Saturday, July 07, 2007

Treasure Hunt

Before I get into the "meat" of this post, I feel like I should make a disclaimer....
I've never been to seminary, never formally studied the bible, or studied how to study the bible. I'm not an expert in biblical interpretation, what follows is just an idea - one that requires further study and reflection - but an idea none-the-less.

I was running the other day and for some reason the parables about the Kingdom of Heaven popped into my head. I started thinking about the way those parables are always taught and interpreted, and wondering if there wasn't another facet that we're missing.

Matthew 13:45-46 says "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."

I've always heard this parable interpreted as an example of how we should respond to the Gospel, to God's Kingdom - that we should be willing to give up everything we have in order to receive the Gospel. And I agree with that teaching. But I also think there's more.

Consider these passages from 1Corinthians- 6:20 "you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body." 7:23 - "You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men."

Just like the pearl is bought in the parable from Matthew 13, so we have been bought.

When Jesus says in Matthew 13:45 that the kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls, who's the merchant? And who's the fine pearl?

We can't buy the kingdom of Heaven. If every human on earth pooled our resources, we'd still not have enough to buy the kingdom of Heaven. How do you purchase something whose value is limitless?

Jesus, however, did pay a price. God paid a price. Our very souls were purchased that day at "the place called the Skull".

Are we the treasure? And is God the merchant Who's willing to "sell all He has"? Truly, Jesus gave up everything to come and do what He did. He not only endured the cross, but also being forsaken by God - something Jesus Himself promised He would never to do us. He's paid a far greater price than we ever will or can.

If this interpretation is plausible, what does it say about our value? And what does it say about God's love?

I believe it says that we immeasurably valuable, and the price for our souls could only be paid by One Who has immeasurable resources. It says that God has such passionate love for His people, that He's willing to pay any price so that He can know them. I believe it says that God will go to any lengths to purchase the fine pearl that is the soul of person.

I believe this line of thinking can go further. What is the purpose of buying something of great value? There can be several purposes. One is to invest it, get a return on the price you paid. Could that mean that God intends for us to invest our lives into the lives of others? How do you get a "good return" on a purchased soul? By investing it in the purchase of other souls?
Another purpose for buying something valuable is to enjoy it; to have it near you in order to enjoy it's beauty and value. Could it be that our very presence is a delight to God? Some would say that the purpose of buying something valuable is to show it off. Do you think God "shows us off" to Heaven's residents? Proudly boasting about these things of beauty which cost Him so much and with which He's so deeply in love?

I believe that we are the treasure. We are the treasure that is sought, that is delighted in when found, and was purchased with "all" the Merchant had to give. He paid a great price because He understands, better than we ever will, how valuable we truly are.


Blogger Cheryl said...

I am on your page, sister. Good thoughts!

5:24 PM  

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