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Sunday, August 14, 2022

To Be a Christian Is Worth More Than All Else

This is the manuscript of the fifth sermon in the series, “The Master Speaks to the Present through the Parables". It is a series based on Jesus’ parables that describe the nature of the kingdom of God.   All the parables deal with the same subject, the kingdom of heaven, but each one approaches it from a different angle.

Matthew 13:44 NIV “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. Have you ever heard Christians talk about building the kingdom? It is interesting, though, that the Bible never uses such language. The Bible talks about, waiting for the kingdom of heaven, inheriting the kingdom of heaven, and receiving the kingdom of heaven. Jesus was telling the parable to illustrate one great truth: He and His kingdom is worth more than anything else or everything else in the world.

Listen to an audio recording of the sermon by clicking on the YouTube link at the end of the manuscript.

You can also watch a video recording of the entire service on the Christ Church YouTube Channel

Vsit the Christ Church website at

 Scripture Reading:

Mark 10:17‭-‬30 NIV As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. You know the commandments: ‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, you shall not defraud, honor your father and mother.’” “Teacher,” he declared, “all these I have kept since I was a boy.” Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth. Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!” The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” The disciples were even more amazed, and said to each other, “Who then can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.” Then Peter spoke up, “We have left everything to follow you!” “Truly I tell you,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—along with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life.



Matthew 13:44 NIV “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.

Have you ever heard Christians talk about building the kingdom? It is interesting, though, that the Bible never uses such language. The Bible talks about waiting for the kingdom,

Matthew 25:1‭-‬13 NIV “At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep. “At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’ “Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’ “ ‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’ “But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut. “Later the others also came. ‘Lord, Lord,’ they said, ‘open the door for us!’ “But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.’ “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.

seeking it, 

The Bible  talks about inheriting the kingdom of heaven, 

1 Corinthians 6:9 NIV Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men

Galatians 5:19‭-‬21 NIV The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

And the Bible talks about  receiving the kingdom of heaven.

Mark 10:14‭-‬15 NIV When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.

The gospel is what God has done for us, not what we do for God.  We have been talking a lot about that in our Bible study “What’s so Amazing about Grace”.

The kingdom of God is both personal and social. The parables we have studied thus far have emphasized the universal aspect of the kingdom, setting forth its growth and development in the world. The parable we are examining today, and the one that we are going to look at next week, stress the value of God’s kingdom to the individual.

We do have to admit that the gospel is a great influence to everyone in the community. Even those who have never personally accepted Jesus as Savior share in the benefits that have accrued to community life because the gospel message has been preached. Hospitals, orphanages, shelters, and humanitarian organizations and agencies of all kinds are products of the compassion that people have because the life and actions of Jesus has influenced civilization. Yet the treasure of the gospel is primarily a personal possession. It is a personal one-on-one relationship that each of us has with Jesus.  

Jesus told the parable, we are going to look at today, to illustrate the worth of the kingdom of God to an individual life.

Matthew 13:44 NIV “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.

  1. First a word of caution.

This parable was not given to instruct people in business ethics. We often try to make every detail of a parable into some symbolic meaning. 

If we did so in this parable, we might find ourselves in trouble. Just think about this.  Would it be honest if we found treasure in another person’s field, or yard, or house, to slip around behind his or her back, get the money somehow, and buy the field, or the property without them knowing you found something of value? Now some might say that’s just smart business,” but we know better! 

I know some  people and I bet you do too that if you asked the question about how they would respond if they found a treasure in someone’s field, they would respond, “Well It depends on whether I’m buying the field from you, or you are buying it from me as to whether it’s dishonest or not.”  Now we may joke about it, but deep down we know it would be wrong. 

The point is that Jesus was not dealing with ethics when He told this parable.   Jesus was telling the parable to illustrate one great truth and one truth only and that is that He and His kingdom is worth more than anything else or everything else in the world.

II An accidental discovery.

The story Jesus told easily could have happened in his day. You see the land of Palestine was invaded often because of its strategic location as the bridge between three continents, Africa, Asia, and Europe. 

When a man accumulated a treasure, he did not know where to hide it because invading armies looted homes indiscriminately and thoroughly. An old tradition said that in the East, because of the frequent revolutions and changes of rulers, many rich men divided their goods into three parts. One-third they used in commerce or for their necessary support; one-third they turned into jewels, which if they had to flee quickly, could be easily carried with them; and one-third they buried. A person who works purely for material reward could be plowing in another man’s field and come across the hidden treasure of a previous owner who had been killed. What would he do? He might quickly bury it and seek to raise sufficient cash to buy the man’s field.

This parable, in contrast to the one that follows, which talks about losing and then finding something that you already own, suggests that some people come upon God’s kingdom unexpectedly. The Samaritan woman that Jesus met at a well is such an example. 

John 4:5‭-‬15 TPT Jesus arrived at the Samaritan village of Sychar, near the field that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Wearied by his long journey, he sat on the edge of Jacob’s well, and sent his disciples into the village to buy food, for it was already afternoon. Soon a Samaritan woman came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” She replied, “Why would a Jewish man ask a Samaritan woman for a drink of water?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) Jesus replied, “If you only knew who I am and the gift that God wants to give you, you’d ask me for a drink, and I would give you living water.” The woman replied, “But sir, you don’t even have a bucket, and the well is very deep. So where do you find this ‘living water’? Do you really think that you are greater than our ancestor Jacob who dug this well and drank from it himself, along with his children and livestock?” Jesus answered, “If you drink from Jacob’s well, you’ll be thirsty again, but if anyone drinks the living water I give them, they will never be thirsty again. For when you drink the water I give you, it becomes a gushing fountain of the Holy Spirit, flooding you with endless life!” The woman replied, “Let me drink that water so I’ll never be thirsty again and won’t have to come back here to draw water.”

This woman went to the well to draw water, never expecting to find the Water of Life. Some people find Jesus unexpectedly at a worship service. Maybe the person went for some other reason than to engage in meaningful spiritual activity, but the Holy Spirit operated through the singing and preaching. The person discovered the hidden treasure of a personal experience with Jesus Christ. 

Here’s a real life story of a man who discovered Jesus when He wasn’t looking for or expecting it.  The man’s name is Mike Da Silva and here’s his story, written by him.

This man was like the person pictured in the parable.  He went to church not expecting anything just like the person plowing the field he was just plowing and low and behold he found a treasure he never expected. The man in the parable found a material treasure, Mike DeSilva found salvation, peace, and eternal life.  
III Give all you have.

There’s a poem written by Sarah Teasdale,  the title is  “Life Has Loveliness to Sell”. The last stanza begins, “Sell all you have for loveliness. Buy it and never count the cost.” That’s the way it is with God’s kingdom. Don’t miss it because you hold on to something you refuse to give up.

Frequently we are called upon to give up ambitions and lifestyles that are inconsistent with the Christian life. This is a part of the act and process known as repentance. The point of this parable is that if we have to give up everything we have, or are, to follow Christ, and become part of His body it is worth it.


Notice that the man in the parable, the woman at ths well, and Mike DeSilva, seized the crucial moment when it came. They did not linger to debate the matter but acted on the moment. James Russell Lowell said, “Once to every man and nation comes the moment to decide.” One of life’s greatest dangers is that when we are moved by some high impulse, we  don’t right away. When we delay the impulse often dies. We must seize the great moments of opportunity when they happen.   Someone said it well: “Lord, help us to take advantage of the opportunities of our lifetime during the lifetime of our opportunities.”

John 17:18 NIV As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.

Here is the way this verse is rendered in the Message Bible 

John 17:18 (The Message) “In the same way that you gave me a mission in the world, I give them a mission in the world.” 

If you are a follower of Jesus Christ, God has given you a mission in this world. You’re not here just to take up space; you’re not here just to strive after your own personal goals. You have an assignment from God himself. Once you’re in God’s family, your life changes. You have a new reason for living. Your life isn’t about you anymore; it’s about God’s mission.

The mission that God first gave Jesus he now gives to the body of Christ—the church. Once you know Jesus, you have to go! You must tell your friends and family about him. But you can’t stop there. God has never made anyone he doesn’t want saved. He loves everyone, everywhere.

1 Timothy 2:1‭-‬4 NIV I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.

God wants you to live out his mission everywhere: in your family, your community, and the world. His mission for your life is both global and local. 

Isaiah 49:6 NIV he says: “It is too small a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.”

That’s God’s plan for the world. That’s his mission for you. He wants everyone on Earth to know him. And he wants to use you to make that happen. 

God’s words in Isaiah aren’t just for missionaries or pastors. If you’re in his family, he gave his mission to you!


Lord God, your kingdom is worth more than all human treasure. Teach us to value your kingdom above everything else, that we give ourselves to your service; now and always.

ion. The heart that believes in him receives the gift of the righteousness of God—and then the mouth confesses, resulting in salvation.

Romans 10:13 TPT And it’s true: “Everyone who calls on the Lord’s name will experience new life.”

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