“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. 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 13:44–46 (NIV84)
For centuries biblical scholars have interpreted these two short “kingdom” parables in one of two ways. Some say that the “treasure” and “pearl” are the gospel message of the kingdom and we are the individual who sells everything (gives up everything connected to this life) so we can obtain the heavenly treasure. Others see things just the opposite. These scholars see the “treasure” and “pearl” as you and me, and God as the one who gives everything (His Son) to redeem us into His kingdom.
I personally prefer the second interpretation. I believe that it is consistent with the other kingdom parables in Matthew 13. In each of them, God is the active participant (the Sower, Master, Man). Nothing should lead us to think anything different with these two parables. God loves us so much that He offered what was most precious to Him so that He might save and redeem us. That sentence alone should give reason for all of us to pause. A moment to reflect upon the true nature of the heart of God. Every aspect of the kingdom of heaven, revealed to us by Jesus Himself, meets the needs of all people. There isn’t a single soul on the planet who doesn’t need to know that they are loved and forgiven, that they are not bound to the kingdom of this world but are citizens of God’s eternal kingdom, that God desires their hearts so badly that He pursues them Himself.
As sinful human beings, it is too easy to see ourselves as the world sees us and quickly enter into states of hopelessness and despair. It is important that we see ourselves as God sees us. He still sees us as His creatures. He loves us as the best of fathers would love their children. He has brought His kingdom to this earth so that we might be certain of how He feels about us. Jesus died on the cross, bearing our sins, so that we might be certain of that love. You and I are God-created and redeemed “10’s” in a kingdom that rates 10’s as perfect. God sees inherent value in each of us.
Today, let’s live our lives using God’s perception of us.