Imagine for a moment you received an insider stock tip (don’t worry, you won’t go to jail for this exercise!). A small pharmaceutical company has recently discovered a cure for a debilitating disease, and your insider tip is that this drug will receive FDA approval and the value of the company’s stock will increase by 1000%. How much would you invest in the stock? $1000? $10,000? If you knew it was a sure thing, would you sell everything you own to get the 1000% return?
Jesus told a similar story about a man who discovered a treasure in a field and then went home to sell everything he had to buy the field. The man knew the return on investment, so the cost meant nothing to him.
He gave everything to gain the treasure.
This is a metaphor for discipleship.
John 11 is a turning point in the Gospel. In the first 44 verses, Jesus performs his most significant sign: the raising of Lazarus. With this sign, he proved without a doubt that he is the resurrection and the life.
He’s the treasure in the field.
Jesus’s magnificent sign demanded a response: If Jesus is the resurrection and the life, what would you give to gain him? What wouldn’t you give?
In John 11:45–12:11, we see two possible responses to Jesus: rejection and worship. The priests, faced with the steep cost of following Jesus, decide that the treasure isn’t worth it. They set out on a path that eventually costs them everything and gains them nothing. Mary, on the other hand, sees Jesus for who he is and responds in worship. She sees the treasure for what it is and doesn’t hesitate to offer everything to gain it. She sets out on the path to life.