‘One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.’ I remember as a teenager struggling to understand why gold, silver and jewels were considered precious. The sun glinting on gold was so much polished brass to me. Diamonds? Glorified glass! Rubies and pearls? Trinkets and baubles. Then as a mature adult, when I looked more closely I began to see what all the fuss was about. You could say that was when I lost my marbles, for ‘when I became a man, I put away childish things.’ You see, as an undiscerning youth I had likened the Bible to other books and Jesus to other men. Foolishness!
‘Happy is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains understanding; for her proceeds are better than the profits of silver, and her gain than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies, and all the things you may desire cannot compare with her.’ Proverbs 3:13-15. The Bible is the Book of Wisdom and Jesus is that Wisdom in the flesh! To see the difference between a real ruby and a piece of worthless glass one must hold them up to the light. And while we’re at it, speaking of light, there’s candlelight, lamplight, moonlight and sunlight. And then there’s the God/Man Jesus, ‘the light of the world’ (John 8:2). Cubic zirconia may look very much like a real diamond in romantic candlelight, but everything fake and phony is exposed when held up to the light of the world. God shines His light through the prism of Jesus. In Him are all the colours of God’s covenant rainbow. Only at His feet is the crock of gold to be found.
The Bible is THE treasure trove and Jesus is THE pearl of great price! ‘The kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it’ Matthew 13:45-46. Some think this ‘pearl of great price’ refers to the Church, i.e., the ‘bride of Christ’,’ rather than Jesus, and that it was Jesus who gave up all He had to buy her. Either way, like a husband and his wife, the two are one. As He has given His life for her, so she is to forsake all others for Him. For Jesus says, ‘Whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses His life for My sake will find it’ Matthew 16:25. Find what? The ‘pearl of great price.’ For He is the life! (John 14:6).
Jesus is also the truth. Therefore, it is against Him that we measure all truth. He prayed that His Father would do the following: ‘Sanctify them by Your truth, Your Word is truth’ John 17:17. Therefore, we are to use His Word to discern the truth from the lie, the fact from the fiction, the ruby from the rubbish, the treasure from the trash. Indeed, even light itself needs to be examined in God’s light, for the Psalmist says, ‘In Your light we see light’ Psalm 36:9b. The triune God is ‘the Father of lights’ from whom comes ‘every good gift and every perfect gift’ including the ‘pearl of great price.’
Jesus is the spade we use to dig for hidden treasure. He is the water we drink to quench our thirst. He is the lever we use to prise open the lid of the chest. He is the light we shine to see the jewels. He is the magnifying glass through which we view their authenticity.
Dear reader, do not trash treasure, for ‘The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone’ 1 Peter 2:7b.