Home > Lessons in School, Lessons in Serving, Sermons, Theological Reflections > Everything – A reflection on Matthew 13:44-46

Everything – A reflection on Matthew 13:44-46

A short reflection that I preached for a Taize service on Sunday.


Anh Cao knows something about doing everything he can to attain a degree from the University of Toronto. He is a Vietnamese student who had straight A-plus marks and received numerous prizes upon graduation. The surprising thing about this gifted scholar is that he lived in a homeless shelter in order to pursue his degree. His studies were so important to him that he gave up everything for one thing.

Tonight’s parables are short descriptions of the kingdom of heaven that shift from the giver of salvation to our response. In each parable, the seekers sell all that they have in response to the treasure they have found.

God gives the treasure

In both parables, the treasure is already hidden. The treasure is already in the field and the pearl is already out there. The person who finds the treasure is not responsible for its creation. In the same way, the treasure of salvation has already been given to us. Christ has given his life for us so that we can have eternal life but also experience joy and peace in this world.

Response in the Parables

In the first parable, the person happens to find the hidden treasure and realizes that he has been looking for it all along. He then sells all that he had to buy the field. In the second parable, the person is searching for the finest pearls and finds what he is looking for. When he finds it, he realizes it is worth selling everything he has in order to buy it.

For Anh, he sought a university degree with all that he had. He gave up the comforts of home when it was the choice between living in a shelter or continuing his studies.

But for Christians, we have a treasure far greater than any university degree could give us. We have been given the promise of salvation and the presence of the Holy Spirit. We have found a treasure that gives us peace and joy that transcends all understanding and circumstances.

The merchant likely had other pearls that he had collected – each of them probably worth something and beautiful in their own right. Like the merchant, we might need to discern between what is good – and what is better.

Our response

I wonder what it would look like to give up everything for the kingdom of God – if you and I gave up everything we had to love God and love our neighbours. I wonder what things we would need to let go? How would our days be ordered differently?

Perhaps we are not ready to give up everything? Maybe our own comfort stands in the way. Maybe we are afraid. Maybe we would rather dip our toes into the water before jumping in with both feet. But I wonder how each of us can take a step closer to giving all we are to God.


I’d like to close with the words of one writer:

“Each of these tales requires everything. And each requires just one thing. The price for the treasures of God is everything we have.” (Nancy Rockwell)

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