I’m pretty sure that many of you don’t know John. Truth is, I don’t quite know him myself either. I hope you all can humour me for a little while, and pretend that we do know him. Who was John? Who did John live with at his home? Did he even have a home? Was John married? Was his wife beautiful? Faithful even? What kind of car did he drive? What job did he own? What language did he speak? Feel free to leave a comment saying what thoughts came to your mind about John.
If you’re anything like me, you probably grew a little attached to John after ‘getting to know him’ a little bit. He seems like a cool guy, doesn’t he? Well I have some bad news for you… John is dead. He died a few days ago tragically of unknown causes. Life’s funny isn’t it?
So why mention John in the first place? John reveals to us a certain truth that we must recognize. His house, his job, his wife and his car all stay here on earth when he’s gone. There is absolutely no earthly treasure that can come with us when we die. It can’t help but make you wonder; why fight to earn so much wealth in the first place? King Solomon, one of the wisest men who ever lived, said that all is vanity. He had everything life has to offer; riches, women, power… and he found fulfilment in none of them. The only thing he truly found fulfilment in was putting his trust in the Lord.
It’s interesting that Jesus would come out and say to put our treasures in heaven, as opposed to on earth. I reminds me of
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.” Matthew 6 :19,20
the parable of the talents, whereby a master went to a faraway land and designated talents, or money, to his servants in varying proportions. The servant whom was given the least chose to hide his away, while the rest invested what they were given and brought forth an increase. It wasn’t hard to see that when the master came back, that he was angry with the one who hid his talent away instead of investing it. When we work for our master, Jesus Christ, we invest into His Kingdom and store up treasures for ourselves there.
So what does it really mean to live this life? It’s not guaranteed to be an easy one. Storing up treasures in heaven means not storing up any for yourself, while remembering that God is our Provider and that we will be taken care of. A simple example of life not being an easy one is Moses. He lead God’s people out of Egypt, where they were held captive as slaves, and to a place where God promised; the Promised Land. If only he got to go there. God held him back and only let him see the land to which he dealt with a complaining, miserable people for 40 years. From a mountaintop. Far, far away. That must’ve been really tough on him.
Throughout the Bible we see experiences of people who served God, but didn’t have life go as expected. If you really want to hear about someone who had it rough, go read the book of Job. Some might say hey! That’s not fair! We toil and toil for His kingdom and that’s what we get? Surely this must be some kind of joke!
But let me remind you of the one they call Jesus.
Jesus was the first and last person ever on this earth to be completely innocent. Never did a hint of wrong in His life. Out of everyone, He definitely deserved to live it up while on this earth. In the end however, that’s not exactly how it played out. He was betrayed by one of His closest friends with a kiss (which if you think about it, is really messed up), beaten three-quarters to death, stripped naked, taunted, ridiculed and spat upon, before being sent to His death by way of crucifixion; the cruellest manner of execution known to man. And He did that… for us.
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10
So what of John’s funeral? If you didn’t realise by now, John is a representation of us. All the things that we own, that we strive for, should never come before the service of our God, who gave more than enough for us, that because He died and rose again on the third day, we have victory over our faults and failures. And what’s in it for us? A bunch of heavenly treasures at the end of our road, and being able to meet face to face with the One who loves us more than anyone else ever could. Keep working!