Would you sell your house, your car, your collections and all your belongings for this machine? What if I told you that if you put sand in this machine, it would produce high-quality, precious gems worth thousands of dollars each? Would you do it then? Most people would because you would get a return on your investment of giving everything up. The things you would have to sell in order to purchase it could all be replaced once you get the machine.
In Matthew 13, Jesus proposed something similar to the people listening to His sermon. He said, “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure that a man discovered hidden in a field. In his excitement, he hid it again and sold everything he owned to get enough money to buy the field. Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant on the lookout for choice pearls. When he discovered a pearl of great value, he sold everything he owned and bought it!” (NLT).
Like you, I’ve read these scriptures my whole life, and thought, “I’ve purchased the pearl of great price by giving my life to God.” As I’ve gotten older, I’ve begun to realize that Jesus was asking each one of us if we are willing to give up everything for Him. Are we willing to give up our home, our belongings, our beds, our tables, our furniture, our things that give us a sense of security, all for him? Now, how do you think about the pearl of great value? Are you willing to give up all of that for it?
Be careful how you answer that question. Jesus asks us to give up even more than that in order to be His disciple. In Luke 14:25-27, Jesus had a large crowd following Him. He turned to them and said, “Anyone who comes to me, but refuses to let go of father, mother, spouse, children, brothers, sisters – yes, even one’s own self! – can’t be my disciple” (MSG). It costs a lot to be a follower of Jesus. You may be asked to give up everything in order to be His disciple, but your return on investment is out of this world. Just like the machine above, you will get back everything you gave up if you’re willing to let go of it.