My question could apply in many different areas of our lives! There is obviously the negative, that focus on abandoning our position. Some might consider me as selling out on my Football team of birth to root for the Seahawks. There is also the positive aspect of selling out, as going all in, the buy in. The Bible also challenges us not to sell out our faith, but to sell out, to by in to the practices of a follower of Jesus. The question might be better phrased by asking not “Have I sold out?” but “What have I sold out to?”
I recently was hit by one passage from the Gospels where Jesus challenges His followers to sell out to follow Him. The Gospels are filled with many passages that challenge us to buy in as His follower. One such account is found in a parable in Matthew chapter 13. It is worth noting that Jesus’ preaching style changes to the use of parables at this time. The change was the results of the lack of response of his Jewish audience and rejection of His person and ministry. Jesus’ use of parables was to communicate to those that believed by using parables. “Then the disciples came and said to him, “Why do you speak to them in parables?” And he answered them, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given.” (Matthew 13:10–11) We are reminded that Jesus’ parables are provided for our benefit.
The Gospels are filled with numerous parables. I want to draw your attention to one specific parable often referred to as the “The Parable of the Great Treasure.” It is a short parable, but it contains a powerful message on the importance of “Buying In” as a follower of Jesus. ““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.” (Matthew 13:44) Jesus uses an analogy of privilege of knowing Him as finding a great treasure or hitting the lottery. Imagine for a moment somehow you knew the winning lottery number in advance. Here we see the individual finds this great treasure and just puts it back and goes on with life… No, that is not what he did or what you or I would do. Jesus reminds us that he goes and sells all that he has to purchase the field and obtain the great treasure. It is here that we glimpse Jesus’ call to those hearing his message to sell out to obtain the greatest treasure offered to each human being, salvation through Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection.
It is sad that many that do not yet know Christ do not grasp the greatness of God’s gift of salvation. The blessings are two numerous to cover here, but just think of the forgiveness of your sins, past, present and future, that locks in our position as God’s child. Or ponder the gift of the indwelling presence of God in our lives through the ministry of the Holy Spirt. Consider that the greatness of his ministry of interpreting our prayers so that they are answered by God the Father. It seems more grievous that they have experienced this truth and neglect the gift that they have received.
The question for each of us is not “Have I sold out? but “What have to sold out to!” Have I bought into being a follower of Jesus. Maybe you need to take the step of faith by accepting what Jesus has done for you. Or maybe for those that are known by God already the buy in is to engage in my spiritual development . This process begins with regularly attending a weekly service, reading a portion of your Bible each day, setting aside a time to bring your burdens to that one that can help, or connecting with other “sold out” followers of Jesus!
-Pastor Joe Parkinson