Have you ever saved and saved for something you really wanted? I remember as a child, I would save my allowance because I wanted to buy a horse. I had my horse fund. When it didn’t look probable that I’d ever have the horse of my dreams, the fund became my bike fund. A little more realistic. To me, those things were treasures. They were something I really wanted.
The first of our two stories today speaks of finding first a treasure and then a pearl, both of great value. There was urgency as well as desire. The merchant couldn’t wait for the time it would take to save his money. In both cases, he sold everything he had to have the item he wanted. He sacrificed all for one. Have you ever done that? Cashed in all you had for one thing?
I suppose you can say we have done something similar in following Jesus. We have put all of our trust in him. We have sacrificed a lot to follow him. I don’t think of it in a negative way at all. I would give up more for the one who saved me. I am no longer a slave to sin, I am a child of God. Click and listen to THIS SONG. Remember, too, that Jesus gave it all up for us!
The second parable today tells us the Kingdom of Heaven is like a fishing net. That is a beautiful image of God reaching out, casting his net to catch us all. Of course, several of Jesus’ own disciples were fisherman so this story would have really struck a chord with them.
Jesus cautions us. Some of those caught in the net will be sorted out. Just because we’re swept up in the net doesn’t mean we’re automatically in the Kingdom of Heaven. It’s a similar picture to the illustration of wheat and weeds. God welcomes us all, yet some won’t be ready to accept what he is offering. The angels will see evil in their hearts. It will be clear who’s in and who’s not.
All of the parables Jesus uses to describe the Kingdom of Heaven should be taken together. It is clearly an important concept for us to grasp. Jesus has given us different angles to help us understand. He knew that not everybody would resonate with the same story. What is common among them is that God is at work behind the scenes putting everything into motion.
The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand we are told. This is not something that is yet to come. It came with Jesus. We will see the Kingdom of Heaven revealed completely when Jesus returns. Until then, we need to be in prepare mode.
Let’s pray. Lord, as we pray in the Lord’s prayer, we ask for your Kingdom to come. It is here but not totally fulfilled. We need Jesus to return to complete the plan. Help prepare my heart to be ready for your return. Help me stand strong again evil influences that are working so hard to overtake me. May I rest in you and your promises. May I be righteous and holy in your sight. In Jesus’ name. Amen.