Daily Devotional: Time Alone With God

Daily Devotional: Time Alone With God

Read: Matthew 13:44-46

Matthew 13:44-46

New International Version (NIV)

The Parables of the Hidden Treasure and the Pearl

44 “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.

45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. 46 When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.

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Consider: Again, Jesus began a parable by saying…

“The kingdom of heaven is like…” (13:44)

Kingdoms have laws. They also have values. They consider some things precious and other things cheap. Every time Jesus talked about the kingdom of heaven, the people who heard him knew that he was drawing a contrast. They lived under the domination of the Roman Kingdom—the Roman Empire. That kingdom certainly had a set of laws and it certainly held to a set of values. And every time Jesus talked about the values of his kingdom, it was clear that he was condemning the values of the Roman Empire.

The Roman Empire was built on violence and the worship of false gods. It was an arrogant empire and was not afraid to crush anyone or any nation that came against its interests. Those values were so deeply engrained that scholars often refer to them as “the theology of Rome” or the “cult of empire.”

So Jesus talked about the kingdom of heaven—or the empire of heaven—to show us that the values of his kingdom would always be at odds with the kingdoms of this world.

Our problem is, we love the kingdoms of this world too much. And because we do, we don’t always recognize the violence and arrogance of the kingdoms of this world, including our own nation. In many ways we worship with the “cult of empire” because we think we can find our joy, security and significance there. Jesus said there is something more precious.

So, “The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field” or like something of “great value” (Matthew 13:44-46). It shows us what is really important—what is precious and what is cheap. And when we discover it we find that nothing else can compare, for the kingdoms of this world cannot deliver on their promises.

Pray: “Lord, show me what it means for me to forsake everything in order to possess this hidden treasure.”

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