The fascinating things about a story are the twists and turns that likely take place within it that most of us did not see coming. The suspense continues to build to a point whereby we cannot bear to look for fear that something we didn’t expect has in fact happened changing the entire outcome. I suppose that is the artistry of the story teller. When Jesus of Nazareth described the kingdom of heaven, he did so in parables or stories. Even his own disciples asked him why he told the people parables. Basically, he told them that to you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given.
One particular parable that has captured my attention recently is taken from Matthew 13:44. From the Amplified Bible it reads: 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.
Where I sit, I am some 2000 years this side of Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection. So in my mind I try to imagine what it would have been like to be present while Jesus is telling this story about a man finding a treasure (something precious) in a field. As I think about it, the treasure had to have been rather large for him to have had to cover it back up. Think about it. If it was small enough, he could have just carried it away and no one would have been the wiser, but again, that really doesn’t describe the kingdom of heaven for in my imagination such a place or reality would be beyond description.
I try to put myself in the place of these hearing his story. As they listened to this story they may have glanced at their friends nearby perhaps maybe rolling their eyes with a wink that this Jesus guy is just pulling our leg. Well, it was just a matter of time before all hell would break loose and the things he had been saying would begin to come into view. Even with these things coming into view, there were those that continued not to see or understand the stories he told.
Because this is a reflection I hold this up for you to consider. He never bothers to tell us what the treasure is nor does he tell us what the field represents. Is is possible that we are the treasure and the field is the earth? I spoke earlier that the treasure had to be fairly large for the man after finding it to bury it once again. If you should gaze off into a night sky the enormity of its vastness is beyond words. In other words, whatever God has his hand in, so to speak, it is enormous. Perhaps the treasure he discovered he only got a glimpse of but he knew in fact the reality of what was buried deep within that field. In a figurative manner if the treasure was all of mankind to consider the sheer numbers of humans that have already graced this planet including those living today and those who have yet to be born is a number beyond numbering that would indeed be quite a treasure.
Now watch this! The parable says, “… then in his joy he goes and sells all he has and buys that field.” I hold up for you to consider that Jesus purchased the earth and everything in it including every last one of us when he laid down his life on that Roman cross. For God so Loved the World that He Gave his only Begotten Son. Remember Jesus said, “No one takes my life, I lay it down.” And he did it in his joy because of his love for you and me. Doing something from within your joy would seem to come from pure anticipation. Selling all that he has in this parable is an indication of his coming crucifixion of which the hearers of this parable had no clue. Now I’m not so naive to think that the earth wasn’t already the Lords possession but a kind of transactional transition took place on the cross whereby the Lord of Glory paid a debt we could not pay taking on your and my judgement. The apostle Paul later wrote, “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.” 2 Cor. 4:7 Whether you know it or not, you are a treasure from God!