You’re on your way home from the farmers market with a bag full of fresh peaches. Every one of them is perfectly ripe. How would describe that perfect peach to someone who never had one? Without even thinking about it, you’d probably use a figure of speech that English teachers call a simile. You’d use the words “like” or “as” to try to compare that peach to something the person HAD experienced. “That peach was like the most refreshing smoothie imaginable!”
Similes help us to understand things we haven’t experienced. That’s what makes the similes that Jesus uses in Matthew chapter 13 so intriguing. Not one of us has experienced heaven, but we want to know what it’s like! And so Jesus tells us. 6 Times! “The Kingdom of Heaven is like…”
Here are two of the examples from Matthew chapter 13 that we looked at this past Sunday. “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. “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.”
Maybe you haven’t found an invaluable treasure while digging in a field lately and maybe you haven’t spent any time as a merchant of pearls, but the point is crystal clear isn’t it? The Kingdom of Heaven is like the most valuable treasure imaginable. In fact, it's more valuable than anything we could possibly possess on this earth.
Jesus communicates that in the lack of details. Did you notice how Jesus simply says that both the man who found the treasure and the man who found the pearl sold all their possessions so they could purchase their priceless discovery? These men could have been incredibly wealthy and paid an enormous sum, they also could have been rather poor and gotten these items for a steal. But Jesus doesn’t say. He doesn’t tell us how rich or poor these men were. He leaves that detail out to assure that all of us—rich or poor—can relate. Jesus wants us to see that the scale we use to measure wealth on this earth—everything from the richest 1% to the poorest 1%—has no chance of standing up to the value of Heaven!
This is what Jesus has won for you. This is why Jesus gave himself up for you. This is why Jesus was willing to die a gruesome death he didn’t deserve for you. He wants you to experience riches that you and I can only dream of. You think Bill Gates is rich? You’ll be richer in heaven!
Blessings on the rest of your week!