The treasure of kingdom citizenship


Matthew 13:44 “The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field which a man found and hid again; and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.”

During this holiday season, we consider all the things that make us thankful. One of those things that all believers enjoy is citizenship in a heavenly kingdom. Our God has rescued us out of a dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son He loves, in Whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

Throughout his gospel, Matthew testifies about God’s kingdom. John the Baptist prepared people for its arrival. Jesus taught about who would receive it. The Sermon on the Mount highlighted the qualities that characterize its citizens. And the parables illustrated the importance and value of it.

Starting at the beginning, Matthew pointed his readers back to the Old Testament writings that prophesied a great king. “Out of you, [Bethlehem,] will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel whose origins are from old, from ancient times” he quoted from Micah 5:2. The wicked King Herod tried to destroy this newborn prince when he arrived, but failed miserably. God protected Him by warning Joseph in a dream to escape.

Years later John the Baptist, “a voice of one crying in the wilderness,” prepared the way for the King preaching, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (3:2). After John’s imprisonment Jesus took residence in Galilee and preached the same message of repentance and the nearness of the kingdom.

Throughout Jesus’ earthly ministry He continually taught about kingdom conduct, reminding His listeners to seek first God’s kingdom and His righteousness and all other things would be given to them as well. He warned against intruders, those who pretend to be citizens but will be turned away in the end because of their lack of faith.

Using parables, stories with a meaning, Jesus spoke of the importance and value of the kingdom and how it grows. The parable of the mustard seed reveals how the smallest of beginnings grows into a thriving community. The parable of the yeast demonstrates how the kingdom’s citizens influence the whole world.

In highlighting the value of the kingdom Jesus told the parable of the treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy sold all he owned to buy the field. Similarly, Jesus told the parable of the merchant looking for fine pearls. When this scrupulous man found the beauty of beauties he went away and sold everything he had to buy it.

Yet, lest anyone misunderstand their position in the kingdom, Jesus told another parable comparing the kingdom of heaven to a fishing net let down into a lake. When the net was pulled up, the fisherman sorted through the fish, throwing away the bad fish and keeping the good fish. The story warned of the end of the age when angels would separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace where there would be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

One thing that is clear from the Book of Matthew and the whole Bible is that we are all citizens of a kingdom. The question we need to ask is “Which one?” The default kingdom of darkness is ruled by the rulers, authorities, and powers of this dark world, and the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms (Ephesians 6:12). All sorts of sin and wickedness characterize it and its end is destruction.

The other is ruled by the King of Glory, God’s own Son, who came to set us free from Satan’s realm of darkness. This is the Kingdom proclaimed by John the Baptist, Jesus, and Matthew. It is characterized by righteousness, justice, and peace. Anyone can become a citizen of God’s Kingdom by humbling himself like a child and receiving the gift of forgiveness King Jesus offers by faith.

All of this and more is a treasure worth finding, a life worth living, and this holiday season, something for which genuine Kingdom citizens can be truly thankful!



Sandra Sheridan is a midwest wife and mother of five. She shares her letters to her children with our readers. Visit her at

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