Today’s Devotional Verse: Matthew 13:44. The Kingdom of Heaven is Like Treasure!

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” (Matthew 13:44, NIV)
The kingdom of heaven is like unto a treasure hidden in the field; which a man found, and hid; and in his joy he goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field” (Mt 13:44, ASV)

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field” (Mt 13:44, KJV)

Seriously, any proclamation that puts out the message of gospel or salvation or Christ as the loss of joyful, glorious and happy life and embracing or beginning the journey or life of trouble, losses, sadness, pain, and unhappiness is a WRONG proclamation! 

The general message of the gospel is this; forsaking all ‘fake pleasures and perishing promises of this world’ for a greater gain, joy, and happiness (Christ). In other words, becoming a Christian is not losing; it’s gaining. It is not losing joy and happiness but gaining more and more. And nothing makes this message clearer as the parable of hidden treasure and pearl (Mt 13:44-46).

Read this as well;

Now let’s us examine the meaning of the verse before we apply it. As always, to understand the meaning of a verse, we are required to consider the immediate context (surrounding verses) and the larger context (of the author, audience, time period, and literature style plus the whole chapter or Bible’s context). So, let’s summarily do that;

When we look below and above our today’s verse, it’s clear Jesus was delivering message (s) concerning the Kingdom of God or of Heaven or of Christ and, notably, using parables. Concerning the phrase, the kingdom of God or heaven, Jesus was neither the first one nor the last one to use it. It had been used in older writings or by older prophets even before (for example, Daniel 7:14; 2:44; John used the same phrase in Matthew 3:1). 

Seriously, considering the context in which it (this phrase) is used can easily bring out the specific meaning or implication (the OT and NT implications seem to be a little different and yet they are NOT different at all). 

Anyway, here is the general meaning;

The kingdom of God or heaven or Christ is simply a reign of Christ (not a physical realm or place). It is a life, the Christian life under God’s guidance. It thus the life under God’s word or the gospel. It is the gospel. When someone says; go and teach the kingdom of God, the idea is this; go and talk of the gospel, preach the salvation and triumphant life ushered in by an everlasting kingdom or reign of Jesus or God. 

And considering our specific verse today, Jesus is talking of the Christian life (righteous living) or new life provided and nurtured by the gospel (God’s word). Let Paul define this for us; “for the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost” (Romans 14:17). 

Jesus is simply saying that living a Christian life or finding the new life as revealed in the gospel is like finding a treasure or a pearl, the most valuable thing compared to everything else.

Details: The message of the verse

The key words in this verse can as well be found elsewhere in the same gospels; the field (Mt 13:8-the sower sowing seeds), the man selling his possessions (Mt 19:21), and these references are all good to bring out the message. The man in Matthew chapter 19 goes home with sorrow after being told to sell everything, but this one here goes home and joyfully sells all he has to purchase the field and the treasure in it.

The man here on verse 44 finds the treasure with no effort (probably, by accident) but the same chapter, verse 45, brings out a man first doing the search until he lands on the pearl (the pearl he is already aware of) and immediately prepares and joyfully buys it. The general message we get from here is that our searching and all ‘self-denial’ actions in trying to find and live godly life can only yield results if God wills so and graciously allows us to find the pearl or treasure. 

Searching for the expensive pearl he already knew about signifies how a Christian who has already seen God’s goodness and glory is ready to give out anything that threatens his new opportunity. Isn’t it C.S Lewis that said that if we can see God’s glory we are tempted to worship? In other words, seeing the treasure leaves us with no choice but to worship!

Expanding this same truth, it is clear that when Jesus cited that it’s too hard for a rich man to go to heaven and His followers wondered how they would ever make it, the comfort is or was given; with man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible (Mt 19:26).

Our today’s devotional verse is simply unveiling the greatness and true value of finding new life in the gospel. And the call is that the gospel or the new life or Christianity is a treasure and any person (specifically, Christ’s follower) should be willing (joyfully) to let go of all worldly pleasures and projects that would stand in his way of enjoying and celebrating this life. 

And this ‘trade-off’ is exercised joyfully because the truth is that the man is not losing by letting go of worldly pleasures and fake promises of sin but gaining more and more. And if you wonder how this can even be possible, Jesus answers your worries; only God makes it possible for us.

Summary: The kingdom of God is a treasure

The gospel of Jesus Christ or the ‘chance’ of being among His sheep is something that is worthy of everything else. The trade-off implied in this verse doesn’t necessarily mean that this new Christian life through the gospel can be bought (it’s completely free of charge); it simply means that anyone who has been blessed to see the treasure or the pearl ends up in greater joy and true life than all the things in this world could offer. 

For this reason, the man hides the treasure or pearl (not to be translated as hiding the gospel from others but hiding it for safety and protection from all elements that are evil and enemies of such a life) and joyfully (mark that) goes and sells all he has to come and buy the field and the treasure in it.

The buying of the whole field implies a lot considering the ancient Israel laws regarding fields, in which everything else (in our case, treasure) in the field belonged to the owner of the field. So, buying a field with treasure might be hard if the seller knows about it and so the wise man simply bargains for the field (but he is actually not interested in the field, but the treasure in it). Can you think of any implication of this in our daily lives?

Also read this: Are you in the fight against charismatic and prosperity gospel preaching? Well, avoid falling into these 2 dangerous gospel extremes!

Listen, the devotional verse today reminds us that the gospel or true new Christian life under the reign of Christ or His word or the gospel is a treasure and expensive pearl. And we should devote our lives to searching and yearning and thirsting for this treasure discovery (working hard for the kingdom). 

I am saying that we should seek God in actions and thoughts that are good and, most especially, reading and studying His word. I hope, by now, you are conversant with how God’s grace works through our hard work so that in the end it’s not our work but His grace.

And after we have discovered the treasure, we should gloriously and joyfully be willing to let go of all that’s against our treasure. In other words, the discovery of the new life or the Word of God will ask us to sell off some items; some old behaviors, old thoughts, old evil actions and words, and the whole old life. And we should joyfully let go of all that for the opportunity of gaining Christ. Let Paul make that clear for us;

“But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, and be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; if by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead” (Philippians 3:7-11).

And this sacrificing should be joyful for we are not serving God in vain, but in thanksgiving for all he has done and is yet to do for us. It’s these priceless rewards and promises of God that are surpassing that make us prisoners of His love and enable us to happily let go of worldly pleasures for the sake of gaining Him, the true pleasures or joy of our souls.

And all the above is possible because God makes it possible for us. May you fall under this same favor this year? Yes, God bless you.


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Nemeyimana Nemvicx Vicent

Born from Uganda, Nemeyimana Vicent (Nemvicx) has become what people call, "coming from nothing to something". Professionally, he is both a nurse and public health officer and currently works with Mulago National Referral Hospital. In 2016, he wedded his wife and great sweetheart, Amulen Winfred (also a professional Midwife and counsellor). Besides their professions, Nemvicx is an inspirational writer, singer, motivational speaker, author of several digital books. He a theologian and blogger at (The Complete You Ministry).

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