Somewhere in the Rocky Mountains lies hidden treasure. Former Vietnam fighter pilot, self-taught archeologist, art dealer, and millionaire, Forest Fenn hid it there during the Great Recession to cheer people up and get them outdoors.The ten by ten ornate Romanesque box is filled with gold coins and nuggets, as well as precious gems. It is estimated to be worth over one million dollars. Tens of thousands of people have searched for it. One man even lost his life trying to find it.
All of us are seeking treasure of some form. We may not be on an actual treasure hunt, but all of us are seeking something of value through these lives that we live in this world. For some their value is found in their brains and intellect. For others it is in their ability to be liked and accepted by others. Still others find value in keeping busy, earthly pleasures, health, wealth, or by feeling morally upright.
The places where we look for value and meaning in life can become the gods we worship, not by opening a shrine and lighting a candle nor by kissing a figurine, but by unceasingly pursuing those things day after day. And we all risk becoming that retired millionaire, who sits in his luxurious mansion, with every amenity he could desire, looking out at his fifty acres of perfectly manicured lawn, award-quality gardens, in-ground pool, sipping Johnny Walker Blue Label from a crystal tumbler, and muttering, “So, what.”
Jesus offers us something of inestimable more value than anything on earth. Jesus compares the Kingdom of Heaven to a merchant seeking fine pearls. Even today, an Australian South Sea Pearl of exquisite quality can sell for millions of dollars. When this merchant finds a pearl of great value, he goes and sells everything he has and purchases it. (See Matthew 13:45-46)
Why is the Kingdom so valuable? Because Jesus is its king, and he alone – not any earthly ruler or worldly prospect – has the power to restore all that has been messed up by sin and evil.
During Jesus’ earthly ministry, people responded in different ways to his offer of the Kingdom of Heaven. Some left home, occupation, or family to follow. Others, like the rich young man, were unable to let go of what kept them from receiving.
How about you? Will you accept this Kingdom of inestimable value? What in your life is presently keeping you from receiving it with joy? More than any earthly treasure, Jesus is my greatest pleasure.
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