“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.”
From rags to riches. We like that kind of story, the newspaper boy turned into a publisher, C.E.O. This parable, only a single verse is almost the same thing. A poor man is walking through a field and viola! He finds a treasure chest, and it’s packed full of golden coins, diamonds, and emeralds.
He looks around, and seeing no one, he re-buries it. (After all, when you accidentally discover a treasure chest, you must take certain precautions.)
A key I suppose–the word “joy.”
And that really isn’t something we really know–unless something wonderful happens to us of course. He has joy, he can’t believe it. I think he was a bit dazed by it all, and he must of walked in an unreal sort of bubble. After all, these things never really happen.
It’s sort of like finding you’ve got the winning numbers of the Lottery, and you just won $10,000,00!
It’s this kind of unreal “luck” that this guy knows what he must do. Now the owner of the field owns everything, including the chest. The finder realizes he can’t just sneak the chest off to his home–there would be too many questions. (Where did a poor guy like you get a gold coin?) His neighbors would figure it out. And besides, he would be a thief. There has to be a better way.
Suddenly he has an idea. If he sells everything he has, he probably could buy that field. And then everything that was there would be rightfully his. Selling all isn’t a problem, he knows that whatever he gives up is nothing close to the treasure in the field.
The listener (them), and the reader (us), should understand two things about the treasure that can be found by “poor” men:
- It’s about the Bible–the promises in the scriptures are often compared to wealth, at least the spiritual kind. Psalm 119 describes finding treasure in God’s Word. What he speaks is valuable, very much so. There are hundreds of verses that bear this out, Here’s one: “Your teachings are worth more to me than thousands of pieces of gold and silver” (Psalm 119:72).
- It’s about Jesus–the Bible is constantly aware of him, and his presence is seen in every chapter and book. He’s the treasure we find, knowing him, is the most valuable thing a person can ever have (by far). “The one who believes in the Son has eternal life, but the one who rejects the Son will not see life; instead, the wrath of God remains on him.” (John 3:36).
To be his disciple means we give everything else up. We sell it all to get spiritual riches. There’s a field that we find that is worth everything, and the only way we can have the treasure is by giving up everything. There really isn’t any other way.
“You lack one thing: Go, sell all you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
Mark 10:21, (context vv. 17-33)
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