Matthew 13:45-46 – Also, the Kingdom of heaven is like this. A man is looking for fine pearls, and when he finds one that is unusually fine, he goes and sells everything he has, and buys that pearl. (GNB)
Jesus talks about selling all we own to enter the kingdom of God in today's scripture. Juan Carlos Ortiz tells a modern-day version of this Parable of the Pearl in his book The Disciple.
Imagine with Ortiz the transaction between buyer and seller. The two strike a deal, and sign a contract. The buyer's heart sinks when he reads the fine print. He discovers that he has just bartered "everything he has" to obtain this priceless pearl. "Everything" means wife and children, house, car, motor home, and all his money.
What a sense of relief the buyer experiences when the seller exclaims: "Now listen — I will allow you to use all these things for the time being. But don't forget that they are mine, just as you are. And whenever I need any of them you must give them up, because now I am the owner."
The message is that God, who gives us his precious eternal life, wants everything that we own, including ourselves. Jesus' parable implies a willingness to sell all to obtain this treasure of great worth.
I like the idea of willingness. It fits well with the idea of stewardship. Stewardship is our response to what God has done for us. God has done far more for us than we could ever imagine! The God that we are getting to know blesses His people when they obey Him.
The question we must ask ourselves is, "If God has done so much for us, what should our response be?" The answer that comes to mind is that we are called to "love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength." (Mark 12:30). An appropriate response involves using our financial resources, time, spiritual gifts, and talents to the best of our ability, and with an open heart and mind, to do the work God calls us to.
Prayer: God of all creation, you know each one of us. You know the gifts that you have given us. Help us to be good stewards and share our gifts of time, talents, and financial resources to serve you. Make us willing and cheerful givers. In Christ's name, we pray. Amen.