As you know, one of Jesus‘ favorite teaching tools were parables. I have heard parables defined as earthly stories with a heavenly meaning. I like that definition, and I think it perfectly describes the short parable we will discuss which is found in Matthew 13:44.
“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.”
It is one of the shortest parables you will find, but it may be one of my favorites. It captures the sense of awe and excitement we should have when it comes to our faith. Jesus makes the assumption that if you were to find a great treasure somewhere, you would sell your things in order to get that field so the treasure could be rightfully yours. Why would we do that? Because the treasure is way more valuable then what we own now. It just makes sense to do this. This is the physical meaning of the parable, so what is the spiritual meaning?
The New Testament makes some amazing claims about what God has made available to us. It talks about the glory waiting to be revealed in us in heaven. It discusses us being seated with Christ in the heavenly realms, to reign and rule with him. Scripture over and over points to the unfathomable splendor of what eternity with God will be like. Even with the little bit we know, it is obvious this is a treasure far more valuable than anything this earth has to offer.
I don’t think this passage is necessarily saying to sell everything we have to obtain the treasure of heaven. However, I think it is saying there is nothing here on earth that we should allow to come between us and heaven. Our ambitions and desires should be squarely focused on the treasure God is offering us, and we should be willing to cut out anything that might stand in our way. Not out of a sense of obligation, but out of joy! We should be thrilled when we consider what is to come. We may not have hold of it now, but it is as good as done because God has promised it. We are wealthy beyond measure! Steve McFadden — Rector, AR