The Parable of the Hidden Treasure
In our study on “The Parables Of Jesus”, we have seen…
Different ways in which the message of the kingdom would be received (“The Sower”).
The efforts of Satan to corrupt the character of the kingdom, but its future consummation in purity and splendor being assured (“The Wheat And Tares”).
The growth and development of the kingdom (“The Mustard Seed” & “The Leaven”).
Each of these parables are found in Matthew 13, and as we continue to examine that chapter we find more to come…
A couplet of parables is found in Matt. 13:44-46
“The Parable Of The Hidden Treasure.”
“The Parable Of The Pearl Of Great Price.”
Like the couplet of “The Mustard Seed” and “The Leaven”, in which a similar theme was found, there seems to be a theme common to these two parables.
The theme of the earlier couplet was the growth and development of the kingdom.
The theme of this couplet appears to be the preciousness and value of the kingdom.
In this study, we shall focus on “The Parable Of The Hidden Treasure”, beginning with…
The Parable Explained.
A man finds a treasure hidden in a field.
He first hides it, then proceeds to buy the field.
Though he must sell everything he has in order to buy the field, he does so gladly in anticipation of the treasure that will then be rightfully his.
Here is the explanation as given by two different commentators:
“The kingdom of heaven is worth infinitely more than the cost of discipleship, and those who know where the treasure lies joyfully abandon everything else to secure it” (D. A. Carson).
“…the kingdom of heaven, the glad recognition of God’s rule over heart and life, including salvation for the present and for the future, for soul and ultimately also for the body, the great privilege of being thereby made a blessing to others to the glory of God, all this, is a treasure so inestimably precious that one who obtains it is willing to surrender for it whatever could interfere with having it” (William Hendriksen).
What distinguishes this parable from the one following is that it describes the value of the kingdom to one who accidentally finds it.
Though not purposely looking for it, its value is immediately recognized.
So the kingdom of heaven has been, and will be, for many people!
As Hendriksen says again: “…we should grasp its one important lesson: the incalculable preciousness of salvation for those who discover it and obtain possession of it without even looking for it!”
The Example of Saul of Tarsus.
He discovered the “treasure” unexpectedly.
It was on the road to Damascus, going to persecute Christians (Acts 9:1-2).
Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.
For he thought it was the right thing to do (cf. Acts 26:9-11).
“Indeed, I myself thought I must do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth…”
But once he met the Lord, and learned the will of God, he did not hesitate to carry it out even at great cost to him (cf. Acts 26:19-23).
“Therefore, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision –”
His estimation of what he found.
Something worth giving up all, if necessary (cf. Phil. 3:4-11).
Writing of “the gospel of the glory of Christ,” Paul refers to it as a “treasure” (2 Cor. 4:7).
We have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.
He writes of the “treasures of wisdom and knowledge” that are found in Christ (Col. 2:1-3).
Clearly Paul considered Christ and His kingdom a “treasure.”
It is totally worth giving up all one has if necessary to obtain.
What is there about the kingdom of Christ that makes it so valuable?
The Kingdom of Immense Value.
A refuge from the powers of darkness (Col. 1:13).
He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love.
Outside the kingdom of heaven, one is in the kingdom of Satan (Eph. 2:1-3).
Under his influence.
Trapped in various sins.
But the kingdom of Christ offers deliverance, refuge.
We are set free from the guilt and dominion of sin, so that we can serve God (Rom. 6:17-18).
And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.
God will not allow us to be tempted beyond our ability to bear (1 Cor. 10:13).
No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
A domain of righteousness, peace, and joy (Rom. 14:17).
for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
A righteousness through faith in Christ, in which our sins have been forgiven (Phil. 3:8-9).
A peace from God, which surpasses all understanding (Phil 4:6-7).
An abiding joy in the Lord, no matter the circumstances (Phil. 4:4; cf. 2:17-18).
An unshakable kingdom (Heb. 12:25-29).
Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.
One which shall never be destroyed (Dan. 2:44).
Therefore, a truly everlasting kingdom (cf. 2 Pet. 1:10-11).
Destined for eternal glory (1 Cor. 15:21-26).
Presented by Christ to God at His second coming, those who are truly “sons of the kingdom” will “shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father” (cf. Matt. 13:41-43).
From that time forward, those in the kingdom will experience the ultimate fellowship in the presence of God (Rev. 21:1-5, 9-12, 22-27).
In light of both the present and future blessings found in the kingdom of heaven, perhaps we can appreciate why many consider the kingdom one of exceeding value.
Even when not actively looking for it, but stumbling across it…
…the value is recognized immediately by some, willing to pay whatever price necessary.
What is the value of the kingdom? I wish you could ask…
Stephen, the first Christian martyr (cf. Acts 7).
The early Christians, who experienced persecution (cf. Acts 8:1-4).
The apostle Paul, who suffered so much for the kingdom (2 Tim. 3:10-11; 4:6-8, 16-18).
Our loved ones who died in Christ (cf. Rev. 7:9-17).
And of course, our Lord Jesus, who gave up all to make it possible (cf. Phil 2:5-8).
I am confident that with one voice they would say, “It is worth it all!”
How about us? Are we willing to pay the full price to obtain the “treasure” of the kingdom?
The price of repentance? (Acts 3:19; 17:30-31).
The price of complete submission to the will of Christ? (Matt. 28:18-20; Acts 2:38).
The price of putting the kingdom first in our lives? (Matt. 6:33).
Our response to the gospel, and how we live our lives as Christians, demonstrate our true estimation of the “treasure” of the kingdom of heaven!