by Mike Raiter

Day 31

Read Matthew 13:44-53

Author C . S. Lewis described his coming to faith in the Lord Jesus with these words: ″I was now approaching the source from which those arrows of joy which had been shot at me ever since childhood . . . union with God's nature is bliss and separation from it is horror.″ That is a good summary of the main points of our Lord's next three parables.

This good news is not a treasure we can keep to ourselves. The rich share their wealth with the poor. We who have been taught must now be teachers of others

Jesus describes finding the kingdom as being like stumbling across a treasure in a field (v. 44) or a priceless pearl (v. 45). Or, in today's terms, it is like being informed that you have a long-lost aunt in England who has left you a billion dollars! What do you do? After ascertaining the truth of the matter, you will spend all your savings on a flight to London to claim your inheritance. Knowing Jesus and His salvation is worth more than anything in the world, and it is worth any sacrifice to obtain it. Finding the kingdom involves sacrifice, but so wonderful is the treasure that one hardly notices the cost because of the ″arrows of joy″.

The other side of the coin is the horror of not knowing Christ. How unimaginable that someone could discover this treasure and then decide that it is not worth the trouble of buying the field to lay claim to it (v. 44). In the parable of the net (vv. 47-50), Jesus again propels us forward to the last judgment. While He describes many varieties of fish within the gospel net, there are really only two kinds: good fish, who respond to the gospel, are kept forever; and the bad ones, who do not respond, are thrown away. There are consequences to our decisions.

Over the last four days, we have heard Jesus preach the good news of the kingdom. By God's grace, we have been given understanding of these wonderful, eternal truths. How then should we respond?

Jesus' final parable is about a teacher who shares his wealth of knowledge (v. 52). We should now understand that while we have an Old Testament (″old treasures″) and a New Testament (″new treasures″), they proclaim one message: the salvation found in Jesus, the promised Messiah. This good news is not a treasure we can keep to ourselves. The rich share their wealth with the poor. We who have been taught must now be teachers of others.

Think through:

Think back to when you first discovered the wonder of the gospel. What was it about knowing Christ that filled you with joy? How can we ensure that nothing robs us of this joy?

″He went and sold all he had.″ What does a ″costless Christianity″ look like? How can the Christian life be simultaneously a life of sacrifice and joy?




About Author

Mike Raiter is a preacher, preaching trainer and former Principal of the Melbourne School of Theology in Australia. He is now Director of the Centre for Biblical Preaching and the author of a number of books, including Stirrings of the Soul, which won the 2004 Australian Christian Book of the Year award.

Author of Journey Through Series:

Our Daily Bread Journey Through® Series is a publication of Our Daily Bread Ministries.

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