Treasure Hidden in a Field

RICHARD LEE
MC ’14
Executive Director, Logos

“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 buy that field.” –Matthew 13:44, ESV

Parable of the Hidden Treasure by Rembrandt

In this perhaps the shortest parable in the entire Gospel, we see a man who sells his entire possession to buy a field with the hidden treasure. It seems odd at first, for why would he sell everything? I ask this question, in part because I have struggled through many reading comprehension exams, but pause and imagine that you are walking through a field and discover a trove with gold, diamonds, gems and 500,000 shares of Apple stock. You are shocked. You want to claim the treasure, but your conscience tells you not to steal, for it is on another man’s property. If we truly “believe” or “have faith” in this situation, then it is natural that we would sell all that we have to buy the field with the hidden treasure, which is worth infinitely more than anything we have.

The kingdom of heaven is like such. When people hear the good news of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ the Son of God and believe, they do not merely affirm the Truth, but they have faith in it; they take up their cross and follow Christ. Faith is more than a simple intellectual acquiesce. The man in the parable does not only say “I believe that the treasure is hidden in the field,” but he gives up everything for it. When Felix Baumgartner jumps from 24 miles above, he does not say “I believe in parachute” and never uses it, but he leaps and deploys his parachute that saves him from certain death.

Those who profess to be Christians must examine if they indeed have surrendered their entire self for Christ’s kingdom. Those who are called by God must give up their sinful lives, their idols, and their treasures, for the inheritance of the everlasting treasure that is infinitely more than what we have or what we can imagine.

To do so is faith, because “without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him” (Hebrews 11:6).

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