Summary: The Gospel Is Our Greatest Possession 1) Recognize its value 2) Treasure its worth
Who likes treasure hunts? What do you say we have one right now! I have a cooler here in which I’ve hidden a treasure. Can one of you children come up and find it? (Child looks for treasure.) You found it! What is it? Hold it up so everyone can see. It’s a gold nugget – a Hershey’s Gold Nugget that is. Is this a treasure you would like to have? Yes? Well, what are you willing to give me for it? Even though you found the treasure, it was in my cooler so it still belongs to me. Are you willing to give me all of your toys, video games, and piggy bank savings for this? No? Why not? Because it’s not that valuable is it? Is there anything you would give all your toys and money to have? It would have to be something pretty special wouldn’t it?
In our sermon text Jesus tells us that there is something worth giving up all we have to retain. That prized possession is the gospel – the good news that Jesus came to save us from our sins. Because the gospel is our greatest possession, Jesus will teach us this morning to recognize its value and to treasure its worth.
We’re going to learn about our most prized possession from four parables Jesus told. In the first parable a man happened upon hidden treasure buried in a field. In joy he went away, sold all that he had to buy the field so that the treasure would be his. The treasure in the parable represents the riches the gospel brings us. The good news of forgiveness, like a treasure chest, is filled with all kinds of blessings. The gospel brings us things like peace, confidence, and joy. When we realize that Jesus has suffered hell in our place and rose again from the dead, we come to understand that we don’t need to be afraid of dying or standing before God on Judgment Day. On Judgment Day God is not going to broadcast all those sinful things we did in secret, or shame us by reminding us of the times we lost our cool, or reveal what we really thought of the people around us. God should do that but he won’t because his Son’s blood covers all sin. Instead God will say to those who believe in his Son, “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21).
It’s not that difficult to recognize the value of the gospel when we are well aware of our own sinfulness. But what does this parable teach about how we obtain the riches of salvation? What does it mean that the treasure was buried, and why did the man have to sell everything he owned before obtaining it?
Jesus compares the gospel to a hidden treasure because by nature we don’t know anything about it. Unless someone tells us about the good news of Jesus, or we read about it in the Bible, we would remain clueless about the riches of salvation. We would continue to think that we have to do something to earn God’s favour.
When Jesus says that the gospel message is hidden he’s not implying that it’s hard to get at. Notice where the treasure in the parable was buried, in a field, not high on some mountain or at the bottom of the ocean where only a few people with the right tools can get at it. The treasure of the gospel message is all around us. The Bible still remains a best seller and can be purchased at any bookstore, even had for free at any motel or downloaded from the Internet. Although the gospel is near us all, it’s a treasure that will remain hidden and be of no use to us if we ignore it.
Thankfully this morning that hidden treasure of the gospel has been revealed to you. You are no longer in the dark about salvation. What should you do now to make this treasure your own? What did the man in the parable do? He went away, sold all he had and bought the field so that the treasure could be his. With this picture is Jesus saying that we have to do something to obtain this prize? Not at all! Seven hundred years before Jesus told this parable, God invited his people to enjoy the free gift of salvation with similar words spoken through the prophet Isaiah: “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. 2 Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare” (Isaiah 55:1, 2).