Summary: First of a series pertaining to the parables of Matthew chapter 13
TREASURE IN A FIELD
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.
"The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure that a man discovered hidden in a field. In his excitement, he hid it again and sold everything he owned to get enough money to buy the field – and to get the treasure, too! NLT
Last week, while I was attending the Michigan Full Gospel Baptist State Conference, I ran into my old friend Elder Joyce Jones – who used to serve with me on the Elders’ Council, when I was at Second Unity.
We hadn’t seen each other in a few years, and she caught me by surprise when she said she’d recently been listening to a message that I preached back in 1993 – the first sermon I ever preached at Second Unity, and one that I remember as being before she ever actually came to the church. Anyhow, it jarred my memory that I’d preached one of my favorite sermons that morning – and today I commend its primary thoughts to you.
Matthew 13:44-52 interrupts a series of parables that Jesus was speaking to a crowd of people standing on the shore. After giving them four powerful illustrations about the Kingdom of God, He dismisses them and goes inside the house with His disciples, and there engages their attention not in another parable, but rather in a completely different series of thoughts about the nature of the Kingdom of God.
You will notice that Jesus’ teaches the crowds by using parables; but some would argue that the verses here mentioned are not parables. Origen – the great Doctor of the early African Church – says that here Jesus uses similitude, a broader and more general kind of device. He says that, “The similitude seems to be generic, and the parable specific,” meaning that Jesus didn’t need to go to the same length to get His disciples to see the picture He was trying to portray here, as He did with the crowd,
“Because it [was] given to [the disciples] to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it [was] not given.” Matthew 13:11-13
And when all was said and done they’d understand fully what He meant when He said,
“The Kingdom of Heaven is like treasure!”
There was a message there for them that the world was not yet ready to receive. I want to challenge you these next few weeks to get ready, because God has got some things to tell you that the crowds may not be able to grasp; but YOU …
You will “get it,” the moment you put on your spiritual thought processes. It might take the people a little while to comprehend the awesome value of the Kingdom – because they have been accustomed to looking for value in things, and in stuff, and in being able to look at what they’ve accumulated over the course of a lifetime.
You, on the other hand, have learned that things can be taken away from you, and stuff deteriorates over time. You remember Jesus counsel, just a few short chapters before this one, that when we seek first the Kingdom of God, God has a way of adding the things. (Mt. 6:33)