“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 (NIV UK)
When Pete Najarian agreed to help clean out his recently deceased cousin’s garage, he never thought he’d stumble on a treasure trove. But that’s just what happened. It turned out, his cousin—Arthur—was an artist who’d left an entire life’s worth of paintings behind. Now, a decade after his death, Arthur’s collection is valued at 30 million dollars. His paintings hang in prestigious galleries and critics compare him with Cezanne and Gauguin. And to think—all of it was just stuffed into the cramped walls of the 8 foot by 8 foot garage studio where Arthur worked tirelessly for decades, unseen and unknown by anyone—including Pete!
Sometimes we don’t always see things the way they really are. Remember when the disciples tried to keep children from interfering with Jesus’ busy schedule? They saw the children as a hindrance. But Christ told them, “Do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these” (Matthew 19:14). When a prostitute lavished her most expensive perfume and washed our Lord’s feet with her tears, Jesus didn’t look down on her with disgust, like his religious host. Instead, he commended her, saying, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace” (Luke 7:50). And even when he knew his friend Lazarus had died, he didn’t give up hope and mourn. Instead, he simply said, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up” (John 11:11).
No matter the situation, Jesus was always able to see more deeply into what seemed obvious to everyone else, and recognise God’s purposes in any given situation. But we live in a physical world and have been trained to think superficially about it, as if what we can easily perceive with our eyes and ‘scientific’ instruments is all there is. Many times God’s presence, purpose and eternal promises are left out of the picture. But listen to what Paul wrote: “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:18).
When we shift our focus from the “here and now” and begin to share in the eternal heart, mind, and future God has revealed to us in Christ and his Word, we begin to see the world as Jesus did—from a heavenly perspective. And when we do that, we begin to discover the many priceless hidden treasures all around us!
Heavenly Father, thank you for your calling to us. Thank you for giving us this jewel of great price. Help us to always value it, and instill in us the desire to share it with others—not by what we say so much, as by how our lives witness to your calling. In Jesus’ name we pray.
Study by Joseph Tkach
You are welcome to attend one of our local Church congregations located throughout the UK and Ireland. For details of your nearest local congregation, check on our website, www.gracecom.church under the ‘Churches’ tab, or ring +44 (0)1858 437099.