Matthew 13:44-46 – Do we need to sell everything in order to come to Christ?

Problem: In this passage, Jesus compares the kingdom to a man who sells everything to gain it. He says, “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” (Mt. 13:44; cf. 13:46). Lordship theologians claim that this supports the notion that believers need to give everything away in order to come to know Christ. Is this the case?

Solution: There are two reasons for rejecting this interpretation:

First, the subject of every parable in Matthew 13 is Jesus—not the believer. As you read through each and every parable in this chapter, the subject is not the Christian believer, but Jesus. If this is the case in this parable, then Jesus is the one who sells everything—not us.

Second, the object of every parable is the church. We are God’s treasure, whom he sells everything to gain. Paul writes that we are “God’s own possession” (Eph. 1:14). This fits with the notion that God bought us at an incommensurable price. Peter writes that we “were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, 19 but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ” (1 Pet. 1:18-19).

Thus in contrast to Lordship theology, we are not the ones who sell everything for Jesus, but rather, Jesus sold everything that he had for us!


“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it. (Matt 13:44-46)

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