MERELY VISITING THE FIELD
(Parables of Eternity Series Slide)
Good morning everybody. My name is David Sorn, and I’m the Lead Pastor here.
This morning, we are going to tackle two of Jesus’ most challenging parables.
And I don’t mean that the understanding them is challenging, I mean that implementing and obeying them is incredibly challenging.
Jesus is going to call us to a radical faith.
But He’s going to show you why it’s worth it.
But this will be challenging along the way.
Ready?? Let’s take a look
Everybody grab a Bible. We are in Matthew chapter 13.
We are in a series called “Parables of Eternity” where we are teaching through Matthew chapter 13 in the Bible.
If you are unfamiliar with what a parable is, it is simply a story or illustration that teaches a main point or a principle.
We are taking a look at 2 very short parables today
We’re going to start at verse 44.
(Matthew 13:44-46) – NIV
44 “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.
45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. 46 When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.
So Jesus again this week telling parables about the Kingdom of Heaven.
This is a phrase that is interchangeable with “The Kingdom of God”
And these are Jesus’ phrases for what life should be like when God reigns as King in our hearts and lives.
(Sell it All Title Slide)
In the 2nd parable Jesus says that God’s Kingdom is like a pearl of such great value, that when the merchant found it, he sold everything he had to get it.
Pearls in those days were incredibly valuable.
In part, because they didn’t have the diving equipment we had today.
If you wanted to get a pearl out of the sea, you’d tie heavy rocks to yourself to help you sink down farther at first, and hopefully find a pearl, and then hopefully you could hold your breath long enough to get loose from your rocks and fine a pearl.
They were so rare that they were worth their weight in gold.
And Jesus makes a similar point about value in the Parable of the hidden treasure…the treasure that was buried in a field.
It sounds weird to bury treasure in a field, but it wasn’t weird at all in those days.
There were no banks, so if you wanted to keep your money safe (especially if your town was being attacked…as happened quite often), you would bury your money before an attacking army came.
And sometimes a person would die in the attack, and no one knew that they had buried their money…and thus, hidden treasure.
And so the man in the parable sells everything he owns to buy that field, because the treasure is worth infinitely more than everything he already owns!
And Jesus is teaching that this is what the Kingdom of God is like.
When you get forgiven, and get in a real relationship with God…and you let Him lead you…and you walk in His love…as He leads you towards eternity together with Him in heaven.
That is infinitely better than anything this world can give you.
And if we could see that, really see it, there is nothing we wouldn’t give up to get it.
But do you believe that?
I mean actually believe it?
I think for many American Christians we tend to be more like the person who is out wandering in a field, and we see this treasure of Jesus…
And we think, “Ooo…I’d like to add that one to my treasure collection! It looks great! I could get some more happiness out of it, some peace, and maybe God WOULD be good to “add” to my life.
But what happens for most of us is we begin to read the terms and conditions of what being a follower of Jesus really is…
And we read that God doesn’t want to just be a nice addition to what’s already in your life, but He wants to be over all of your life
To be King.
He wants to be over your thoughts, your time, your finances, your actions, your relationships, your heart, the direction of your life.
This is one of our Core values: We Put God…First.
Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you quit your job, give away all of your possessions, and spend every last second sharing with people about Jesus.
Biblically what this means is that we should say, “King Jesus, here is my life:
“There is no area of it that is off limits to your Word and your will.
“There is nowhere you could ask me to go, that I wouldn’t go.
“ And there is nothing you could ask me to give up for you, and I wouldn’t “sell it all” for you, because you are infinitely more worthy.
That’s living as if He is Who He Says He is.
By the way, just to be absolutely clear: when I say “sell” today or “sell it all,” I’m not talking literally about selling possessions or giving money.
It’s a metaphor about letting go of anything (now, I suppose it could be money), but for most of us, it’s letting go of any action, any habit, sin, negative influence that is keeping us from going after Jesus.
But let me tell you what happens to most of us as we hear this Biblical call of Jesus to radical followership.
Most of us feel that this call of Jesus is such an exorbitant price to pay…and that it could cost us too much
And so most Christians (and truthfully, many who think of themselves as Christians, but aren’t), many people end up stuck…right here
You’ve caught a glimpse of the treasure.
You know it’s good. You know it’s REALLY good.
But to get it, to live in it, to truly enjoy its life…its reward
You know you’d have to into town, sell your donkey, sell your house, sell it all…
And put Jesus as King above absolutely EVERYTHING in your life.
And so most of hesitate right there.
And we think, “Well, I don’t know if I want give up this…or doing that…or give my time firstly to this…”
And so let me tell you what a lot of us do…we just come out to the land with the treasure (about once a week) …and take a look at it…
Maybe we even take it out for an hour, sing some songs about it, study it a little bit, and it makes us happy.
And we think, “Maybe I’ll buy the whole field…but then I’d have to give up…….nah, that’s too hard, and they just go home.”
Until we think about it again next week, and we enjoy it, and yet feel bad that they’re not really bought it…
And a good portion of the American Church is just STUCK in this lukewarm cycle of one foot in and one foot out.
SELL IT ALL FOR JESUS
But I pray as you read God’s Word today, that there is something inside of you that says, “I don’t want to do that anymore”
That there is something inside of you that says, “No matter how much it might cost me, I will sell any part of my life that is getting in the way of me really walking with “Jesus my Treasure.”
And what is that? What’s getting in the way?
For some of us the part of us we’re hesitant to sell off to truly be with Jesus is a pattern of sin.
Maybe it’s an addiction you’ve let hang around too long…or the way you treat another person.
But hear me: Jesus is the most worthy.
There is no sinful habit you have, no sinful show you’re watching, there is no gossip that you’re sharing, there is no bitterness that you’re holding, no sinful app that you downloaded, no non-believer that you’re dating, no affair you’ve having,
There is NOTHING that is of greater worth than Jesus Christ.
Whatever it is you are holding on to or hiding, I urge you, sell it
Sell it like the man who sold all he had so he could get to Jesus.
Sell it all
For others of us, it’s not a sinful habit that is stopping us from selling it all to follow Jesus, it’s a problem of never wanting to be inconvenienced.
We KNOW…that if we were to take a risk…and give our whole lives over to Jesus…
We know that we’d have to rearrange our schedules, our family’s commitments, our evening plans, our morning plans…
It could alter…literally everything.
And so we don’t do it.
We’re like the person who sees the treasure in the field (and wants the treasure!), but is intimidated by all the work it would take to get on Facebook Marketplace to sell your possessions, get a realtor, and list your house…
And we say, “That all feels like A WHOLE LOT OF WORK!”
And so we never get to the treasure because we keep waiting for someone to come along and show us a path to the treasure that doesn’t have any inconveniences on it
Stop waiting! That that path isn’t in this book.
SELL IT ALL.
Sell it all for Jesus.
Go after Him above all things.
You’ll never experience the true joy of Jesus unless you’re willing to sacrifice first.
There is a cost to discipleship, but it’s worth it!
The treasure is in the field!
Sell it all!
For still others of us, what’s keeping us from fully following Jesus is our reputation.
You might not think this is you, but for so many of us, this IS us.
We instinctively know, that if we were to go all in for Jesus, it would cost us…relationally.
What would your friends & coworkers if you were always talking about Jesus and about how He could change their life?
What would your unbelieving family members think of you if you started sharing the Gospel directly with them?
See, we want Jesus to love us, and bless us, but we would prefer if He didn’t inconvenience us…especially relationally…
But let me ask you something:
The man who bought the field…what do you think His friends thought of Him when He just started selling all his of stuff?
“Wait, what?? You’re selling your donkey? Your House? Your family heirlooms? What are you doing? This is reckless!
“NO field is worth more than your family’s income, and safety, you need to be responsible! And normal!”
His friends would have thought he was insane.
But he probably looked them in the face it and said, “I’m gonna…sell it all”
Because He knows what He is getting is worth so much more…than even his reputation among his friends.
And as the great Charles Spurgeon once said:
“Can we not give up the applause of people for the sake of Christ?” – Charles Spurgeon
Do we really love Christ if every time we even might be mocked for Him, we choose our reputation over Him?
And in a similar vein, some of us in this room won’t “sell it all for Jesus” because we think, “If I live always for Jesus…even at work…that could hurt me”
“When I interact with my clients…I need to be a little bit more…worldly”
“If I’m going to make money on these deals, I can’t always be completely honest and ethical 100% of the time”
Others of us do bow at the security that we think money gives us.
Some work in environments that are incredibly secular, and are worried that if they stand up for their Christian principles when policies direct affect them, they could lose your job.
And so they bury their Christian faith at work, and therefore the treasure of Christ remains buried too out in the field.
And all of these scenarios are the same:
We are so unwilling to let our Christian faith cost us anything, and therefore, we never truly get to experience the real joy of the treasure.
(Sell it All Title Slide)
And is what we are choosing better than Jesus?
If there is an eternity waiting for us…billions and billions of years, and thus this current, earthly life is just a blink of an eye…
What then is an earthly reputation? What then is pleasing others? What is money? What is earthly power? What is temporary pleasure?
What is any of those things compared to the Kingdom Life Jesus offers you?
My friends, if there is anything in your life that is keeping you from following Jesus more closely
…sin, your reputation, money, people, habits, anything!
Sell it all!
SEEING HIM RIGHTLY ALLOWS YOU TO SELL IT ALL IN JOY
If you’re like most people with the Spirit in them, you want to, but honestly, doesn’t it feel too hard?
How can we do it?
We can do it because of we’re not just walking away from something, we’re walking towards something...the Treasure.
How did the Apostle Paul do it when he gave up his old life, and its notoriety and power and the appearance of righteousness?
(Philippians 3:8) - NIV
8 What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ
All the power, the status, the things he had accomplished…He can leave them behind because…He’s walking toward Christ!
(Sell it All Title Slide)
Maybe you missed this the first time through our passage.
Look at our passage again.
Verse 44: “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then, in his …
Shout that next word out!
In his joy…went and sold all he had and bought that field.
The man is not going, “I’m selling all of my possessions…this is terrible…I can’t believe I’m doing this…I’m going to miss this so much
No, it says, “IN HIS JOY!”
We’ve got to get this part of the passage!
And most people don’t…and it’s a huge part of why they aren’t all in for Jesus.
Because let me tell you, unfortunately, what some Christians hear when they read this or hear a message like this:
They wrongly hear Jesus saying, “You need to surrender all the parts of you that aren’t surrendered to me, and then feel gloomy about how I ruined your good life…but at least you’re surrendered to me!!”
But if that’s how you think about this…
…if you only see the part of the story where you have to sell it all…
…then you never will.
You never will.
You’ll just keep visiting the treasure once a week, and go home to a lukewarm faith.
See, this is our problem.
We’re only looking at the selling part!
And we’re saying to ourselves, “If I just worked harder as a Christian to sell my old life away…maybe I’d be more passionate about Jesus”
But the man didn’t get his joy looking back but looking ahead!
He got it by looking at the treasure!
See, our main problem isn’t that we’re not “repenting hard” enough
Our main problem is that we’re not enraptured with Jesus enough.
Come with me…look harder at Him.
The Son of God…the Creator of Galaxies…has shed his blood on the cross…for you.
He’s with you night and day…every hour…every second.
Willing to forgive every sin, every wrong.
As a believer, He’s preparing a place in eternity for you.
Look at Him again.
Treasure the treasure again.
What will give you the power to RUN IN JOY towards the treasure of Jesus again, is you, letting your heart be enraptured with Jesus again.
Come to Him…look on Him again.
And whatever’s getting in the way of you following Jesus, know that He is better.
He is better.
Sell it all…and run to the treasure.
Let me pray.
Copyright: David Sorn
Renovation Church in Blaine, MN
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