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Friday, 21 August 2020 Matthew 13:44-58

"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." - Matthew 13:44 [ESV]

The Parables of the Hidden Treasure and the Pearl are a pair. Both can be likened to how we find the kingdom of God. The man working the field finding treasure represents the group of people who in their daily routine of life suddenly come across Jesus. God gives them the chance of a lifetime to come to the true knowledge of Christ Jesus. The merchant in the Pearl Parable can be compared to one who is in search of truth. He keeps on searching for truth in various religions and philosophies and in his quest ultimately comes to the life-changing truth. True encounter with the Truth-(nothing but Jesus Himself) is a total transformation. All the blessings that a man can think of, is in Christ. Hence a real encounter brings in real change of life. This in turn leads to a total life surrender to Christ.

In comparison to the blessings we get, the things we may have to let go in life is nothing at all. We may even lose many beloved relations for gaining Christ. Paul wrote in Phil.3:8: “Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ.” But the soul which has found the true joy will not let go of his or her joy at any cost because it has found the real joy and real love. This is why true discipleship needs total surrender, not out of compulsion, but by seeing the treasure. Once a person's eyes are opened to the treasure, there is no compulsion on a person in choosing the path of true discipleship. A true disciple will pay the price to gain this treasure. The price tag for this treasure is nothing but “all that he has." Whatever it may be, a person who has found this treasure will keep it at any cost.

Then the following verses which demand total surrender won’t be burdensome: "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple." (Luke 14:26-27) "So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple." (Luke 14:33) Hence true discipleship needs total surrender: total surrender in all areas of life.

We are given the choice of having the treasure of knowing Christ or the pleasures of this world, which is nothing but vanity. A person who has found this treasure and whose eyes have been fixed on Jesus will never abandon this precious gift even at the cost of his own life. The martyrs for Jesus in church history have paid with their life for this treasure. Missionaries who labor for the Lord in various mission fields, far away from their loved ones, working under hostile conditions are also driven by this great passion- a passion the world will never understand. As you meditate today’s Scripture, ask yourself: ‘Have I really found this treasure? Am I willing to pay all that I have to attain it?’ If you are willing, then you are a true disciple of Jesus! Salvation is a free gift from God but true discipleship is costly.

Prayer: “Dear Father in heaven we pray that the eyes of our heart may be enlightened that we may know the hope to which You have called us and the riches of Your glorious inheritance in the saints.” Amen

Listen: 'All that I am'

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