Discovering what counts (Matthew 13:44)

What’s your dream? And what will you do to get there?

Open Matthew 13:44.

What’s your dream? And what would you do to get it? Your honest answers to those questions reveal more about you than you realize.

Someone caught up in the first euphoria of love dreams of a beautiful life with that special someone, whatever it costs. The entrepreneur dreams of owning the Monopoly board, driven by a plan that just might give it to him.

But our best dreams are bigger than ourselves. Dreams like clean drinking water for Africa, empowering locals to transform Cambodia, or A21’s audacious vision to end modern slavery. Syrians dream of living in a country where they need not fear being shot, and some young Americans do too. Martin Luther King Jr still speaks, “I have a dream …”

The trouble with dreams is that the how is more difficult than the what.

Karl Marx dreamed of a world where the poor and powerless no longer serve the rich and powerful. To achieve his dream, Marx called for revolution. Those who followed him found that violence ushered in new dictators like Joseph Stalin.

Seeds of violence cannot yield a harvest of peace. Liberty does not rise from force. We become the kingdom of God only when we willingly trade our individual dreams for God’s dream of community under his governance.

The way Jesus told it, it’s like a person who discovered a stash of treasure buried in a field. As the magnitude of his discovery sank in, everything else the guy had worked for paled. With joy, he sold everything he’d worked for, to realize this dream. Discovering God’s kingship is like that: once we see it, we gladly trade our lesser dreams.

Let’s be clear. Jesus wasn’t talking about going to heaven when you die. He meant restoring heaven’s reign over the earth, as in “Your kingdom come; your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” When the earth functions as our heavenly sovereign intends, the poor receive the kingdom and the meek inherit the earth. African villages have water, and Cambodia is transformed out of poverty. We value each other so much that we refuse to trade each other as slaves. And no one relies on a gun to survive.

Jesus believed this treasure was already here, hidden in the earth. It’s been here since God established the heaven and the earth, with earth under heaven’s kingship. It was buried in the dirt as we fought each other for power. But it’s not lost; God’s dream is here, waiting to be rediscovered.

Divine kingship is restored willingly, not by force. When we see its value, we hold nothing back. This is the treasure to give everything for.

Wasn’t that exactly what Jesus did? The son of man gave his life to restore the one thing that changes everything on earth. God’s kingship.

 

What others are saying

Martin Luther King Jr, I Have a Dream, 1963 (reflecting Isaiah 40:4-5):

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.

G. Campbell Morgan, The Parables Of The Kingdom (Fleming H. Revell, 1907):

The man, then, in this parable who finds the treasure and then hides it, is the Son of Man Himself.

[previous: What’s the Bible’s main theme?]

[next: What’s the value of God’s reign?]

Author: Allen Browne

Seeking to understand Jesus in the terms he chose to describe himself: son of man (his identity), and kingdom of God (his mission). Discipleship Trainer • Riverview Church

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