Reading is very brief for today: Matthew 13:44. The parable of the hidden treasure. “The kingdom of heaven is like something precious buried in a field, which a man found and hid again; then in his joy he goes and sells all he has and buys that field.”
This is an interesting parable for its brevity and for what it does not explain. Dr Fountain states it relates to a man who was looking for something he did not have, (implied) otherwise why was he searching, and when he found this treasure hid it again and liquidated his assets in order to purchase the field. It would seem this must have been something that could not be easily removed or he could have simply taken it with him when he found it. But he had to do something in order to complete the purchase of what he believed was an inestimable treasure.
Dr Fountain posits that this man was not satisfied with his present life and worldview. (or at least with the outworking of his worldview) That he was looking for something better to fulfill his life. The hidden treasure is eternal life, a deep, personal relationship with God that lasts forever. The field thus represents the Kingdom of God, a way of life radically different from the man’s old way of life. And this man knows that he cannot get the treasure without leaving his old kingdom, ‘buying’ the new kingdom, and living under the rule of God. We cannot fully possess this marvelous treasure without giving up our old, self-centered way of life. Most people in the world believe the most important person in the world is one’s own self. But the Kingdom of God is completely different. In this kingdom our life is God-centered, not self-centered. He is to rule over all aspects of our lives, affecting all our decisions. We must renounce our old self-centered way of life, accept the rule of God over everything, and enter into a daily walk with Jesus. Too often our evangelistic message has been “Accept this treasure and you will be saved. It is transportable, and you can take it into your old way of life.” But we too often do not each people that salvation means an entirely new way of life. What is the result? Confused Christians, a weak church and idolatry in the Kingdom just as in the days of the Kingdom of Israel.
- Why is this treasure of eternal life so valuable?
- Is it possible to receive eternal life without submitting to the rule of God? What did Jesus say about this?
- In practical terms, how are you allowing God to rule over your life?
- What will it require to have a strong church that can bring transformation to the world? Why hasn’t this happened yet?