The following is an excerpt from the foreword of Risk is Right by John Piper. The foreword is written by David Platt.
In Matthew 13:44 Jesus tells his disciples, “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.”
I love this picture. Imagine walking in a field and stum- bling upon a treasure that is more valuable than anything else you could work for or find in this life. It is more valu- able than all you have now or will ever have in the future. You look around and notice that no one else realizes the treasure is here, so you cover it up quickly and walk away, pretending you haven’t seen anything. You go into town and begin to sell off all your possessions to have enough money to buy that field. The world thinks you’re crazy.
“What are you thinking?” your friends and family ask you. You tell them, “I’m buying that field over there.”
They look at you in disbelief. “That’s foolish,” they say. “Why
are you giving away everything you have to buy that field?” You respond, “I have a hunch,” and you smile to yourself as you walk away. You smile because you know that in the end any risk that others perceive is nothing compared to the re- ward you will receive. So with joy—with joy!—you sell it all. Why? Because you have found something worth losing every- thing else for.
This is the picture of Jesus in the gospel. He is some- thing—someone—worth losing everything for. When we re- ally believe this, then risking everything we are and everything we have, to know and obey Christ is no longer a matter of sacrifice. It’s just common sense. To let go of the pursuits, pos- sessions, pleasures, safety, and security of this world in order to follow Jesus wherever he leads, no matter what it costs, is not sacrificial as much as it is smart. In the words of Jim Elliot, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”