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Treasure in the Most Unlikely Place

Tue, Jan 15, 2013

Identity

Pearl of Great Price‘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.’  (Mt 13:44–46, NIV)

Finding God is a bit like the men in the above two parables discovering treasure or finding a pearl of great price.  God’s told us to ‘seek first his kingdom and his righteousness’ (Mt 6:33, NIV), and that we will find him when we seek him will all our heart (Jer 29:13, NIV).

But nowhere are we told to keep God a secret, like the first man hiding the treasure again after finding it.  Nor can we buy the kingdom of God, like the man who bought the field or the other that bought the pearl, even if we were to sell everything we have.  I’ve always thought these two aspects of the above parables were a little odd.  Of course, it wasn’t that Jesus gave a couple of sketchy, imprecise parables.  It was my understanding of the parables that was the problem – I got things the wrong way around.

We are the treasure; we are the pearl of great price.

Because it was Jesus who first sought us out, like a shepherd after lost sheep.  He came  ‘…to seek and to save what was lost’ (Lk 19:10, NIV), which is us.

And Jesus redeemed us, bought us, by giving all he had: himself.  It is sung of him in Revelations,  ‘… You [Jesus, the Lamb of God] are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.”’ (Rev 5:9, NIV)

And finally, like buried treasure, God’s plan for our salvation was a mystery hidden from the beginning, only fully revealed when the purchase of our souls was completed.  Otherwise, as the apostle Paul notes, Satan and his forces would not have crucified Christ, inadvertently selling us back to God.  It was all part of God’s grand design, his ‘…secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began.  None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.’ (1 Cor 2:7-8, NIV)

We love God because he first loved us; because he sought us and found us, and gave all he had to redeem us.  We are the treasure, the pearl of great price.  And more than that, we are his.

— Joey

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    A Question of Law

    Fri, Apr 12, 2013

    3 Comments

    In a dispensation of grace, what kind of law – including penalties and punishments – should Christians apply among themselves?

    And with the separation of Church and State, what kind of law should Christians promote for their country, that would govern both Christians and non-Christians?

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