July 16 | Bible in a Year: Psalms 16-17; Acts 20:1-16
When a man found it, he . . . went and sold all he had and bought that field.
READ MATTHEW 13:44–46
At the sound of the digital melody, all six of us sprang into action. Some slipped shoes on, others simply bolted for the door barefoot. Within seconds we were all sprinting down the driveway chasing the ice cream truck. It was the first warm day of summer, and there was no better way to celebrate than with a cold, sweet treat! There are things we do simply because of the joy it brings us, not out of discipline or obligation.
In the pair of parables found in Matthew 13:44-46, the emphasis is selling everything to gain something else. We might think the stories are about sacrifice. But that’s not the point. In fact, the first story declares it was “joy” that led the man to sell everything and buy the field. Joy drives change—not guilt or duty.
Jesus isn’t one segment of our lives; His claims on us are total. Both men in the stories “sold all” (v. 44). But here’s the best part: the result of this selling of everything is actually gain. We may not have guessed that. Isn’t life in Christ about taking up your cross? Yes. It is. But when we die, we live; when we lose our life, we find it. When we “sell all,” we gain the greatest treasure: Jesus! Joy is the reason; surrender is the response. The treasure of knowing Jesus is the reward.
By Glenn Packiam
REFLECT & PRAY
Dear Jesus, open my eyes to see the treasure that You are! Direct my heart to You as the source of true and unfailing joy, and let me ever be fixed on You. Grant me the grace to surrender all to You.
How have you experienced joy in your relationship with Jesus? What is He inviting you to surrender to Him?
The eight parables Jesus taught in Matthew 13 are collectively known as “kingdom” parables because they mostly begin with the characteristic phrase “the kingdom of heaven is like” (vv. 24, 31, 33, 44, 45, 47, 52). These parables also unveil a profound truth concerning “the secrets (Greek, mystērion) of the kingdom of heaven” (13:11). In the New Testament the word mystērion or mysteries is used to denote biblical truths which are now known to us only because God in His grace and with Jesus’ coming has been pleased to reveal them to us through the Holy Spirit (Daniel 2:18, 27-28, 47; Romans 16:25-26; Ephesians 1:9; 3:3-6; Colossians 1:25-27; 2:2). K. T. Sim