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. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it (Matt 13:44-45).
Sometimes, when you read things in the Bible, you get very set in how you read things. And every once in a while, the Spirit switches your view for a second, showing you a new meaning. Because sometimes in all writing there’s a double entendre, but sometimes the second meaning isn’t as obvious until you change your viewpoint.
This was the case as I read these parables.
The Kingdom of God is absolutely precious. It is worth giving up your whole life to enter into God’s Kingdom. This is clearly what Jesus is getting at in these parables.
And the Bible talks at length about this sort of thing. “You must be born again.” “Take up your cross daily and follow me.” “I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.”
Over and over again, the message of the Bible is simple: gaining all of God requires giving up all of you.
But then there is the flip side, the second meaning. Look at the Kingdom of God from God’s point of view.
What is the Kingdom of God? The Kingdom of God is people; the people who have given themselves to Him, those who belong to Him.
The people for whom the Son died.
And that’s the thing: these parables don’t just illustrate how people should view the Kingdom of God, but how God views His people!
To God, you are a pearl of great price.
You are absolutely worth dying for. God has given Himself for you.
He doesn’t regret it. It wasn’t an accident.
You have value. God values you highly. That is the love of God.
It is a love so infinite it overcomes the gap between us and Him. He is perfect; we are not. He is all-powerful; we are not. He is all-knowing; we are not. Yet His love for you is so strong, it overcomes that gap.
“But,” you might protest, “I don’t deserve it!”
No, you don’t. But love can’t be deserved, now can it? Love can’t be earned.
If you have to earn love, it’s not love you’re getting.
Why do we try to earn God’s love?
I think a big part of it is that being loved when you don’t deserve it is scary. It’s something that’s so beyond us, it frightens us. We’re not the center of it anymore. We’re not in control.
We go on and on about our relationship with God, but we forget that God has a relationship with us. That he’s the one who initiated it. That he’s the one who loves us more, who loves us better, and who loves us more completely. And that scares us.
But it’s the truth.
And the sooner you realize that, the better your relationship with God will be.
Stop wasting your time trying to earn what you already have. Stop wasting your time trying to make God love you. Stop wasting your time trying to be loved by God on your own terms.
All you’re doing is keeping your distance from Him.
The fact is, God loves you completely. And there’s nothing you can do about it.