Make me an offer folks! If I have it, it’s for sale. Everything from clothing to hand tools… come one, come all. It’s the mother of all yard sales! Just kidding. However, Jesus really did once tell a parable of a yard sale…
The kingdom of heaven is like a 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).
On this verse Jon Bloom comments, “Fifteen minutes before his discovery in the field, the thought of selling all that he owned would have seemed unwise to this man, even excruciating. But fifteen minutes afterward he was off to do it with joy. What made the difference?”
The treasure… the treasure revolutionized the man.
The actions of this man really shouldn’t surprise us. This type of activity goes on around us in this world every day. Businessmen make their wealth by recognizing treasures and are willing to invest their personal properties to attain what will make them wealthier. The man in this parable saw the value of the treasure and sold what was necessary to make the treasure his.
We would go so far as to say that a person would be a fool to have ventured upon this treasure, realized its worth, gave it a swift kick, then walked away uninterested. But many do just that with the gospel, the treasure this parable speaks of. They hear the good news of Jesus Christ, but choose to remain in their spiritual poverty.
The text tells us that this man joyfully sold everything so he could have the treasure. How do we make sense then of a parable as this one which seems to promote the thought of buying one’s entrance into the Kingdom of God?
Nothing taught in Scripture should ever be construed as teaching that salvation can be bought, unless we see it in the light as Isaiah prophesied, “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost (55:1).”
We are saved by grace through faith in Christ alone. The analogy is meant to promote the value of the treasure. This parable is clearly teaching that we must renounce everything that hinders us from gaining the great prize. We must sell ‘who we were.’
Charles Spurgeon once taught of a number of things we must sell off in order to have Jesus. The person who would have Christ must dispose of all self-righteousness. He said, “Now, my friend, that old moth-eaten righteousness of yours that you are so proud of you must sell off and get rid of it, for no man can be saved by the righteousness of Christ while he puts any trust in his own. Sell it all off, every rag of it. And suppose nobody will buy it, at any rate you must part with it. Assuredly it is not worth putting amongst the filthiest of rags, for it is worse than they are.”
We must also sell off our sinful pleasures and practices. We cannot serve God and our sin. We cannot say we love Jesus and refuse to keep His commandments.
The attitude of the man in the parable was not one of reluctance. The transition was not painstaking for him. We are told he joyfully sold everything to gain the prize. For the person who has truly seen the worth of this Treasure, of Jesus and His gospel, it is with great joy to sing with David, “I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked (Psalm 84:10).” David saw God’s laws as more precious than pure gold (Psalm 19:10).
There is a radical change of values when one sees Jesus for His worth. We recognize our poverty without Him. We cry out with Paul, “Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus (Phil. 3:13-14).”