The luxury car went first. Then the jeep. Then the convertible was sold too. Neighbors scratched their heads, and whispers started running through the neighborhood. Lawsuits? Debts? Drugs? No one knew.
All the designer clothes went next. And the shoes. Instead of high-end heels, she was seen walking around town in dirty old sneakers, and her shirts and jeans looked worn and outdated. The whispers intensified. Maybe her company was sued and her day in court didn’t go well. Maybe drugs were messing with her head.
When the house went up for sale, the neighbors were shocked. It had been in her family for generations. She must be desperate, they whispered to one another.
The day the new owners were scheduled to move in, she gathered her few remaining items and put them in a plastic bag. She left the house key under the doormat and threw the bag in the trash can on the curb. Eager to begin her journey, she didn’t even turn to give the house one last look before crossing the street.
She started walking. She didn’t have enough money left to catch a bus. Mile after mile she walked, her muscles aching more with each passing hour. When rain began pouring from the sky, she pulled the frayed hood of her sweatshirt over her head and kept walking.
When she got to the edge of her new property, her steps grew lighter. Burrs stuck to her sneakers and thorns poked at the thin threads of her clothing as she started running through the brambles. It didn’t matter. She would have new clothes soon enough. Clothes that would never wear out.
Soon she came to a large boulder in the middle of the field. She gently touched the side of the stone, and it began to roll, revealing a hole just big enough for a person to fit through. When she looked down into it, she felt a pure, golden warmth swathe her face. Without a backward glance, she dropped down into the kingdom of eternal light. • Courtney Lasater
• Today’s story, like the Bible verse it’s based on, is a parable—a symbolic story meant to teach a deeper biblical truth. In Matthew 13:44, Jesus isn’t telling us it’s bad to have money or that we have to give up all we own in order to be part of God’s kingdom. Instead, He shows us that being part of His kingdom is so much more valuable than anything this world has to offer.
• Take a closer look at Philippians 3:7-11, 17-21. Why is knowing Jesus and being part of His kingdom so valuable?
• Is the way you view your money and possessions in line with Matthew 13:44? If not, why do you think that is?
• Whenever we realize we’re guilty of sin, such as greed, God invites us to come to Him. Through Jesus’s death and resurrection, everyone who puts their trust in Jesus is fully forgiven. And, through the Holy Spirit, we are empowered to follow Jesus in every aspect of our lives, including how we view—and use—our money and possessions. Yet, Christians will still struggle with sin until Jesus returns, and so He calls us to confess our sins often, resting in His forgiveness and relying on His power to turn away from sin. Consider taking a moment now to pray, confessing any sins that come to mind, thanking God for His forgiveness, and asking for wisdom in how to move forward in the joy and rest of His kingdom. (Matthew 6:24-30; 11:28-30; 1 Timothy 1:12-17)
“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.” Matthew 13:44 (NIV)