The Parable of the Concealed Treasure
The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.
There are two main interpretations of this parable. The first one is the one I heard most of my life and was a Sunday school favourite. In this interpretation, we are the man discovering the treasure, which is the Kingdom of God. It is worth so much that we are ready to give all we have to get it.
Recently, I came across a second interpretation. It struck a chord with me. The first interpretation always puzzled me because it can imply that the Kingdom of God can be “purchased” by us, something that completely goes against the fact that the Gospel is a free gift to all who recognise and confess Christ as their Saviour.
In this other interpretation, the man is Jesus, we are the treasure, and the field is the world (see Matt 13:38). Jesus loves us so much that he “laid aside his mighty power and glory” (Phil 2:7-9). He gave up His life on the cross and suffered from being separated from his loving Father to redeem us and bring us out of the grave.
There is a painting by the artist Edward Riojas that shows Jesus pulling out a coffin from the ground.
“The Parable of the Buried Treasure,” by Edward Riojas. 2013. (Collection of the artist) Copyright © Edward Riojas
I find this painting so powerful. In this symbolic coffin, there is me, there is us. Jesus had to give everything to dig us out of the grave and he did it with joy. Joy! This truth is so incredible! “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). Jesus loved us so much that he was in essence ready to give up everything to buy a graveyard. While we were still sinners, he looked at us and he saw beauty. No matter how much we have sinned and messed up, Christ sees us as a treasure of great value, worthy of the ultimate sacrifice.
Prayer: Thank you Father for seeing us as a treasure. Thank you Jesus for dying for us and for digging us out of the grave so that we may have an abundant life. Show us if there is some sin still buried in us today and help us to bring it to the foot of your cross. Amen.
Action: Is there someone in your life who needs to be reminded how loved and precious they are in God’s sight today? Write them an encouraging note or text.
This Thought was written by Joanna Stevenson