By Campus Missionary Mary Rowley –
During college I was very involved in Drama Ministry. We had a skit based on the Parable of the Hidden Treasure. In it, the man who found the treasure was a pirate. After he found it, he traded all of his possessions to gain the field – his possessions being his authentic Captain’s hat, exotic parrot, and pirate ship. Somehow, I always ended up playing the parrot. The kids, of course, loved this interpretation, and I think making the man a pirate helped them see the sacrifices he had to make to acquire the treasure. After all, what’s a pirate without a hat, parrot, or ship?
The difference between this parable and the next is that this man stumbled across the treasure by accident, whereas the merchant was on the hunt for fine pearls. In both, we can see the clear parallel to Christ’s search for us. In his joy, he sacrificed a great deal – indeed, everything he had – to bring us to himself. However, the next parable – of the Net – brings us to the sad reality that not everyone will appreciate the sacrifice Christ made for us. Despite all of Christ’s efforts, despite the fact that he gave up his life just so we could be with him in heaven, some people just don’t get it. They’ll say, oh, he was just another religious guy, what makes him so special? And just like the disciples, in response to this, we don’t really understand.
But that’s why we’re here – for the people who just don’t get it. We have been trained for the kingdom of heaven, and we are to use that training to make disciples of those unbelieving, misunderstanding bad fish. We don’t know what that might entail, but we know it will require sacrifice on our part. We hope we won’t have to sell all our possessions, but no matter what we have to give up – whether it’s our time, energy, money, or parrot and pirate ship – we can do it with joy, knowing that we are doing God’s work and he is with us every step of the way.
Being joyful is not always easy; we often find ourselves wishing God could find another way or even another person to carry out his plans. But he chose us, specifically. He went out in search of us like the merchant because we have great value to him. Because of that, even when it’s hard for us to find the joy, we can trust that his intentions are always pure, and no matter where we’re going, he will never lead us wrong. In the hard times, we can look at his promises and have faith in the goodness of his Will.