You've probably heard this before: Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart (1Sam 16:7). Would you believe it if i told you that God's got nothing better to do than to look at the heart of man. Why? You might ask! Remember, For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Luke 12:34. This is especially true of God as it is of us his creation.
Let's look further. One of Jesus' effective teaching tools were parables. He found them useful for many reasons, in particular, for coding truths. In other words, anyone can understand the stories in those parables, but the truths they carry are actually hidden FOR you not FROM you. In one of the parables of the kingdom, Jesus told a very short story. Matt 13:44 "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".
The natural understanding of that parable would be this. The treasure is the kingdom of heaven, the man who found it is us - mankind. The joy of salvation made us sell all that we have, and buy, as it were, this treasure of a salvation. Honourable as it sounds, I've found it to be a lateral inversion of the truth. I know if i sold all that i had, it probably wouldn't buy a return ticket to the field, talkless of buying this treasure beyond measure. The hidden truth lies in our understanding of the grace of God - "For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich" 2Cor 8:9.
The Treasure is the Heart
"Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you". Luke 17:21
The Field is the Human Body
"But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us" 2Cor 4:7.
Jesus, out of exceeding joy, sold all he had, and bought the field.
"But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light" 1Pet 2:9
"who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession--to the praise of his glory" Eph 1:14
"For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's"
"Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God." Heb 12:2
THE HEART OF THE MATTER
Put the pieces together and what do you see? A masterpiece or masterpeace as the case may be. If i may, let me also contribute my piece to the amazing story of grace.
The beauty of our salvation is only captured when our heart is founded purely upon the grace of God - Eph 2:8 "for by grace are you saved through faith". Heb.11:9 says "Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings. It is good for our hearts to be strengthened by grace, not by ceremonial foods, which are of no value to those who eat them".
We might never be able to understand why Jesus went to the most extreme of lenghts, depths and heights to buy this field. The discipline of grace encourages us to just take his word for it. I have learnt that the benefits of such obedience far outweigh the toils of unbelief. He found this treasure and his heart has never looked elsewhere ever since. As dark and deceitful as the heart is, its beauty is only in the eyes of the beholder. What an amazing ongoing love story. One to which we are all entitled to play our roles in.
...to be continued.