Matthew 13:44 – 240 PIECES OF EIGHT … PRICELESS! – Part 16

Posted: April 9, 2011 in Matthew, Matthew 13, The Parables
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Matthew 13:44 – 240 PIECES OF EIGHT … PRICELESS! – Part 16

Treasure!

It has taken me a year but the treasure hunt has actually paid off! Worth the wait! Two hundred and forty Pieces of Eight! I am officially rich!

Finding the Spanish galleon called the Santa Margarita was heralded as one of the greatest shipwreck treasure discoveries of all time. Over $150 million in hidden treasure just lying there on the ocean floor! A King’s ransom in gold and silver, a hidden “mother lode” now revealed. X marks the spot.

80,000 pieces of eight, 169 silver ingots weighing about 70 pounds each, 22 copper ingots, gold bullion and hundreds of unique gold and silver artefacts and a number of bronze canons are still waiting to be recovered. Captain Jack Sparrow his self would be proud.

But that’s not the treasure I have found. Sorry to disappoint you just when I stirred your imagination perhaps with pirate maps and sunken treasure. Actually I’ve found something even more valuable.

As a child I once wrote a story about an Island of treasures, and how the hero of the story found that the treasures of creation are worth far more than Spanish doubloons. But I was wrong. I still missed it.

I’ve found something greater still, more valuable than the beauties of creation and all the Spanish treasures of the sea. I didn’t see it at first but I have been one of the few treasure hunters who has found the “mother lode”.

Jesus speaks of such a treasure hunt in Matthew 13:44. He says “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure that a man discovered hidden in a field. In his excitement, he hid it again and sold everything he owned to get enough money to buy the field.”

You are the treasure! Don’t just tell me that the HIDDEN treasure is Israel or the Church or Gentiles or potential believers. Tell me about the excitement of the hunt and how Jesus searched for all those whom He valued. Sure, the Lord has chosen “Israel for His own special treasure” (Psalms 135:4 NLT) but He has also chosen me and somehow I am valuable to Him. Treasure hunting was His intention, “To seek and to save those who were lost” (Luke 19:10 NLT). He calls me “… HIS RICH AND GLORIOUS INHERITANCE” (Ephesians 1:18 NLT).

Perhaps today you don’t think of yourself as valuable to God. Perhaps you think that the only person of any value is Christ and so He must be the treasure mentioned in this parable. Perhaps you are thinking that you must somehow purchase His acceptance by living a good life, and doing enough good works, but that’s all back the front.

To me this parable shouts out that I am loved and valued by Christ. He doesn’t value my sin but He loves me so much that He gave His life to purchase me. He paid the ultimate price. Jesus said in Mark 8:37 (NLT) “Is anything worth more than your soul?” He thinks my soul is valuable! Nothing is worth more!

Jesus sells everything He has to purchase us. Colossians 1:13-14 (NLT) “For He has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness (the field) and transferred us into the Kingdom of His dear Son, who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins.” Titus 2:14 (NLT) says “He gave His life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us His very own people, ….” Galatians 1:4 (NLT) says “Jesus GAVE HIS LIFE for our sins, … in order to rescue us from this evil world (the field) in which we live.” He saw me as valuable when I had nothing of value to give to Him. When I respond to Him, I see just how valuable He is in my life when once I thought He had nothing of value to offer me.

The Kingdom of heaven is the rulership of Jesus in my heart, and the realisation that I am loved and valued by God through faith in Christ. Everyone around you, created in God’s image, is also a trove of rich, opulent, magnificent, priceless treasure, invaluable PIECES OF EIGHT.

Over the last year I have formed relationships with 240 lost souls from another era. Weather worn faces and palid chalky skin, ghostlike hair, fascinating hands with veins like rivulets of stained ochre, and characters that inform me of the values of another world, with ancient stories of love and faith and perseverance. They haunt the floors with measured steps and walking frames.

I am the Captain, I mean Chaplain, of Shalom, an Aged Care Facility, a “Galleon” of immeasurable worth and I have begun to recover hidden treasure, by helping people realise how valuable they are to Christ. Like the ad says “Priceless! For everything else use Mastercard.” That’s my quest today (no, not to use Mastercard) communicating how valuable be my “240 pieces of eight … Priceless!” …And by the way….So are you.)

Pastor Ross

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