Jesus has used parables to teach His disciples about the response they will receive, the culture of unbelief they will work in, reassured them the results will be worth their effort. Now He wants them to know the value of what they have found.
They need to know the value of the Kingdom of God, first for themselves but also for those they will call to enter in it.
People often dream of finding treasure. The Picasso in grandma’s attic, the Gold nugget in the backyard, the winning lotto ticket found on a sidewalk. But if you are one of those lucky few to make such a find what would you do to attain it.
Bill gates is one of those lucky few. Gates knew of a person who had developed a system to place programs for a computer onto a disk drive. Gates went to IBM and told them he could provide them with this system. He negotiated a contract where IBM paid a license fee for the system. With the money he got from IBM, he bought the system for them man who invented it. Gates knew of something valuable, figured out how to sell it and then went out and bought it. Microsoft was born.
Jesus wanted the disciples to know that the Kingdom of God is worth everything they have or ever would have. In Matthew 19 the Disciples put the question to Jesus “We have left everything to fallow you, what will we have?” “Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life. 30But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”
Jesus wants the Disciples to know that what they are giving their life for is more valuable than anything this world could ever offer. This is also their message to the people they would preach to. This is more valuable than anything else.
The second part of this set of parables is the cost. Jesus is up front about the cost. To get this wonderful gift of forgiveness, and the Kingdom of God it is going to cost you everything.
As evangelist we often emphasize that Heaven is a free gift from God and we leave out that there is a cost. Dietrich Bonhoeffer in his book The Cost of Discipleship, called it “cheap grace.” To enter the kingdom, you must leave everything else behind. In the USA friends might leave you, you may need to leave your job, you may lose your reputation as people say you have intellectually sold out. Your faith may cost you your family. In some groups they even hold a funeral for you. And in some countries, it might just cost you your life.
There is nothing easy about being a Christian if you truly understand and pay the cost. So, as you invite someone to believe in Jesus, remember what your asking them to do.
This left me with a question. “Have I really paid the cost?” “Have I really left everything behind for the Kingdom, or have I been trying to change the price tag?”
I pray you will take time to reflect on these questions. Have you placed the right value on the Kingdom? Are there things you need to leave behind, changes that need to be made? As you go out into all the world and share the Gospel, remember it’s value to you and to those you share it with.
Mark 8:34- 38
If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.
For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it.
For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his life?
For what can a man give in return for his life?
For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”