The Hidden Treasure

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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.

Matthew 13:44

What treasure do you suppose Jesus is referring to? I just read an article from a religious academic that said the treasure is Jesus Christ and the salvation he offers. Such an idea would have been foreign to Jesus. Based on evidence we glean from the mystical thread, the treasure represents a fully active spiritual dimension, the understanding of which would immeasurably enhance the quality of one’s life. Gaining this understanding requires total commitment, but, because the man understands its value, he pursues it in joy.  

We’re told the man, in his joy, sells all that he owns so he can buy the field containing the treasure. Compare this attitude of joy to another instance where Jesus advises a rich young man to sell all his possessions, give the money to the poor, and then follow him. This is a depressing notion to the young man.

The difference in these two cases is that the man who discovered the treasure grasped its value on his own. He saw that the field and the treasure it contained was worth more than all his possessions, so in joy he could release the lesser for the greater. The wealthy young man, on the other hand, was simply responding to the instructions from another. He placed more value on his possessions than on the thing he hoped to acquire. In other words, his quest was conceptual while the other man’s was experiential.

With the theme, our journey home, we emphasize the need to make the spiritual quest our very own. In the beginning we are prompted by a pristine urge to know and experience something deeper than we have been taught, but we can easily slip back into following the advice of respected books and teachers. While these have their place, we should never forget that we are being guided by our own spiritual comforter and advocate. This is what brought us to the treasure-bearing field in the first place.

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