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Have you ever dreamed of finding buried treasure? When I was a child, I did. I read books on John Swift’s lost silver mine in eastern Kentucky. I panned for gold, and bought a metal detector and waded up and down the creek on our farm. I also hunted arrowheads and Indian artifacts. Why did I do all of this? Part of it was for the challenge; but the other reason was because I wanted the money from any treasure I found to fulfill my mother’s dream of building a Christian school.
Treasure and its buying power have driven men for centuries to embark on arduous quests in search of it. Take for instance the early Spanish explorers: Hernan Cortes invaded the Aztecs to plunder their gold; Hernando de Soto went in search of treasure in Florida; and Coronado stumbled across the Grand Canyon while in search of treasure in the southwest. And let’s not forget the gold rush of 1849 in California, which resulted in many young men leaving their families behind in the east, never to return to them again.
People have uprooted their families, risked bankruptcy, and even sacrificed their lives in search of treasure. This evening we are going to learn about a great treasure; one for which many have given their lives throughout the past two thousand years. It is also a treasure that others feel is not worth the pursuit. We are going to talk about this treasure; and we are going to see why some people choose to risk their life for it, and why others tend to ignore it and let remain undiscovered.
A Buried Treasure (v. 44)
44 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like 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.
Here we have “The Parable of the Hidden Treasure.” What is the treasure mentioned here? It’s the “kingdom of heaven.” “The man who bought the field found ‘a treasure.’ The Greek word for treasure used here is thesauros.” What are we familiar with today that sounds like this word? A thesaurus! What is a thesaurus? It’s a book containing synonyms, which are different variations of a single word. If you think about it, a thesaurus is like a treasury of words.
The Greek word thesauros “refers to a treasure chest or storehouse where a great treasure is kept. It is the same word used in Hebrews 11:26 to describe Moses’ turning of his back on the ‘treasures of Egypt’ in order to follow God.” Therefore, the treasure that this man found was not just a coin or a bag of gold, but a huge treasure, like what’s contained in a treasure house. When one discovers the kingdom of heaven, it’s like stumbling across a door in a field which leads to a huge treasure chamber hidden beneath.
I once read a story in the Kentucky Advocate Messenger about a farmer back around the 1940’s who drilled a water well. The story goes that after forty feet, he hit black gold, or rather oil. He lowered a coffee can on a string and pulled up a black molasses looking substance. In recent years, there was an upheaval of land on the same farm, which lifted boulders weighing many tons. When I read this newspaper article, I immediately thought to myself, “I wonder if that farm is for sale?”
If you were the man who found a treasure hidden in a field, what would you do if you stumbled across it? You would probably do exactly what he did; you would go into debt
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