Good Shepherd Lutheran

Real Treasure – Matthew 13:44
God hides spiritual treasures in unexpected places, but faithful Christians see it and realize that nothing compares to the surpassing worth of the kingdom. Unfortunately, most of us seem willing to settle for treasures that are too small.
Sin shrinks the soul until we hope for too little. So, we pass the treasure field never suspecting what might be there. That’s why, when we have problems, we see ourselves as sufferers needing a solution, not sinners needing salvation.
We come to God when we have a relative that needs healing, or a new job we really want, or a family problem that hurts. We’re suffering, but we think we just need that one solution. A quick miracle, like a genie in a lamp. So, we rub the lamp with a quick prayer and expect God to pop out an answer.
But what if the quick fixes we’re asking for push us away from a far greater reward? What if we’re not, essentially, sufferers, but sinners? What if the thing we really need isn’t a quick solution to a problem, but salvation? What if God wants us to give up our small ambitions to give us a treasure?
True Christianity requires a change in essence, not just degree. To be a Christian means to enter a new reality and join a new kingdom. There’s no middle ground. No remaining worldly while having a religious hobby on the side.
This parable is about a kingdom. And a kingdom has a king, and that King is not us. It’s about trading self-sovereignty for God’s sovereignty. We must choose who we’re going to serve because no one can serve two masters. So, who is your King?
Most Americans accept the Bible right along with other great spiritual writings. But press them about the details, on the hard stuff, and they’ll finally admit that they don’t believe or practice those.
The Smithsonian has an 86-page Bible, created by Thomas Jefferson. In Jefferson’s severely abridged version he says that he sought to excise passages “of vulgar ignorance, of things impossible, or superstitions, fanaticisms, and fabrications.” It seems stories of angels, wise men, and the resurrection couldn’t survive Jefferson’s scissors.
It’s worth noting that after Jefferson completed his editing of the Bible, he wrote to a friend that his version, “…is a document in proof that I am a real Christian, that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus,” despite the fact that he seemed to think he was a better editor than either God or Jesus.
Most of us are like Jefferson. We cut out the tough parts and use the rest to prove our faith. Entering the kingdom of God isn’t just adding some self-help techniques to your life. It’s about relinquishing self. Jesus isn’t asking us what we’re willing to lose to get the kingdom. He’s asking us how much we value what we’ll gain. And that’s our real treasure.