“The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid again; and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.” Matthew 13:44
Yesterday we saw that the treasure of God’s unconditional love is hidden from our experience when our identity is in our performance. The second treasure the gospel reveals is salvation in Christ, yet this remains hidden from our experience when we cling to unbelief.
Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would convict the world of their sin “because men do not believe in Me.” (John 16:9) No one minds believing in the historical existence of Jesus or in the inspirational teaching and example He gave. What people struggle with is that He claims to be the Savior. (The name Jesus means savior)
To believe in Jesus as Savior means I’m not a good person who just needs a little instruction and encouragement. I am a sinner who needs saving. Really believing in Jesus means that I am no longer the hero in my own story which is why the self-righteous often persist in unbelief even when God has given them ample evidence that they are sinners.
Some people struggle with the simplicity of receiving salvation as a gift, yet this is the only way one can experience this treasure. “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23) Think of someone who loves you and has bought you an expensive gift for your birthday. When they give it to you, you don’t try to pay for it, do you? That would be an insult to the giver. You say, “thank you,” and unwrap it and when they see you enjoying the gift they freely gave, it makes the price they paid worth it to them.
God saw our need and paid a very high price (the blood of Jesus) to get us an “indescribable gift” (2Corinthians 9:15) called eternal life. To own it we just have to admit we’re sinners and receive it with the faith of a child. When we begin walking in the relationship that is included in this gift, we bring joy to the One who purchased it for us.