12 Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
What does “this” in verse 12 and “it” in verse 13 refer to? A key principle for interpreting Scripture is to always look at the context of a verse or passage. In this case, Paul is referring back to verses 7-11. The thing that means more to him than anything else to knowing Christ, gaining Christ, treasuring Christ above all.
The reason this is true for Paul, and should be for us, is because of what he says at the end of verse 12: “Christ Jesus has made me His own.” Paul has never gotten over the beauty of the cross. Even after 30 years he is still overwhelmed by the wonder of the gospel and what Jesus did for him. And we should be as well.
And Paul is not content to just maintain his relationship with Jesus. He wants to keep growing and keep knowing Christ better and better. In verse 13 he talks about “one thing” that he is doing to make sure this happens. My challenge to you (and me) is to identify one thing that could help you to know Jesus better and treasure Him more. Just one thing! Never underestimate the power of making one simple change.
Here are three things that I have been pondering regarding treasuring Jesus above all else. I won’t make any further comments about them. I will just leave them here for you to mull over:
- What we treasure most we think about constantly! (Philippians 4:8)
- What we treasure most we pursue relentlessly! (Matthew 13:44)
- What we treasure most we guard jealously! (Exodus 20:4-5)
Is Jesus your greatest treasure?
May the Lord use this “brick” to spur you on to know Christ even better than you already do and to consider doing whatever it takes to make Christ your greatest treasure.