The kingdom parables continue in Matthew 13 with the parable of the hidden treasure. It reads:
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid, and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. (Matthew 13:44)
This is perhaps one of the shortest parables given by the Lord. Do not judge the importance of a parable by its length. The Lord’s words here are powerful; the proper application in our lives will result in us having complete devotion to the kingdom of God.
There are many treasure seekers in the world. Some go to thrift stores or garage sales searching for that special prize. Some walk along beaches with metal detectors looking for gems that have washed ashore. Others go to even greater lengths, exploring the bottom of lakes or even the ocean looking for shipwrecks with lost riches.
All of the riches just listed are physical in nature, and as with all things of this world, will eventually come to naught. Some treasures were lost—they will get lost again. Even if it doesn’t happen in this generation with the current owner, it is likely that somewhere down the road it, whatever it is, will get misplaced, broken, or sold in a yard sale. Earthly treasures are not lasting.
It is rare that someone who is not seeking will find a treasure. The one who is not interested at all in treasures will be certain not to find any. The man in the parable was looking for treasure. Whether it was something specific or just a hunt for things of value, it is not revealed. Sometimes we might be looking, but don’t really know what we are looking for. Some folks are this way when it comes to the kingdom of God.
That is, of course the treasure Jesus spoke of in the parable. There is nothing that compares to the kingdom of God so far as value. When it is found, the seeker should, like this man, be willing to give up all for it. In the parable, it was a purchase requiring the sale of all the man owned. The purchase price was high—the value of the kingdom is higher!
Despite the great sacrifice necessary to buy the field and the treasure within it, there is no regret. In fact, the text tells us that it was a joy for the man to do so. When one understands the value of the kingdom of God, there will be no price too high.
The Bible reveals that the cost is high. The Lord said:
If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? (Matthew 16:24-26)
Elsewhere Jesus indicated that it is necessary for us to count Him more valuable than anyone else, even more important than our own life (Luke 14:26). We need to come to the Lord with the mind that we will not allow anything or anyone to be more important than He is. Consider—who else can be a Saviour? Peter tells us that there is no other name by which we can be saved (Acts 4:12).
Writing to the Corinthians, Paul acknowledged we are not the only ones who are paying a price. He said that we have been bought at a price, and thus we are no longer our own (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). Jesus paid the price to save us; His blood was shed to redeem us from sin (Acts 20:28). He paid more of a price to redeem us than we will ever pay to come to Him. And He did so with joy! The Hebrew letter says:
…looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12:2)
Is the kingdom of God a treasure to you? Have you given up all that you might obtain it? Do you know the joy of being a Christian, and having the hope of heaven?