Website counter

The Parable of The Hidden Treasure

(Matthew 13:44)

The Parable reads: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.” (Matthew 13:44)

This is a wonderful scripture for me: it is very special and deeply emotional for me. I will share with you why, by giving you some of my own personal testimony. Hopefully by the end of my illustrations and the testimony, you will have a grasp of what Jesus was saying here.

At one stage, I used to walk to a nursing home to do a dish-washing job. From the moment I arrived at 8.30am until I left at 4.30pm, I was flat out washing dishes, pots, pans and everything else. Around noon, I had to assist the chef in laying out the lunches and serving them on what looked like a conveyor belt. We served packed lunches for one hundred and twenty people in a span of twenty minutes.

At that time, there was so much havoc in my life. I was living in sin with my addiction keeping me financially poor. Also, I didn’t do well in my job because I absolutely hated the work – it was a thankless job which gave no incentive to me, but I needed the work to pay for my addiction. I was deeply ashamed of my secret degrading lifestyle. Addictions leave a person empty, powerless and totally destitute. Alcohol had become a way out of my depression, so I thought.

But now, I praise God, for He has changed all that! He has turned me into an enthusiastic writer and teacher of the Word of God. I still have a special love for the women I had wrongly used: they are victims of the devil, just as I allowed myself to be all those horrible years. I could have been free because the Holy Spirit lived in me, but these girls don’t really understand that Jesus loves them.

So there I was, walking towards the nursing home, to do my unfulfilling job. On my way, I walked past a house that was for sale. The sign out the front caught my attention; it said “Hidden Treasure.” I had written many articles on the internet, so I had made it my business to work out the best attention grabbing headline for them. The way this sign was designed and the actual words on it certainly caused me to stop and take a serious look. True to the sign, the house was set behind a really large hedge and unless you went into the driveway, you would not be able to see its hidden beauty. I wondered why people hide their treasures from others and figured that privacy was the issue.

I felt compelled to go up and inspect the Real Estate sign more carefully. It had numerous interior shots of the house. I saw that inside, it was like a log cabin made of exposed wooden beams which were highly polished. Despite the old-style charm of the external structure it was a beautiful modern-designed home. The sign said it all! It was rightfully called a “Hidden Treasure.” The name itself is such a compelling name – it demanded a close inspection. I felt drawn to study the snap shots of the interior once again.

Reluctantly, I turned away thinking any prospective buyer would be tempted to inspect that home. Everyone would want to own a “treasured” property. All this made me think of my former wife and my little boy. He is all grown up and married now, I discovered. I have not seen either of them for years and years. My wife was fed up with me and I don’t blame her. I did my best, but I really needed help and I didn’t even know it.

Back then, when I was married, no one knew I had a mental illness and neither did I. To be crippled mentally is so debilitating. You lose friends! It causes you to lose the best things in life. But Jesus knew what was ahead for me from my birth and He has always compensated me with his love, even when I was so sinful. I was feeling really sad as I trudged up the hill. As I continued walking to work, Jesus said to me, “Do you know Matthew - that is who you are to me?”

And I said, “What?”

Jesus said, “You are my hidden treasure.”

I asked, “What do you mean?”

“You are very valuable and special to Me. You are My hidden treasure. I am going to use you in the future. No one knows you now, you are hidden. Not many people know your talents but I know them; and you are hidden for a reason. A time will come one day when people will know who you are.”

I started crying. I just couldn’t walk towards my work anymore. I had been so taken with the sign itself and by the beautiful wording “Hidden Treasure” and yet, Jesus had just called me, of all people “His Hidden Treasure!”

I had also seen the house of my dreams. It was just like the house I wanted to own one day. It was all too much. The thought of going to work in that sweaty kitchen with frustrated staff constantly yelling orders to me all day, was just too much at that time.

About six months later, I was at my parents’ house for the Christmas holidays. We went to church and the preacher’s sermon was taken from a passage in Matthew. As I was turning my Bible to that page, my eyes went to Matthew 13:44, “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.”

A burst of joy overwhelmed me and my eyes became moist remembering what Jesus had said when I was walking to that job—how that I was His hidden treasure. I felt very humbled and emotional at that moment.

Now, let us talk about the parable. Imagine yourself cutting across someone’s land. This land is very barren and is hardly used. The small farm has an inexpensive house on it, plus a few sheep and cattle. The owner is probably doing it tough. While walking, you suddenly trip over and with your feet you dislodge a rather big rock. When you pull your foot out from under the rock, you find that there is black oil all over your boot. You strongly suspect that there is oil on the property which the owner is totally ignorant of. Now, what do you do? First you would have to somehow find a way to verify your suspicion. And if it was true, you would then set about to raise enough finances to be able to sell everything you own. But first, you would need to convince the present owner to sell his property.

You would approach him and say, “I love the remoteness of this land and I really want to buy it. I know the soil is not good, but that’s okay. I like the solitude and the serenity of the place. I could do something with it and it will give me satisfaction. Is there any chance that you would sell it to me?”

He would most likely see your offer as a way out of the drudgery of trying to farm unprofitable land and would gladly take you up on your offer to buy. As soon as it was all legally settled you’d ring your brothers and father and say: “Come and give me a hand! We need to get an oil rig on this land. We all might have to put second mortgages on our homes! I reckon we have a hidden treasure here and we have struck it rich!”

However, the hidden treasure in this parable if far more valuable than any earthly treasure we could imagine! In Heaven Jesus is called the Great Morning Star, the King of all Kings, and the Lord of all Lords! He is the Almighty Redeemer! He is Heaven’s hero! What an incredible “treasure” He is to those who believe.

When a fashion conscious young lady buys an expensive dress for a special occasion, she doesn’t stop there. She immediately goes looking for suitable accessories such as handbag, ankle flattering shoes and perhaps some expensive jewelry or an exquisite hair comb to adorn her head. All of those extras are accessories. Sadly, I see many church goers treating Jesus Christ, the Darling of Heaven, as an added accessory to their religious persona.

Instead of developing a healthy relationship with Him by allowing Him to be their focus in life, many church goers live totally self-centered lives, focusing on temporal things and not eternal things that really matter. The opinions of others take priority over the opinion of God. Sometimes, we tend to place wrong values on people. Instead of seeing others as precious in the sight of God, we see their outward success and esteem them for the wrong reasons.

Jesus to many people, is looked upon as some sort of heavenly slave boy, who runs around answering all our prayers and forever pleading to His Father for us to be blessed and blessed and blessed some more. They forever take, while He just gives and gives. There is something radically wrong with this type of theology. No wonder the Christian message is so grossly misunderstood in society today.

The parable of the Hidden Treasure depicts Jesus very differently. Figuratively, He said you should sell all you have: you should gladly give away everything that you own just to possess Christ. If some of you could give a couple of thousand dollars for joy, peace, satisfaction and fulfillment in life, would you gladly do it? Contentment with joy is a rare commodity. If you could bottle it, you would make a fortune. That life is absolutely possible if you are willing to give everything away to possess it. The Christian life is totally opposite to a worldly life and its ongoing rewards continually confirm that fact.

We have to remember that often, Jesus was speaking to the so called experts in the Jewish faith. The Pharisees were often listening to Him. They assumed, by their rigid law-keeping, that they already possessed the kingdom of God. See Jesus as the hidden treasure that you can possess, to do so, surrender your will for His!

Most of us go to the movies for entertainment. If you were to have dinner with one of the world’s most famous actors and he shared with you about his career, you might be surprised with what he went through. Everyone looks fine from a distance: famous people all look like they have had an easy life on their road to fame and success. Yet, if one of them really opened up to you, then you might discover just how hard it was for them to gain success and then how hard it is to keep it.

In the same way, Jesus wants us to know that the abundant Christian life comes with a personal cost. Every Christian is saved through the perfect sacrifice that Jesus paid on the cross. I am not advocating that through works we become more loved by God. No, God forbid! Good works will never earn anyone salvation, because salvation is a gift: it can’t be earned. Rather, good works are the natural fruit of salvation. Constant good fruit should be clearly evidenced by others and act as a light to draw them to the Lord.

Think of yourself as one who has studied acting and has had minor parts in a few movies. Imagine that you had dinner with a famous actor. I reckon you would have a whole lot more to share with the actor because of your same life experience. The same is true with the Christian life. The more that you are prepared to sacrifice to serve Jesus, the richer the relationship you will have with Him. This is the meaning of this parable. The more you give to Jesus and the more you give up to possess Him, the more of Him you will possess.

To read more about Matthew Robert Payne or to know how to book him to speak at your church click on my name Matthew Robert Payne