Reflections on 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 he went and sold all he had and bought that field.

I continue to be struck by how amazing statements of the Bible are if you take them in their simple components. 

The kingdom of heaven is like treasure...

Treasure has such obvious value. Who looks at treasure and doesn't see the value? If we just stop here, and think about what this is teaching us, it seems to be saying the the kingdom of heaven is precious, and when you see it, it's obvious how valuable it is.

Does the kingdom of heaven seem precious to you? It seems that when we see it rightly, it will seem precious. 

But it's hidden. Why is it hidden? I don't know. Perhaps this speaks to the nature of spiritual things being harder to directly apprehend, even though they have more depth and meaning than physical things.

How did this man find the treasure? How hidden was it? Did he stumble upon it out in the open, or was he digging? What was he doing on someone else's land to begin with? Perhaps the answers to these questions are not important.

Perhaps another simple important thing is that the kingdom of heaven brought this man joy. The kingdom of heaven is valuable. The kingdom of heaven brings joy. These are basic truths, but how often do we doubt the value of the kingdom of heaven or find ourselves without joy? 

One interesting aspect of this story, which may or may not be one of the things Jesus was trying to communicate with it, is that the man knew he was getting a fantastic deal. He already knew before he bought the field that the treasure was there. He knew that the value of the treasure far exceeded the value of all of his possessions (!) and whatever he would pay for the land. 

Perhaps something this story leaves out is faith, but I think the element of certainty is important. We should be overcome with joy at the treasure that is ours in Christ. We should have a sense of how what we gain in Christ is overwhelmingly more than we could ever lose. We should be full of joy at our good fortune.