Matthew 13:44 NKJV
44 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
- Jesus provided a simple one verse parable to convey some deep and profound truths about the Kingdom of Heaven.
- This parable contains a prophetic as well as an instructive element.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16, NKJV).
- Jesus spoke this parable as a prophetic picture of what He was about to complete at Calvary.
- Through Jesus’ sacrificial death at Calvary, He was going to pay the ultimate price by becoming the sin offering for all mankind so those who choose to put their faith in Him would be saved. Those who respond to Christ become the treasure—the Church.
- However, for Jesus to redeem the elect, those who would choose to receive Christ, He had to “buy the whole field” and thus He died for all mankind — “who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe.” (1 Timothy 4:10b).
1 Peter 1:18-19 NKJV
18 knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers,
19 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.
- Jesus held nothing back in order to redeem us. He “sold all that He had,” came as a man, and poured out His life and His blood at the cross of Calvary.
- What joy should fill our hearts to know that God considers us His treasure!
- We are God’s own “possession, to the praise of His glory.” (Ephesians 1:14, NASB).
Isaiah 61:10 NKJV
10 I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, My soul shall be joyful in my God; For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, As a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
- Every day we need to contemplate the indescribable cost Jesus paid to redeem us and how much He loves us and refers to us as His treasure.
Philippians 2:6-8 NKJV
6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God,
7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.
8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.
- Often, we remember that Jesus, the Son of God, came as the Son of Man. However, we may fail to fully comprehend or appreciate that after Jesus’ resurrection He retained His humanity when He was resurrected in a physical body.
- Jesus retains His humanity for all of eternity!
- This parable is a prophetic picture of Christ and the redemption He accomplished at Calvary.
- The man who found treasure in a field represents Jesus, who then, eager to purchase the treasure, went and sold all He had.
- The treasure represents believers and the field represents the world.
- However, this parable can have a secondary meaning and purpose. It can challenge us on how we, as believers, are to respond to all that Jesus did for us.
- Once we are born again He imparted His righteousness to us and we are joined to Christ and Christ dwells in our reborn spirit.
- As believers, we now have a precious treasure within us, the life of Christ. However, our lives and the condition of our souls may not necessarily reflect that reality.
- When asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.” (Luke 17:21). The life of Christ dwells in the reborn spirit of every Christian.
- The question is this: How are we to respond to this indwelling treasure? Are we willing to pay the price of sanctification to see that precious treasure manifest or are we content to allow it to stay hidden and dormant.
- Are we willing to pay the price to experience and live a vibrant and fruitful spiritual life or are we willing to remain lukewarm and allow our fleshly selfish impulses to dominate our lives.
- We will explore this parable as a challenge as to how we should respond to what Christ has done for us.
Matthew 13:44 NKJV
44 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
- The first point that Jesus makes is that the Kingdom of Heaven is like treasure.
“(Jesus) who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession.” (Titus 2:14, ESV).
- In God’s eyes we are that precious treasure that He paid the ultimate price to redeem.
- However, as His redeemed children, we can now become treasure hunters. Jesus Christ and what He has deposited in us is the treasure.
- If we fail to recognize how indescribably wonderful and precious Jesus Christ is we will never be willing to see the treasure that He has deposited in us manifest.
- All Heaven gathers around the Lamb of God to worship Him, “saying with a loud voice: “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain To receive power and riches and wisdom, And strength and honor and glory and blessing!”” (Revelation 5:12 NKJV).
Philippians 3:7-8 NKJV
7 But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ.
8 Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ
- Although from a natural point of view Paul had achieved much as a Pharisee and a prominent religious leader, he treasured Jesus so much he considered all he had given up to follow Christ of no significance. “for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish.” Paul considered his loss as garbage and He considered Jesus to be a priceless treasure.
- However, his pursuit of Christ did not stop there. He continued to set aside everything else to know Jesus more and “that I may gain Christ,” in other words to come into an even deeper and more intimate relationship with Him.
Genesis 15:1 NKJV
1 After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.”
- When God appeared to Abram, He encouraged him with the words “Do not be afraid, I am your shield and exceedingly great reward.”
- Those three statements that God spoke to Abram are essential for us to take hold of to walk in the freedom and victory that Jesus purchased for us at Calvary.
- “Do not be afraid” — We must learn to trust God unwaveringly. Worry and fear sap our strength and hinder us from being able to move forward in our faith.
- “I am your shield” — The second thing God spoke to Abram was that God was his shield. Our protection comes from God and not from man.
- We are no longer fearful about what the enemy is planning or what the future holds, because our hope is set on what God is doing and the glorious future He has for us.
- When we take hold of the truth that God is our shield and that He will protect us from evil we no longer have to try to figure out what is best for us. We can trust He will lead us in the perfect path for our lives.
Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding;
6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.
- We may not always know what is best for our lives—but God does. When we stop trying to lean on our own understanding but submit to the leading of the Holy Spirit He will direct us in the paths of life.
- “exceedingly great reward” — The third thing that God spoke to Abram was that He was his exceedingly great reward.
- Our greatest treasure, our greatest reward, and our greatest joy is not what God has done for us. Our treasure is God Himself!
- In fact, to convey the immensity of the blessing of having a relationship with God, the Hebrew text uses three distinct words, “exceedingly,” “great,” and “reward.” When we receive this revelation then God’s love can captivate our hearts and our hearts will be filled with love for Him.
Mark 12:30 NKJV
30 And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment.
- When we grasp that God is our treasure then the priorities of our lives will be effortlessly changed to put Him first in every area of our lives.
- Jesus expressed His love for us by offering Himself up at Calvary. Our response to His love is for us to offer our lives up for Him. “We love Him because He first loved us.” (1 John 4:19, NKJV).
- When Christians fail to see Jesus as that exceedingly great reward and that priceless treasure then other things easily take hold of our hearts and become our treasures—what the Bible describes as idolatry. “covetousness, which is idolatry.” (Colossians 3:5b).
- When we feel it is too hard to live this Christian life or think God’s commandments are too onerous, it is not a sign of our weakness but a sign that we do not see Jesus as a priceless treasure.
1 John 5:3 NKJV
3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.
- When we fail to see Jesus as the priceless treasure that God has given to us, then other things can easily capture our hearts and steal our love resulting in us becoming lukewarm.
1 John 2:15 NKJV
15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
Psalm 95:1-2 NKJV
1 Oh come, let us sing to the LORD! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.
2 Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.
- Our great reward, our great joy, our great treasure is Jesus Christ and all that He has done for us. Because of that we are to continually dance, sing, and shout joyfully to Him.
- The second point is that the kingdom of heaven is like treasure that is hidden.
- The treasure that Christ imparted to us through the new birth, our divine nature, is hidden from the world and sometimes even from us when we are going through a trying time. In the midst of a trial we may fail to recognize what God has deposited in us.
- The third point is that the kingdom of heaven is like treasure that is hidden in a field.
- From the perspective of us being treasure hunters and the treasure being the divine nature of Christ within us, the field could be a picture of our hearts.
- Many times the Bible speaks about a person’s heart as a field or a cultivated piece of land as in the parable of the sower.
Matthew 7:7-8 NKJV
7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
8 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.
- This leads us to the fourth point of the parable, “the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found.”
- It requires effort and perseverance to find buried treasure.
Colossians 1:27 NKJV
27 To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
- To find buried treasure, the person must first believe that there is treasure to be found.
- Many times when people first put their faith in Christ they continue to see themselves as worthless or broken. They focus on their past failures or their present struggles and weaknesses.
- Once a person is born again they need to realize something profound and precious has happened to them. God has deposited a priceless treasure in them and that treasure is the life of Jesus Christ in their reborn spirit!
- God has placed within us a new identity and a wonderful treasure “which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
- As believers, we need to discover this treasure and realize that in reality we have received the righteousness of Jesus Christ and that the fullness of Christ dwells in our reborn spirit—the Kingdom of Heaven.
- Why is Christ in us described as “the hope of glory?” This is the ultimate glory of the gospel: Jesus died for us so He can live His life through us. This is the supreme declaration of the Church, that Jesus’ resurrection power lives in every believer. Christ’s glory can be released and manifest in our lives right here on earth.
- Paul wanted his listeners to know “the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” (Colossians 2:2-3).
- The fifth point of the parable — “the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid.”
- The fifth point of the parable raises an interesting question. Why would the man after finding the treasure immediately hide it in the very field in which he discovered it, instead of simply taking it?
- For the man to claim the treasure he had to pay the price which in this case meant purchasing the field. We have this treasure of Christ within us but before we can fully experience the benefits of living a fruitful and victorious life there is a price that needs to be paid.
2 Timothy 2:5 NKJV
5 And also if anyone competes in athletics, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules.
- In the natural world there are laws and rules that one must follow to qualify in order to win a race or receive a prize. God has spiritual principles which we must adhere to and fulfill so we can receive the treasures He has hidden away for us.
- The sixth and final point of the parable — “and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.”
- The sixth point raises a couple of interesting observations.
- The man was so overjoyed at finding the treasure that whatever was required for him to do to purchase the field and obtain the treasure was not arduous or burdensome to him. He willingly gave up all his previous possessions and accomplishments in order to purchase the field and take possession of the treasure.
- The man had to sell all that he possessed in order to purchase the field which means the field was of considerable value and it required all his accumulated wealth.
- In this parable, Jesus is challenging us to take hold of the treasure He has imparted in our reborn spirit and pay the price and have a heart that is fully yielded to the Lordship of Jesus Christ and the leading of the Holy Spirit.
2 Corinthians 4:7 NKJV
7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.
- We need to realize that the fragility of our mortal bodies does not preclude the treasure of Christ’s life within us from being manifest through us for the glory of God. In fact, when the glorious life of Jesus is manifest through us it will prove that it is from God and not from ourselves.
- We need to be willing to sell all we have so we can have a heart that is totally sold out for Jesus.
Matthew 13:23 NKJV
“But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.”
- Many times in the Bible the heart of a man is compared to a field or a piece of ground. There are treasures hidden within each born again believer. Our responsibility is to find that treasure and take hold of it so we can produce the hundred fold increase.
- In the parable, once the man finds the treasure he once again hides the treasure in the field until he is able to purchase the field.
- I believe the analogy of the man purchasing the field can speak about the sanctification process where we are to come to a place where we are no longer controlled by fleshly impulses but are led by the Spirit.
1 Thessalonians 4:4 KJVS
4 That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour;
- The Greek word translated as “to possess” means “to obtain, to acquire possession of something, to purchase.”
- Paul is exhorting believers to pay the price so that we are now in possession of our souls so we can live holy lives that are fully under the control of the Spirit.
Luke 21:19 NKJV
19 By your patience possess your souls.
- Jesus provided a similar word of exhortation in terms of taking possession or ownership of one’s own soul. The process of sanctification requires patience and takes both time and consistency. It is one of the hallmarks of discipleship.
Romans 7:14-15 NKJV
14 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin.
15 For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do.
- Apostle Paul described a time in his early Christian life when he found himself battling to do what was right. He wanted to do what was right but sinful habits still controlled his actions.
John 8:34 NKJV
34 Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin.
- Choosing sin always leads to bondage where we are no longer free but are under the control of sin and fleshly impulses.
- The more we sin the more the web of bondage to sin tightens so we are not free to do what we should, but what sin dictates. This applies to believers as well as unbelievers.
Romans 8:2 NKJV
2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.
- Paul provided the solution to be able to “purchase the field” and to find freedom from sin. The Spirit of life in Christ Jesus is actually the treasure that God has given us that is the key to our freedom. The life of Christ within us contains not only our identity but even the specific calling He has for our lives.
- However, there is a cost to pay to find total freedom and to be able to “buy the field.” In the parable, Jesus said, “and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.”
- The key to being able to “buy the field” means to live a surrendered life and be willing to “sell all that you have.”
Philippians 1:21 NKJV
21 For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
Galatians 2:20 NKJV
20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
- When we live a crucified life, we say “no” to the selfish sinful impulses of the flesh and say “yes” to Jesus. This is the place that will lead us to freedom and where we will learn to possess our own vessel in sanctification and honour.
- However, we will never be able to walk along the path of surrender and sanctification unless we do it with joy and exuberant rejoicing—“for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.”
- However, we will never have overflowing joy until we truly understand and embrace the truth that we are Jesus’ treasure and He is our treasure, imparted to us through the new birth.
- The reason the man hid the treasure in the field until he was able to sell all his possessions and purchase the field was because this work is a secret and a hidden work.
“that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.” (Matthew 6:4 NKJV).
“But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.” (Matthew 6:6 NKJV).
“so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.” (Matthew 6:18 NKJV).
- It is in our prayer closet as we spend time daily with the Lord waiting on Him, learning to hear His voice and to understand His heart, and to trust the leading of His Holy Spirit, that we sell all that we have so that we can find that place of complete freedom and victory in Christ.
- As we spend time in prayer and meditating on His Word, He whispers secrets that will bring us to a place of complete freedom.
- It is in our prayer closet and during our hidden times with God that our love for Him increases as He reveals His secrets to us. During those times that we learn to live a surrendered life and “sell all that we have” in order to know Him more, will not feel like a sacrifice but a joy and a privilege.
- All this results in us walking in freedom from the power of sin so the treasure of Christ in us can be manifest through us so the world can see the gospel is true and the Kingdom of Heaven is within us.
- We just saw how this parable may be applied to our personal lives but there are two other realms in which this parable can instruct us.
- As believers, how are we to relate to other Christians?
- As believers, how are we to relate to the world around us and to unbelievers?
- “How does this parable apply to the way we are to relate to other Christians?”
Ephesians 4:15-16 NKJV
15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—
16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.
- The Kingdom of Heaven is much more than just about us as individuals. It is about the entire Church and how we are built up together as His Body. “causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.”
- The Body of Christ is built up when we each do our part. “according to the effective working by which every part does its share”
- The way each believer does his or her share is through relationships in the Body of Christ. When it says “and knit together by what every joint supplies,” this speaks specifically about relationships in the Body of Christ because the supply comes through “every joint” and a joint is not a member, but where two or more members connect together.
- Relationships and being part of a local church are essential for us to live fruitful lives. Only in fellowship can we receive ministry and minister to the needs of fellow believers.
- The writer of Hebrews exhorted believers, “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:24-25, NKJV).
- Sometimes Christians stop fellowshipping because they fail to see the treasure that Jesus has deposited in fellow believers. All they see is a field that may be producing all sorts of prickly bushes.
- However, God doesn’t want us to focus on the hard exterior and the thorny ground, but to see the treasure of Jesus inside that believer. He wants us to be so moved that we will make whatever sacrifice the Holy Spirit is showing us so the treasure of Christ in them will come forth.
- Sometimes the Holy Spirit is simply asking us to pray for them. Other times He is instructing us to reach out and touch them with the love of Christ in a tangible way.
2 Corinthians 5:14-17 NKJV
14 For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died;
15 and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.
16 Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer.
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
- Jesus does not want us to regard or evaluate any believer’s value based on their external circumstances or their struggles or failures. He wants us to see them as a new creation in Christ and value them accordingly.
- Through eyes of faith, we can see the life of Christ within them. Then we can ask the Holy Spirit what He would have us do to help unlock the precious treasure of the divine nature of Christ within them.
- How does this parable apply to the way we are to relate to the world and unbelievers?
- When we look at unbelievers or even those who oppose the Gospel we need to see them as Jesus sees them.
- He willing died for them because they are eternal souls with an eternal destination, whether in the bliss of being eternally joined to Christ in Heaven or in the damnation of Hell and being eternally separated from God.
- Jesus taught us to “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you.” (Luke 6:27b). He loves them and He wants to save them. Remember Apostle Paul was once an enemy of the Gospel and was responsible for the imprisonment and death of many followers of Jesus.
1 Corinthians 9:19-22 NKJV
19 For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more;
20 and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might win those who are under the law;
21 to those who are without law, as without law (not being without law toward God, but under law toward Christ), that I might win those who are without law;
22 to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.
- Apostle Paul’s heart for the lost is beautifully reflected in the above verses. He was willing to pay whatever it cost to see souls saved.
- Paul saw the value of the human soul and he was moved by God’s love to do what was necessary to see them saved.
Philippians 3:10-14 NKJV
10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death,
11 if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.
12 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.
13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead,
14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
- Apostle Paul saw the prize and the treasure that Jesus Christ is, and was willing to sell all that he had so that “that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.”
Let Paul’s words echo in our hearts every moment of every day—“I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
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