The Parable Of The Hidden Treasure


Jesus has just finished telling the parable about the weeds in the field and our dear disciples still haven’t understood what Jesus meant and so Jesus explains the parable to His disciples. And so what Jesus is trying to do is explain what the kingdom of heaven is like.

Let’s see if we can understand what Jesus is trying to explain to His disciples and see if we can find out what treasures are to be found in the kingdom of heaven.

‘The kingdom of heaven is like 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

Unlike the world we live in today where we have banks and building societies, the people of Jesus’ day didn’t have these facilities. The safest place to keep your valuables in Biblical times was buried in the ground.

And we know of a couple of examples of that happening don’t we? Do you remember in The Book of Joshua when Achan stole some valuables from the Lord? Joshua 7:21.

Another example would be the unprofitable servant, which Jesus spoke about in Matthew 25:25 and the servant said, “I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground.”

But the point is that many people would bury their treasures under the ground, especially if they knew that war was on its way. We all know that Palestine is steeped in history, especially when it comes to wars. And as usual, Jesus teaches a parable about something that was very relevant to those who were listening.

It was common practice for people to bury their treasure in the ground until the war was over and then they would return to find it again when there was peace in the land. And remember, we shouldn’t make every little detail in this parable mean something.

In this little parable, there are two main points that Jesus is stressing.

1. The joy of this man’s discovery.

This man was going about his daily business, doing his work when he found the treasure. It wasn’t so much by accident, ok, he stumbled across it but he was working diligently in the field.

And I say diligently because this treasure would have been buried deep in the ground. He wouldn’t just be scraping the surface of the ground in his day’s work, he would have been digging deep into the ground.

And it’s while he’s digging deep that he discovers the hidden treasure. And it’s then that he hides it again and goes on his way. Now the treasure is the Gospel, the Word of God itself and it’s called treasure because sometimes it takes a little effort to find it.

We’re not talking about a physical treasure here that this man found, we’re talking about a spiritual treasure, Isaiah 33:6. We’re talking about salvation, wisdom and knowledge, we’re talking about fearing the Lord Himself.

But where can this treasure be found today? Well, the good news is that you don’t have to go to Palestine to find the Gospel of Christ today.

The sad news is that many people still think the only place to find and share and talk about the Gospel is in our church buildings. That’s just being a part-time Christian, that’s the wrong attitude.

People should be able to see the Gospel in our everyday lives. Even when we suffer as Christians, people should see the Gospel in our suffering, 1 Peter 2:21. people need to recognise us as Christians and see Jesus living and active in our lives.

We need to get away from this idea that people can only be reached with the Gospel in a religious atmosphere through the preaching of the Gospel.

The Gospel can be found at your work, the Gospel can be found in the office, in the classroom by your friends. The Gospel can be found anywhere by people who see the life of Jesus in our lives.

2. What’s the Gospel worth?

This man was willing to give up everything to make the treasure his own. And it wasn’t even an effort for him to give up everything, he was happy doing it, Matthew 13:44.

This treasure gave him so much joy that he was even willing to sacrifice everything he had to attain it. He wanted salvation so much you couldn’t put a price on it.

Do you remember when you became a Christian? Do you remember when you received the forgiveness of your sins and the gift of the Holy Spirit? You knew that your salvation was sure as long as you stayed faithful.

It’s only our salvation that brings lasting joy, Isaiah 12:1-6. Do you remember that day when you were baptised into Christ? How you wanted to tell the world about what you had discovered in Christ.

Your discovery was worth giving everything else up for. That was the day you stopped drinking heavily and stopped telling rude jokes. That was the day you gave up gambling because you discovered something that could make you eternally happy. But sadly not everyone is willing to even try and give up even their most treasured possessions.

Let me tell you a story about a man who was very wealthy and he wanted to inherit eternal life. Now he knew the Ten Commandments and he stuck to them ever since he was a young boy. And he was told that he could get eternal life if he just gave up one thing, all his possessions. But the man became very sad when he was told this.

You’ve probably guessed I was speaking about the rich young ruler who was speaking to Jesus in Luke 18:18-30. Oh, he was willing to pay lip service to God but he wasn’t willing to sacrifice anything to be a true follower of God.

His most treasured possession was his wealth, what’s yours? Maybe it’s your ambition to get that promotion at work. Maybe your most treasured possession is your car. Maybe your most treasured possession is your sinful lifestyle.

It’s not easy becoming a Christian and it doesn’t get any easier when you are a Christian, especially when you have to sacrifice things that are so dear to you, Philippians 3:4-6. Paul says he had to give up a brilliant future within Judaism, Philippians 3:7-9.

And he says that when you discover the treasure of Christ and His word and compare them to all things that you chase after in this world. He says you’ll discover that it’s all just rubbish compared to knowing Christ.

When are we going to realise that all that physical stuff that we hold so dearly to our hearts is just rubbish? Matthew 6:21. Is your heart set on running your business well or is it set in the Word of God? Is your heart set on continuing in your habit, whether it is drugs or laziness, or is it set on getting to heaven?

The Gospel can be found in many places, especially in the hearts of the Christians sitting around you. That man gave up everything he had to get that salvation and that’s because there’s a price to pay for being a Christian, Matthew 16:24.

A disciplined life is never easy, but the joy that you receive in return from doing God’s will far outweigh the sacrifices you need to make.

There are only a few things more important than our families in this life and our salvation is one of them. Just like the man who found the pearl, Matthew 13:45-46, they both found something that was beyond value. They both found the means to eternal life and just like the other guy, he too sold everything he had just to get it.

After all what price can you put on your salvation? How much is your soul worth to God? Paul says, “Listen, your soul is so precious to Jesus Christ that He was willing to die for you.”

Even when you were powerless, even when you didn’t want to know anything about God, Christ died for you anyway, Romans 5:6-8. It cost God the price of His precious One and only Son, to make your salvation possible. That’s how much your soul is worth to God.

A lot of people when they find something precious, the first thing they want to do is sell it. But the question is how much do you value your soul? Is it worth selling on? Judas Iscariot turned his back on Jesus and sold his soul to Jewish authorities for 30 pieces of silver.

Your soul means everything to God, and your salvation should mean everything to you.