Let’s listen today as Derek continues to bring to light illustrations from the Word of God that demonstrate God’s fathomless, never-failing love for you and for me. Hear how God made the greatest investment in the universe for you.
Well, he inquired about the price of the field and everybody wondered really why he wanted to buy that field because it never had been a very productive field. It had mainly produced thistles. But the owner of the field wanted a monstrous price and he wouldn’t come down. So this man, because he wanted the treasure said, “I’ll pay the price.” And when he worked it out it meant he had to sell everything he had.
I can picture him going home to his wife saying, “Honey, we’re going to buy that field.”
“That field! What do you want that field for? Nothing ever grew in it.”
“Oh, but I want that field.”
“Well, how much are you going to pay?” He named the sum. “Where are you going to get the money?”
“We’re going to sell everything we have. We’re going to sell the house, we’re going to sell the furniture, we’re going to sell the farm, we’re going to sell our implements, we’re going to sell our animals, we’re going to sell our spare clothing.”
“You must be crazy! Whatever for?”
“You wait, you’ll understand.” So he sold the whole of all that he owned and had just the money that he needed to buy the field. And when he bought the field and got all the legal deeds absolutely tied up then he said to his wife, “Now come, I’ll show you why I bought the field.” And he began to dig down and he came to the chest, pried open the lid and she gasped at the incredible treasures that were in that chest.
Then we just consider the next parable for a moment, the parable of the pearl. It’s very similar but we can see some differences. It’s very important to understand that the man who wanted to buy the pearl was a merchant. He was not a tourist. Ruth and I have come from Hawaii just recently and there’s shops there that sell pearls to tourists. A lot of those tourists don’t know one pearl from another. They’re easily fooled. But this man couldn’t be fooled; he was a merchant. He’d spent his life dealing in pearls. And one day he came across this incredibly beautiful pearl and he held it in his hand and he said, “I want you. You’re the most perfect pearl that I’ve ever set eyes on.” He inquired the price and again to raise the money he’d have to sell everything he owned.
So we picture him going back to his wife. “Honey, we’re going to sell everything we have.”
“I want to buy a pearl.”
“One pearl! You mean you’re going to sell our home, our furniture, our clothes, our cattle, our farm just for one pearl?”
He said, “You haven’t seen the pearl. Wait till you see the pearl.”
That’s just a little sort of background. Now, I believe that that’s a picture of the price that Jesus was willing to pay to redeem us. It cost Him all He had. It seemed crazy. What did He see in us that He would pay so much? If you like to take it a little further you can give it a double application. The treasure in the field is God’s foreknown people buried in this world. Matthew 13 says more than once the field is the world. Jesus died for the whole world but He didn’t want the world. What did He want? The treasure in the world. What is the treasure? God’s people. But in order to get the treasure He had to buy the field. Buying the field cost Him everything.
Then if you think about the pearl—and I mean, there’s more than one way to understand this. But for me I see the pearl as just one redeemed soul. I understand that one soul is so valuable in the sight of God that if there had only been one person who ever would have been saved in all of history, and you were that person, Jesus would have died for you. We have no way of comprehending the value that God sets upon a human soul. For Him it’s a pearl of great price.
Now, let’s consider the price that Jesus paid. The New Testament tells us very clearly in various places He had to shed His own precious blood. That was the only price that could buy back the treasure and the pearl. In Acts 20:28, Paul is talking to the elders of the church at Ephesus and warning them of their responsibility. This is a real warning to us who are leaders of God’s people. Paul said in Acts 20:28:
“Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.”
Who purchased? God. What was the price? His own blood. And this is a real solemn charge to us who have leadership in the Body of Christ. Remember we’re dealing with people whom God valued so much that Jesus paid His blood to redeem them. Let us never trifle with God’s people. Let us realize the solemnity of our responsibility.
But particularly tonight I want to emphasize that to purchase the people of God it cost Jesus His lifeblood.
And then in 1 Peter 1:17 and following. This is addressed to believers in Jesus Christ.
“And if you call on the Father who without partiality judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your sojourning here in fear; knowing...”
Why are we to have an attitude of reverent fear? Peter is going to explain. Because of the value that God has set upon us. Dear Christian brother and sister, never think of yourself as cheap. God made the greatest investment in the universe for you. One of the great tragedies in the Christian church is Christians who undervalue themselves, who think of themselves as insignificant, unimportant, and feel unworthy. Going on, verse 18:
“...knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things like silver or gold from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.”
That’s a reference to the lambs that were sacrificed in Israel, particularly the Passover lamb which had to be without blemish and without spot. And when that’s applied to Jesus I understand that without blemish means He was without original sin; without spot, He was without personal sin.
And then it says in the next verse:
“He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you.”
That’s a staggering thought. Before God created the world, before He brought into being the human race He knew that man would fall, He knew that man would go into sin. And He knew that there would be only one price that could buy man back from his sin. And I can reverently picture the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit—the Godhead in counsel—discussing this. The Father said, “Shall we create man?” The Son said, “Father, please do. It would be so wonderful to be able to have fellowship with man.”
And the Father said, “Son, suppose man should turn away from us in rebellion and sin? What would we do then?” And maybe there was a silence.
And then the Son said, “Father, I’ll buy them back.”
“What will you pay?”
“My life blood.”
And so, before God ever created man, He knew what it was going to cost. That’s a staggering thought, isn’t it?