Our Lord emphasized the value and joy of finding the reign of God, the risks we need to be willing to take, and the need to be learned in the reign of God.
The man who discovered the treasure in a field took some risks in getting the field. He sold all he had and bought the field. When the merchant found one really valuable pearl, he risked abandoning all the others, and invested in that one valuable pearl. Jesus wants us to take risks for the kingdom’s treasure, which leads to some rather complex questions and implications for our lives.
While Jesus stresses the joy of the man who found the treasure in the field, and the merchant who found the pearl of great price, he didn’t want to leave out the sacrifice and the risks both took. And after finding the valuable treasurers, they had to figure out how to protect and use them. That demanded continuing sacrifice and risks for them. People would try to take the valuables from them, or try to get them to believe they were not as valuable as they thought. They would have to be very clever and discerning with them.
The Lord asks us about the joy we find in the kingdom, and how much sacrifice and risk we are willing to take for it. These are not easy questions. Many don’t know how much they are willing to sacrifice and risk for the kingdom. Some are willing to sacrifice even their lives; others not at all.
What treasured personal possessions would you-or have you-let go of for the treasure of the kingdom? The joy of the men who found valuable treasures overshadowed the sacrificial risks they made, and continued to make.
There is a field of a treasure in the life of every believer. It may be covered over, unrecognized, forgotten, or ignored, but it is still present and near. Jesus tells us the kingdom of God is within us. “Seek first the kingdom of God and His kingship over you and all other things will be given besides.” There really isn’t anything more valuable in life than the Lord and the kingdom of God.
How many people are learned-educated-smart-wise-in the reign of God? We know many are learned in math, science, law, medicine, and business. It’s possible to be learned in those fields, and unlearned or even ignorant in the field of the kingdom of God, which is the most important area of knowledge to which everyone is called.
Many have questions about life, the scriptures, the Church, moral life-what’s right or wrong, but it doesn’t seem to occur to many to pray for wisdom, or to seek to be learned in spiritual and faith matters. “Give your servant an understanding heart…to distinguish right from wrong”. God approves such a prayer, and its sure to be answered. What do we pray for? Many pray for a long life, for riches, for security. How many pray for a life lived under the lordship of Jesus Christ, a life lived constantly seeking the spiritual treasures of the kingdom?
The learned person in the reign of God knows how to live a moral life, a compassionate life, a serving life, a praying life, and a truthful life. If such a life did not demand sacrifice and taking spiritual risks, there would be many more living such a life. Jesus had the mind, and the heart of His Father and His kingdom. He wants us to have the knowledge of the Father, who wants to give us the kingdom that is in Jesus.
Those who are ignorant of the kingdom of God reverse values. Gold and riches are more important to them than the law of God and the Lord; their own selfish interests more important than sharing and service. Those who seek the kingdom and spiritual riches are considered misguided, stupid, or foolish. To the learned of the reign of God, they can see how the Lord makes all things work together for good for those who love God.
Living by Gospel standards and seeking the kingship of Christ over our life, and following the Lord, is the way to be learned in the reign of God. This life is short at its longest, and we don’t know how long we have to live on the earth. The spiritually wise don’t waste time on useless and passing treasures when they can pursue and have the permanent treasure of the kingdom of heaven.
Be willing to sacrifice and risk losing lesser treasures for greater ones of the kingdom of God!