The Hidden Treasure

Matthew 13:44-46
Ex 34:29-35 / Psa 99: 5,6,7,9

The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.
(Matthew 13:44)

Where is the wisdom of having
A life of wealth and vain pleasure
When the price for them is losing
God’s promised eternal treasure?

(Jesus said), “The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it. (Matthew 13:44-46)

Reflection

Two short parables in two short verses, but the common message that they bring to us is as crisp and clear as a bright early morning, and as magnificently illustrated like a great painter’s obra maestra, a masterpiece of inestimable worth.

Note how Jesus’ teaching here seems to convey a sense of urgency and haste – there is no time to waste – a decision must be made before it is too late. And why indeed should anyone hesitate when the one chance of a lifetime is at hand? As He said in another parable, one must not look back when he has set his hand on the plow. Nothing in this life can ever compare to the treasure of God’s kingdom. “For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his own soul?” (Mk. 8:36). Conversely, in the case of the foolish, overweight and oversexed middle-aged man, “Why be seduced by an alien woman, or fondle the breast of a stranger” (Prov.5), and put yourself in danger of a heart attack? For a few hours of pleasure, why risk an eternity in hell?

What is your “treasure hidden in a field?” What is your “pearl of great value?” What are we willing to sacrifice in this life to ensure its priceless possession? In His wisdom and compassion, Jesus is not really asking us to give up everything for it – like He did for our sake on the cross. He is simply emphasizing the “great bargain” that He is offering us. All the saints and martyrs who received God’s gift of wisdom willingly gave up everything for this treasure.

Of course God does not expect most of us to live like His saints and martyrs. It is enough that we live a life of purity, compassion and peace. Having discovered a renewed life is what “finding a treasure hidden in a field” means. This life in Christ is priceless, and “selling everything” only means that we are willing to give up the things that may jeopardize our relationship with Him.

Lord God, our hearts are filled with joy, and we rush to “sell everything we have” to secure our place in Your kingdom. Thank You for making us realize how infinitely valuable Your Gospel messages are to guide us and keep us away from sin. Nothing is more precious than knowing that we are under Your love and protection. Amen.

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