“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.” Matthew 13:44
You may have heard the adage, “You are so heavenly minded that you are of no earthly good.” My guess is that it originated to describe people who claimed to be spiritual but never really did anything for Jesus. That’s a struggle that we all face; It’s a lot easier to talk the talk without walking the walk.
But the problem is not that we are too focused on the kingdom of heaven. It’s that we are not focused enough. Jesus’ words in this short parable show as that when we truly grasp the kingdom of heaven, we will do whatever it takes to obtain it.
What is the kingdom of heaven? Matthew is the only gospel that uses the phrase “kingdom of heaven.” It is interchangeable with the phrase used by the other gospel writers, “kingdom of God.” It’s much more than the after-life. It is the presence of God here and now.
This kingdom was ushered in by Jesus Christ. John the Baptist knew this when he preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 3:2). Matthew goes on to identify John the Baptist as “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord; make his paths straight.’”
Later on in chapter 3 Jesus identifies himself as the fulfillment of the messianic prophecies: “‘The people dwelling in darkness have seen a great light, and for those dwelling in the region and shadow of death, on them a light has dawned.’ From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.’”
The treasure of God’s kingdom is Jesus.
If you are reading this, you are probably a Christian. And you are probably thinking, “Well, yeah. This is basic stuff: Jesus is everything.” If Jesus is your treasure, there is no sacrifice too great for Him. What is keeping you from that field? Is it money? Comfort? Popularity? A career?
I think a lot of us feel stuck. We have tasted the sweetness of the gospel. We have been redeemed by a gracious God. But all too often we have traded in the treasure of Jesus for lesser things. According to Jesus, there is no middle ground. If He is not your treasure, something else is your idol.
Don’t settle for lesser things. Notice that the man in this parable not only sacrificed everything, he did it joyfully. He, like Paul, counted all things loss for the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus the Lord (Philippians 3:8). I plead with you to do the same, for there is no true joy apart from Christ.
Some more resources on this topic…
Don’t Waste Your Life: A sermon on Philippians 1 preached by Tyler Recker at NewBranch
Don’t Waste Your Life: Book by John Piper (FREE PDF version)
Crazy Love: Book by Francis Chan
Radical: Book by David Platt. I have yet to read it but it has been highly recommended