV, Jn 16:32–33)