There is a treasure hidden in plain view, a mystery written in black and white, a message shared throughout the ages. It is the secret to the kingdom of God. As He walked the earth, Jesus revealed this secret to men. The way to eternal life is through the valley of death.
While His disciples were anticipating an earthly king to rule with power and might, Jesus rebukes Peter for not seeing that the way to glory was not at all a throne, but a cross. “Peter, let go of what is seen for that which is unseen.” Here Jesus teaches His disciples that His kingdom is not of this world. And if they want to follow Him, they must set their sights and hearts on greater things.
Jesus goes on to speak the hardest truth. Just as He would lay down His life through death on a cross, His followers must die a thousand deaths in the valley of the shadow. Death to flesh, sin, and worldly pleasures. Death to desires for earthly riches, worldly respect, and a comfortable, easy life. Attachment to the world with its many temptations and false promises must be broken. Because we cannot have the world and Jesus, we’ve got to choose one or the other.
But in the same breath, Jesus also speaks the most amazing, beautiful truth. By losing this life for His sake, we will actually find it. He promises that if we deny ourselves and follow Him, we will find what we’ve been searching for all along.
Forgiveness of Sins
Peace with God
And while unfathomable treasures await us in the next life, life to the full is possible in this one. Abundant life in this world belongs to those who treasure Jesus above all things – to those who give up that which they cannot keep to gain that which they cannot lose (Jim Elliot).
The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Matthew 13:44
The secret to the kingdom of God is believing that what Jesus offers, in Himself and through His kingdom, is better than anything else in all the world. To those who have tasted and seen the goodness of the Lord, He is worth it all. Jesus invites us to trust Him no matter the cost, treasure Him above all things, and pour out our lives for His glory and fame. And in doing so, gain all the riches of His eternal kingdom.
Held by Him,