Verse of the Day Devotion Matthew 13:44
“The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid; and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.” – Matthew 13:44
The parable we will look at today is of the Hidden Treasure. Here is this parable, which is also our focus verse as told in Matthew’s gospel.
“The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid; and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.” Matthew 13:44.
Jesus here equates the kingdom to a man who finds treasure, one that is buried in a field. Treasure could denote where valuables are stored, as is found earlier in Matthew. “And they came into the house and saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell down and worshiped Him; and opening their treasures they presented to Him gifts of gold and frankincense and myrrh.” Matthew 2:11. However, in this verse it denotes the valuable item itself. In a day when places for keeping things safe that we take for granted (like the safe deposits in banks) did not exist people had to make their own arrangements. One method they employed was to bury their valuable possessions (as did the unprofitable servant who hid his talent instead of investing it). If anyone did this before going off on a journey and failed to return, the possessions remained there and might be found later through a chance discovery like that in this parable. And what kind of field this was unknown. Could have been anything, however many believe it was a field for crops.
And there have been questions as to the morality of finding a treasure there, and then hiding it so he can purchase it. However, this is irrelevant in the meaning of the parable. Jesus is not dealing with the morality or legality of the man’s action but making the point that there can be treasure such that it is worth selling everything in order to possess it, such as with membership in the kingdom.
Jesus says that the man was very happy over his discovery; finding treasure must surely be a joyful experience. And the man’s joy leads him to go off and buy the field, even though this meant he must first sell all he has. The man realized this treasure far surpassed the value of the sum of everything he has. Therefore, he determined living with this treasure was better then living with what he had.
Jesus is not saying that a man may buy his way into the kingdom; that would fly in the face of all his teaching. The selling of all he has is rather a way of bringing out the truth that one should count all we have as lost for the sake of the kingdom, for this treasure is the grace and forgiveness of God, through the death of Jesus Christ, whereby we will live for all eternity with Jesus. This parable thus begs the question. Do we view salvation and eternity with God worth giving up everything we have? Are we willing to give to give it all up, including our things, property, friends, reputation, etc. to follow Christ? This is what He cal of us. He is asking us what we value more, the treasures of this world, or the treasures of God? The answer is very clear to me, God’s riches. It may not appear to be riches from the world’s point of view, but membership in the kingdom has infinite value which all the worlds wealth could never come close to matching.
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.