As a kid growing up in the 80’s I loved baseball cards. Back then one of my favorite players was Rickey Henderson (don’t ask why). And so, I began amassing a notable collection of his baseball cards. And then, I discovered my own version of the Holy Grail at the local baseball card shop. Rickey Henderson’s rookie card. From that point on I knew I had to have it. Unfortunately my desire to purchase said card did not equal the funds I possessed. And so, I worked. I helped my mom and dad with various jobs, saved my birthday money, and checked between the couch cushions for loose change. Eventually, I had saved enough money to acquire my prized possession. And I still have it today.
Jesus uses a story like this to illustrate an important point about what it means to be a disciple. In Matthew 13:44 He tells of a man who discovers a treasure in a field. He then joyfully liquidates all of his assets and buys the field in order to obtain the treasure. Jesus wants us to understand the importance of treasuring Him. He is infinitely valuable. Those who follow Jesus are called to treasure Him above all else. John Piper reminds us that Jesus is to be our treasure and not just our ticket to heaven.
But when we treasure something it leads us to action. We follow what we treasure. In order to obtain Rickey Henderson’s card I adjusted several things in my life to afford it. The man in Matthew 13 joyfully sells everything to buy the field. In Matthew 16:24 Jesus gives us a summary of the response to valuing Him as a treasure. He calls us to take up a cross and follow Him. Which begs the question, where? The answer, wherever God calls us to go. A disciple of Jesus not only treasures Jesus, but they surrender complete control of their life to Jesus. They go where He calls them to go, they do what He calls them to do. Even if it involves a cross.
But the wonderful thing about being a disciple of Jesus is we see that it is all worth it. Following Jesus provides us with the most joy this life has to offer (John 10:10, Mark 10:29,30). We will never out sacrifice God in our obedience to Him. Even the suffering, pain, and trials of this life will pale in comparison to the reward of being a disciple of Jesus (2 Corinthians 4:17).
And so, the question now comes to each of us? Are you treasuring and following Jesus? Do you value Him as He deserves? Does this value lead you to follow wherever He calls? If we are honest, we can at times (more often than we may want to admit) confess that we do not treasure Jesus. We allow other things in the world to take our mind off of His value and deserved supremacy in our lives.
But there is grace. Grace that is able to empower us to turn from the worthless things in which we may try to find value and meaning. If you find yourself in a state in which Jesus is not highly valued, turn to God. Cry out to Him in prayer and ask Him for grace to value Jesus as supreme. Dive into His Word and allow the truths of Scripture to begin to transform your heart. And know that even the turning of your heart away from things that are not valuable to an infinitely valuable Jesus brings glory and praise to God. And it begins the process of transforming the heart to follow Jesus wherever He leads.