Paradox

“Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

That statement is backwards, isn’t it? Don’t we treasure things that are near to our hearts? It’s harder to believe a treasure could be something we have to journey towards.  We keep our treasures close, don’t we? It’s paradoxical to imagine moving our hearts toward something and deciding to treasure it.

Yet, how many times does Jesus ask us to do something paradoxical? How many Bible verses can you remember that are like this one – sounding “backwards” at first until you grasp the loving truth they contain? Jesus Himself is a paradox. He conquered death by dying. He led by serving. He spoke to illiterate people in a tiny conquered nation thousands of years ago, and His words are heard today in every corner of the earth.

Perhaps we can only follow Jesus if we let go of the idea of paradox. Like beauty, a paradox is in defined by the beholder. Jesus does not say, “This is backwards, but trust me, it will work.” He says, “Your heart will be where your treasure is.” If we want to receive this word, we have to stop deciding that it’s impractical or illogical. Instead of saying, “It’s not a treasure if my heart’s not in it,” can we say, “What if a treasure is something I don’t have yet? What if I’m still discovering what makes something precious?”

What if?

When we stop stumbling over the paradoxes, we often discover that Jesus included plain answers to our questions in the Bible as well.

What makes a treasure?

God.

God is love itself, wisdom itself, beauty itself, mercy itself. The closer we come to Him, the more precious is everything around us, even within us. The context of this verse says it all. Jesus had just explained that this treasure would be in heaven, the place where we go if we have chosen God every time we had the chance. Heaven is closeness to God. Whatever we are able to save up there, on our journey, is also close to God and therefore precious.

-Photo by Anne Edgar on Unsplash

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