Jesus tells a powerful parable in Matthew 13 that produces a FREEZE FRAME for us of two men who took it to the limits to seize an opportunity that they could not refuse.
” The kingdom of heaven resembles a treasure buried in a field. When a man discovered it, he buried it again. He was so delighted with it that he went off, sold everything he had, and bought that field.
“Also, the kingdom of heaven resembles a merchant who was diligently seeking fine pearls. When he found a valuable pearl, he went off, sold everything he had, and purchased it.” (Matthew 1:43 -44).
The First Volunteer Missionary: Jesus Himself
In the first instance, Jesus is describing himself. Looking down from heaven, He saw the entire world (the field) and His eyes fixed upon us (the treasure buried in the field). He loved us so deeply that He gave everything to buy the entire world in an amazing act of passion just so He could have the treasure.
I like the part where He goes and sells all to buy the whole field (world). In other words, salvation is not just an individual event, it is a cosmic event!
We see at the temptation in the wilderness that the devil offers Jesus “the kingdoms of the world” if He would just bow down and worship him. What gives?
Biblical scholars of all generations elucidate the Creation-Fall-Redemption story: The ‘very good’ of Creation was radically marred due to the cataclysmic event of the Fall of man via the sin of Adam, bringing the whole of creation under the bondage of ‘the evil one.’ Along comes the ‘last Adam,’ the ‘Son of Man,’ the Redeemer who breaks the bonds of sin, death, and the devil. The grand chorus of Revelation sums it up:
” When the seventh angel blew his trumpet, there were loud voices in heaven, saying,.
” The kingdom of the world has become.
the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah,.
and he will rule as king forever and ever.” (Rev 11:15)
I don’t know what will if that doesn’t give you goose bumps! Just to make sure, just 12 verses later we read this passage:.
” Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying,.
‘ Now the salvation, power, kingdom of our God,.
and the authority of his Messiah have come.
The one accusing our sisters and brothers,.
the one accusing them day and night in the presence of our God,.
has been thrown out.
Because of the blood of the lamb, they won the victory over him.
and the word of their testimony.
They didn’t love their life so much that they refused to give it up.'” (Rev. 12:10 -11).
Jesus was driven by a passion– and WE were the object of the passion. A love so fierce that He gave everything He had to redeem us!
We Love Him Because He First Loved Us
Jesus goes on to describe a 2nd man– a seeker of pearls– who comes upon a pearl so awesome that he sells everything he has to gain possession of it. This man describes us, all of us who see Jesus for Who He is: the Crown Jewel of the kingdom of God!
The long journey from heaven to earth was not an easy one. Just imagine the first step alone: Creator of Heaven and earth squeezes through the Fallopian tube of a teenage girl!
I think you get the idea. Just remember: He made it happen for us! We go with the Gospel, bent on pouring our energies into His dream to make disciples of all nations. It is, after all, his eternal birthday gift, and the decree of the Father:
“I will announce the Lord’s decree.
He said to me:
‘You are my Son.
Today I have become your Father.
Ask me, and I will give you the nations as your inheritance
and the ends of the earth as your own possession.'” (Psalm 2:7)
By the grace of God, our every act of obedience to Him—as we step out for him across the street and around the block, or across the ocean and around the world— is simply a reflection of what He already carried out for us!