Summary: Nothing can destroy God’s people, Israel--Not killing all male babies, or burning their cities, not gas chambers, and not a nuke from Iran. Israel’s FAVOUR, their FAILURE, and their FUTURE. Link included to formatted text, audio, and PowerPoint Template.
Parable of the Hidden Treasure
There are ten “Kingdom Parables”, and according to vv. 1-2 they were given by the seaside [Galilee]. V. 36 says Jesus sent the multitude away after delivering four of them, and then entered into a house and gave more info. and more parables to His disciples. Jesus continued to give more parables throughout the remainder of His ministry, and eventually we’ll look at all of them.
The first 4 parables were written to the multitude to reveal some things about God and His Kingdom, from man’s perspective. Fact is, they are negative in nature.
• Parable of the Sower—only 1/4th of the seed was productive.
• Wheat & Tares—evil is sowed among the good [counterfeit Christians.]
• Mustard Seed—seed became plant, then plant became tree…a monstrosity it wasn’t supposed to be…the apostate, counterfeit church.
• Leaven—bad doctrine laced into true worship of God.
But don’t get the false idea that this is suggesting that God’s work will not triumph. It will! And for this reason God gives the disciples more explanation and more parables, which we begin tonite…parables of victory.
A quick overview of the next 3 parables: Turn to I Cor. 10 for something interesting…
Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God:
In broad strokes the Lord paints the human race into 3 groups. The next 3 parables will show us what the Lord is doing on the earth in relation to these 3 groups.
Pearl of Great Price—church
So, tonite’s parable is all about the nation of Israel.
The elements: the field, the treasure, the buyer.
The common interpretation, like many parables, is a mistaken one. This is because Christ used parables not only to reveal truth to those sincerely seeking it, but to conceal truth FROM those who aren’t open to it. I hear most every day from someone who has listened to one of our parable studies who doesn’t agree because they’ve always heard or taught it differently. They are revealing, sadly, that they don’t want to make sure they are right…rather, they want to believe they have always been right, thus they aren’t open to new truth.
This common misinterpretation is that Jesus and salvation are the treasure, and the man is a seeking sinner who sells all that he has to receive salvation. Of course, there are problems w/ this interpretation.
First of all, the man finds the treasure. But truth is, people don’t find Jesus, rather, He finds them. I know what you mean when you say you found Jesus, but in theological terms it’s not accurate, for if you come to Him it’s only because He found you, called you, and you simply are one who heard His voice and answered the call.
For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.
When Adam sinned in the garden he hid, but God came looking for him.
A 2nd problem is that the man sells all that he has to purchase the field. Obviously this doesn’t send the right message about salvation by grace. It looks more like works that way. But many are trying to buy their way into heaven, sadly.
The 3rd problem: Jesus Christ is not a hidden treasure. He is the most prominent, best known personality in the history of the world. The world may blaspheme Him, hate Him, and reject Him, but one thing the world cannot do is ignore Him! One way I know He’s truly the only real God is that when people want to curse God they use HIS name. They don’t mention Allah, Buddha, or anyone else! He is the first name on anyone’s mind when thinking of God, whether in cursing or in worship. He is not a hidden treasure. He is not hiding. He doesn’t want it to be difficult to find Him. Jesus wants people to be saved far more than they themselves want to be saved, even if they choose to be!
This parable is not a picture of a sinner finding Jesus and doing what it takes to receive Him. So what is the correct interpretation?
The field is the world. The man is Christ Himself. The treasure is God’s chosen people, the nation of Israel. The purpose of this parable is to show God’s working in His chosen people.
Consider with me Israel’s Favour, Failure, and Future…
This is an exciting couple of verses packed w/ dynamic Bible prophecy.
I. Israel’s Favour*
A. Israel is God’s chosen, favored people, a treasure chosen by God.
For the LORD hath chosen Jacob unto himself, and Israel for his peculiar treasure.
God didn’t choose Israel because they were better, or more moral [they weren’t!], or more obedient…no, it was God’s sovereign choice to set them aside as His own peculiar treasure. And in doing so God has placed upon them His 7-fold blessing…