One of the shortest but most powerful stories Jesus told is found in Matthew 13:44: “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.”
This simple story illustrates the life and work of our career missionaries. The story begins with a discovery. It seems to be an unexpected discovery, since the treasure was in a field that belonged to someone else. Each of our career missionaries has experienced a similar discovery. At some point in their lives they encountered Jesus Christ, and that discovery changed their lives forever.
The second key element of Jesus’ story is its value. When the man in the story found the treasure he made a conclusion about its value. In fact, he decided everything he had or desired was inferior to the treasure he had found. Our missionaries have done this in their choice to serve in another country. They have made a careful judgment and concluded, in light of the infinite worth of knowing Jesus and making him known to others, that it is reasonable to trade their lives for this pursuit.
The third key element is covering the treasure and selling everything. The man must have appeared foolish when he sold everything to buy the field. His choices made no sense. Our missionaries’ choices to “see all and buy the field” reflect their faith in the infinite worth of Christ!
Finally, the man joyfully purchases the field. At this point the treasure would be uncovered and, in a moment of time, all the man’s choices make perfect sense. We anticipate the day the treasure is fully seen for Who He is – the Infinitely Worthy One! On that day, all will see the return on investment that is hidden to this world and those who make choices based on its values.
We do not view our missionaries as unusual or exceptional. They point us to the life to which God calls us – a life that makes no sense to those without faith. Our lives won’t make sense to a world that doesn’t value Jesus genuinely. As you learn about our missionaries, invite the Holy Spirit to open your eyes to the opportunities God has given you to “sell everything” and pursue a life based on the ultimate worth of Christ and making him known to ALL PEOPLES….