Matthew 13:44 Again the Kingdom of Heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hides it, and for the joy thereof goes and sells all that he hath, and buys that field.
It was quite common for a householder to hide family treasures in the ground of a field that he owned. It would have been carefully wrapped in several layers of silk and placed in a certain spot (known only to the owner). The owner would later die, and the field would be inherited by the next generation who were probably unaware that their forefathers had hidden treasure in their field. They would continue to farm the field as before. If a good offer came for it, the likelihood of them selling would be fairly good. Farm workers would be employed to work the field … preparing the soil, sowing seed, reaping etc.
It was also known that certain men would spend much time looking for possible treasure using all the ingenuity they could muster. A little like, in our day, someone into panning for gold!! Such is this parable that Jesus used to describe the Kingdom of Heaven. Those listening to Him would most certainly have known what He was talking about. Why not pick up the treasure and go? Why buy the field? I believe that he was convinced that there could be more caches of treasure in that field, which was not uncommon, and he wanted all that he could get.
Proverbs 25:2 It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; but the honour of kings to search out the matter.
Remember, this parable was spoken to the disciples only inside the house, compared to the first four parables spoken to the multitude outside the house. (compare Matthew 13, verses 1 and 36).
What did the Lord want to get through to His disciples and to each one of us through this parable? There is something much more profound and satisfying than submitting to the ‘law’ or the expectations of those who would control. There is always something greater and better than what we have been walking in ... that of fundamental evangelical Christianity of getting saved, baptized in water, joining a church and serving the Lord. That is great as far as it goes! The casual Christian is much into ‘farming’ the field —bible studies, tapes, books, videos, TV. Ministries, programs and so on. These are good, but the-hungry-for-more search for treasure. God has carefully hidden ‘His treasure’ which is the true word of the Kingdom of heaven. The hungry are always teachable and this is a mark of those growing up and maturing, for it is the sons of God who are led of the Spirit (Romans 8:14).
With great perseverance this ‘man’ looked and looked for any clues as to where a treasure might lay ... a treasure that this ‘man’ has not yet discovered until his spade unearths a bundle or a box ... he opens his discovery and he is amazed at the treasure in it! He has never seen anything quite like this treasure before. He must obtain it for himself. There is no joy to just know that it exists. He carefully replaces it and covers up the disturbed ground. Now he has to discover who the owner is (if he doesn’t already know) and make a deal with him. He would aim to give him a fair price for the field. Little did he realize that it would cost him everything he had.
We must come to a full realization that God desires to unveil Himself to us through the treasures of truth. Therefore it is necessary for the Holy Spirit to show us everything. (John 14:26) including every step of our progress towards obtaining our goal.
Maybe the owner guessed that a treasure was involved here, and maybe he was old and void of the energy needed to get the treasure for himself. So the price went up!
The price was very high just for a field even though they would have been quite small; therefore there was only one course for this man to take. He had over time acquired a few precious possessions, so He would have to sell them. As the selling went on, he realized that it was going to cost him everything that he had! That was truly a high price! Decisions! Decisions!
Proposal No.1 The Field = the World
The Treasure = the people of the Kingdom, the true Overcomers. Jesus purchases the whole world with His Blood in order to have those firstfruits!
Question: From whom would Jesus buy the field? With Father-God leading, Jesus would have known all about the field, the treasure in it and the price to be paid. Jesus therefore would not be on a treasure hunt. Even though Jesus paid out the demands of the ‘law’ by fulfilling them all, let us leave this proposal ‘on the shelf’.
Proposal No.2 This man has been looking for something valuable. There must be something more to be discovered. He came across this particular treasure and discovered that it was of more value than anything else he had ever seen or owned.
The Field = The whole truth of God’s WORD including His plan of the ages. The treasure = the word and reality of the Kingdom of God message which is hidden in that Word. It requires a revelation to discover what God is doing and plans to do through a people that are fully yielded to His Will.
Proposal No.3. Written for us of these last days, the Treasure = The Kingdom Life of His Fullness. The Field = us, wherein is the mind of Christ (containing God’s Kingdom Plans) which is being progressively unveiled to us at a cost of our present lifestyles. This depth of surrender will release the treasure to us.
Question: What does this ‘man’ sell? He is prepared to give up his previous teachings that have been such a great blessing. They have been, without him realizing it at the time, a series of ‘stepping stones’ to bring him to this day.
The treasure is in the earth. The Kingdom of God is within your earth hidden until this ‘man’ (to us today, he is a many-membered man) digs it out. Compared to the traditions of men, it truly is a treasure worth selling all for. Each step is precious and necessary; so put Proposals ‘2’ and ‘3’ together and we get the truth of the kingdom-treasure in the field, which we must obtain. How was it to be accomplished?
BY LETTING THE OLD GO...
In this parable, the man with the vision realized that he would have to sell or let go everything that had been very precious to him. What he had was great; what he desired was greater! The new word included the old, so that his old ‘walk’ and understanding would take on a new expression.
He probably had a hard time letting go of what he had acquired earlier? His life would change ... just like a person coming into a large inheritance. His life, his lifestyle would certainly become different! His own thinking would also have to abdicate! He buys the truth with no intention of selling it either! His heart was changing allegiance due to a new treasure and priority in his life. His life was still centered on the Lord Jesus Christ, but now his vision of His Lord and Saviour blossomed. The ‘selling all’ is the giving-up of all one’s own security (many times that will include being changed from the effect of what we have been taught) and allows the Spirit to be Lord of our thoughts. He within will then be further released to move and function from His mind within us.
Are we satisfied with what we have in our understanding, or do we hunger and thirst after righteousness, which is a part of the Kingdom of God? ‘Righteousness’ is right living as view by God . . . it must never be our standard of living right for that would be ‘self-righteousness’.
Romans 14:17. The Kingdom of god is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
Are we willing to sell all and buy the field because we see that the treasure is priceless? If you are then you will be teachable and will be seeking every out every opportunity of receiving revelation that leads unto life . . . His, in fullness.