In Matthew 13:44-45 Jesus is trying to explain the nature of his Kingdom to his followers.  He says:

“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.”

I’ve always thought that the point of this passage was that we were the ones who found the treasure or the fine pearl and that Jesus was making the point that finding that treasure beyond all others was worth sacrificing everything to have.  I’m sure I’ve heard sermons and Sunday school lessons to that effect.  It’s certainly the perspective taken by most of the commentaries I had handy.

But what if we’ve misaligned these analogies?  What if participation in the kingdom of heaven isn’t so much about giving up everything to get in on it (since when was God’s acceptance of us contingent on our resources anyway?), but instead about everything Jesus gave up to get us in?

You are the treasure.
You are the one pearl of great value.
Jesus is the one who sold everything he had to bring you into his Kingdom.
What changes for you if those things are true?

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