“The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure that somebody hid in a field, which someone else found and covered up. Full of joy, the finder sold everything and bought that field” (Matthew 13:44, Common English Bible).
To the modern ear the parable of the treasure in the field sounds a bit strange. In this time when mineral rights are often retained by sellers or sold outside the property itself this story would actually happening would be highly unlikely. Additionally, there would be ethical concerns as well. Finding someone else’s treasure and buying the field to have it for yourself instead of telling the owner? Questionable at best.
Things were different in the Biblical era. It was not uncommon for people to bury their treasure, particularly during times of war. Then, as sometimes happens, even today, the person might have been killed or taken prisoner and made a slave. It was not uncommon to find people searching among the ruins after a battle, searching for treasure. If they found something, they were quick to stake a claim, much like someone might have done during the gold rush days.
The whole point of the parable is, that the kingdom is like the treasure itself. When we find the treasure, we should be willing to sacrifice all we have, all we are, in order to have the treasure of the Kingdom of God.
When I think about this parable I look at it in light of Jesus’ conversation with the rich young man (Matthew 19:16-22). This is exactly what Jesus was telling the rich young man. First, when the young man asks Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life. Jesus’ response, live by the law. The young man said he had done this since he was a boy. Jesus then tells him to go sell all he has, give the money to the poor and come and follow him. The rich young man went away sad as he was unwilling to part with his stuff in order to have the treasure of the Kingdom of God.
The same was as true today as it was back then. How many of us would be willing to sell all we have in order to have the Kingdom of God? I fear the number is small. For way too many in our society, the idea is to accumulate more, not to give away what we already have. In our society, we have no answer to the question, “How much is enough?” When the focus is on more for me instead of helping the poor, we miss the boat.
We have much. The treasure is available. The question for each of us is, are we willing to sell it to buy the treasure?
What are you willing to give up, to get the the Kingdom of God?
Have a blessed day in the Lord.
Joy, Peace and Thanksgiving,
Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved