The Kingdom’s Value

Jesus dismissed the congregation and went into the house. His disciples came in and said, “Explain to us that story of the thistles in the field.”

So he explained. “The farmer who sows the pure seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, the pure seeds are subjects of the kingdom, the thistles are subjects of the Devil, and the enemy who sows them is the Devil. The harvest is the end of the age, the curtain of history. The harvest hands are angels.

“The picture of thistles pulled up and burned is a scene from the final act. The Son of Man will send his angels, weed out the thistles from his kingdom, pitch them in the trash, and be done with them. They are going to complain to high heaven, but nobody is going to listen. At the same time, ripe, holy lives will mature and adorn the kingdom of their Father.

“Are you listening to this? Really listening?

“God’s kingdom is like a treasure hidden in a field for years and then accidentally found by a trespasser. The finder is ecstatic—what a find!—and proceeds to sell everything he owns to raise money and buy that field. (Matthew 13:36-44)

What’s the price of your life? The kingdom of God is worth far more. What is the kingdom of God? It’s not like any worldly government. Instead, Jesus said that it’s like wheat seeds among weeds, which are separated only at the harvest. Then he said that it’s a hidden treasure buried in a field and the one who finds that treasure happily sells everything he has in exchange for it.

So what do Jesus’ two parables, told one after the other, teach us about the kingdom? They teach us that it is not just about tomorrow. The kingdom of God is also now. The seeds planted in the field belong to God’s kingdom now, not just at the harvest. And the kingdom of God has such a high value that the one who gives up everything for it doesn’t feel as if he’s given up anything.

We are friends of the king, his brothers and sisters, reigning with him. We lose sight of reality if we forget we belong to God now. We are children of the king, not tomorrow, but today and our treasure is not here, but with our king.

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About R.P. Nettelhorst

I'm married with three daughters. I live in southern California and I'm a deacon at Quartz Hill Community Church. I spent a couple of summers while I was in college working on a kibbutz in Israel. In 2004, I was a volunteer with the Ansari X-Prize at the winning launches of SpaceShipOne. Member of Society of Biblical Literature, American Academy of Religion, and The Authors Guild
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