The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.Matthew 13:44
When you think of a hidden treasure, modern movies and shows like National Treasure, Indiana Jones, Outer Banks, or The Curse of Oak Island may cross your mind. A treasure hunt is not a new concept. In the sixteenth century, Ponce de León went on a conquest to find the elusive Fountain of Youth to no avail. In popular culture and historically, finding hidden fortunes captivates the human mind, and people are willing to risk it all to find unimaginable riches.
Do you find it interesting that Jesus compares his kingdom or, in other words, eternal life with him to a hidden treasure?
How can God’s kingdom be hidden? Think about it. It is not directly seen in our world. We cannot buy eternal life on Amazon or discover it on a mountaintop. We can see evidence of God all around us through people, nature, and science, to name a few.
To find the kingdom of heaven, one must go below the service. It also is not actual monetary wealth. It is something much better – eternal life, peace, and a relationship with God. The treasure is given when one places their faith in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ and follows him as Lord all the days of their life.
In Matthew 13:44, we also see a transaction occur. The man finds the buried treasure, sells all he has, and buys the field that the treasure is on. The man could not just steal the treasure and go with his life. He had to buy the field first. Why did Jesus add this detail? I think he did it to illustrate to us the cost of receiving the treasure of the kingdom of God.
It cost the man all he had in an earthly since but he sold it with joy. I think we can miss that emotional response. He joyfully sold everything for this field. All he has ever tirelessly worked for. Sold for a greater treasure.
We are not commanded by the Bible to sell all our possessions to receive eternal life. Jesus is illustrating the concept of being all-in with your life. Jesus desires his followers to lay everything down for the surpassing value of eternal life with Christ in heaven.
After reading this story, a friend of mine said, “Man, following Jesus costs us our entire life but it is so worth it.” This is the great exchange that Jesus offers to us all.
questions to consider
- Is the exchange of our earthly life for the kingdom of heaven worth it?
- Have you experienced joy through giving all you have to receive eternal life? Why or why not?
- What is keeping you from being all-in and following Jesus as Lord?