Today’s reading: Matthew 13:45-46, Psalm 109
When he was younger, my son Freddy loved to collect things. Whether it was Thomas the Tank Engine trains, Cars Movie cars, Baukugan cards or Pokemon cards, he was crazy about them. I bought hundreds of these things over the years! I’m happy to tell you that today, for Freddy Armstrong’s 14th birthday, none of these dumb toys are included in his birthday gifts. I’m glad that I’m no longer wasting my money on junk that I’ll eventually pitch after I’ve stepped on it for the 100th time. Even so, I will miss seeing the pure joy in Freddy’s eyes as we sit around the dinner table watching him open his gifts tonight. As a teenager, Freddy no longer passionately rips the packaging off his gifts and frantically searches to find the “rare and valuable” treasures hidden within.
Our passage in Matthew 13 – The Parable of the Hidden Treasure and the Pearl, reminds me a little of Freddy Armstrong and his birthday toys. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it (Matthew 13:45-46). The merchant was desperately searching to find what he considered the most rare and valuable treasure. When he found it, he gave everything he had to make it his own.
Jesus didn’t tell this story to remind us children would be delighted with toys. Rather, like every other passage in the Bible, this story points us to the character of Jesus. We are so valuable to him, Jesus gave up everything he had to make us his own. He left his rightful place in heaven to come to earth, lived alongside dirty, sinful humans, and eventually gave his life as a sacrifice to pay the price for our sins.
[Christ Jesus] who, did not count equality with God something to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross (Philippians 2:6-8).
Thank you Jesus for searching until you found us. Thank you for your sacrifice. The joy we find in watching broken, sinful people be reconciled to God through faith in you will never grow old!