Matthew 13:44 Parable of the Hidden Treasure

treasurechest300“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. Matt. 13:44 

If the Kingdom were to be some future great reign of Messiah on earth, as some teach, then how can it be hidden?  Isn’t Messiah’s reign on earth believed to be a physical ruling from Jerusalem or the New Jerusalem? That it will be like a shining city on a hill top?  Every eye shall see and every knee shall bow?  So why would Messiah say it is like hidden treasure?

The finding of lost treasure and who controls or own it, is different in every nation.  Suffice it to say that in Judea in the time of Messiah, the treasure belonged to the owner of the land.  So having found this treasure the field must be obtained in order to secure the wealth.

To acquire this hidden treasure required that all other valuables be sold.  One has to put in the time and effort to obtain such a rare realization.  All other valuables must be put aside.

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well. Matt. 6:33 

Putting aside ourselves is the hardest thing to do.  For we battle the world, the flesh, and the devil.  And our foes are formidable. They do not want us to realize that there is a treasure to be found.  And they certainly do not want to be sold off in order that we may obtain the victory that comes for submitting to the Kings will.

The World

“If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. John 15:18 

On the one hand it makes no sense that the world hates us,  since all believers are for the most part hard working, tax paying people.  One would think that any country, nation, or Empire would want people who self regulate.  Those who follow the Golden Rule.  We do not require the expense of police and do not need a bunch of rules or laws passed to control us.

. . . and you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. Deut. 6:5

You shall not take vengeance or bear any grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD. Lev. 19:18 

But the nature of Rulers is to want total loyalty.  The history of the world is full of princes, kings, or Emperors who presented themselves as deity.  Worshiping the king was the only way to reach the greater gods.  Even modern Emperors have tried to instill an awe and respect beyond what is deserved.  Just look at the propaganda around Napoleon or Queen Victoria, not the mention current presidents and prime ministers.

But believers do not need government, except to protect them from others.  We have no need of kings, priests, or holy men of any kind.  For each one of us has direct access to our God and King.

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, that you may declare the wonderful deeds of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 1 Pet. 2:9 

As a man standing alone with God, not needing anyone between the individual and God, we have destroyed more governments than swords ever could.  It took 400 years, but Rome fell because there were no longer any central leaders who held any kind of awe in the minds of the people, let alone be able to command any form of worship.  We destroy Empires on our knees.  And those who desire to build an empire know it.  Even if we haven’t figured out what they are so worried about.  The first thing any would be tyrant tries to do, is get control the churches.

They may kill our bodies but they never have or will be able to destroy the faith.

The Kingdom is hidden more from us than from the would be tyrants.  They see it quite clearly.

The other irritating thing the world does is take offense at our goodness.  They just can’t take it when someone is self regulating when they are not.  Where some governments persecute and even kill us. Most of the time the world just submits us to personal attacks, being left out, or skipped over for promotion. The best they can manage is to throw temptation in our way.  Sometimes this one is hard to tell from our struggles with the devil.  Or sometime it is the devil using others to get to us.  But we must push on and pursue the Holy.

The Flesh

Paul has a perfect summation of this struggle.

I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Rom. 7:15

Our own flesh would rather sleep in, play, or be merry than spend time with the King.  A Savior is easy, a King is completely different.  Whether knight or serf, our paramount responsibilities are loyalty and obedience.

“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. John 14:15 

He who has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me; and he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” John 14:21

So simple yet so hard.  There are only ten little commandments.  Yet most people who claim Messiah can’t even name them, and don’t know where to look them up [Ex 20, Deut 5].

Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. Psa. 119:11 

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. Psa. 119:105 

How can any of us know what is sin without the law to tell us. We stumble along in the darkness, not knowing why are lives are not victorious.  We simply have no victory because we are not submitting to the King.

What then shall we say? That the law is sin? By no means! Yet, if it had not been for the law, I should not have known sin. I should not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said,  “You shall not covet.” Rom. 7:7 

We have let the evangelist tell us all about our Savior over and over.  And they are right. He is our Savior.  But to find the King and His Kingdom will take a deeper search.  The Kingdom is hidden, and only in finding that He is King as well as Savior will we begin to realize the whole Kingdom. Where a Savior is adored, and King must be respected.

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; a good understanding have all those who practice it. His praise endures for ever! Psa. 111:10

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction. Prov. 1:7

The Devil

The world tells us there is no such thing as the devil. But the word of God says different.

Be sober, be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking some one to devour. 1 Pet. 5:8

Our instructions for this battle are in Ephesians 6.  But before we enter this battle, we must first go through chapter’s 4-5.  As there is a long list of personal sins, that must be confessed and repented of.  Right in the middle of this long list is the reason for our need to confess and rid ourselves of these sins.

and give no opportunity to the devil. Eph. 4:27 

If we enjoins this battle with unconfessed sin in our lives, half the battle is lost.  All the armor will not do us any good if we have given quarter to the devil.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.  11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  12 For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.  13 Therefore take the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.  14 Stand therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,  15 and having shod your feet with the equipment of the gospel of peace;  16 besides all these, taking the shield of faith, with which you can quench all the flaming darts of the evil one.  17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.  18 Pray at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,  19 and also for me, that utterance may be given me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel,  20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.  Eph. 6:10 -20

Notice:  We have only one weapon. The word of God.  Everything else is just protection.  To fight, to go on the offense, we must know the word of God, and know it well.  Even Messiah Himself when facing Satan at the temptation, only quoted Scripture [Matt 4]. The other thing to note is that there is no armor on our backs.  We must never retreat.  We have all it takes to win.  There is no possibility of failure.  Stand your ground.  The devil loves to make us fearful.  Just remember

God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 2 Tim. 1:7 

Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Luke 10:19 

Even though the kingdom is right here in front of us.  It is none the less hidden from plain sight.  Only the spiritual can perceive it.  But once one has noticed  it, one will go to any expense any effort to obtain the full realization of it.  To make Messiah the King of ones life will be the greatest struggle of your life.  One must subdue the world the flesh and the devil.  And no one who is not of the kingdom wants us to succeed in this great quest.  While they accuse us of being selfish, it is they who are the selfish ones. They wish to be the center of our universe.  Once we have met our obligations to our fellow man, they ought to leave us to our study and our work for the Kingdom.

To find the Kingdom we must first find what the King wants for us individually, and the world, the flesh, and the devil, don’t want us to do that.  To find this, we must look hard in that mirror of truth. Once we have dealt with our own depravity then we can begin, to find our gift, then our mission [Rom 12:3-8; 1Cor. 12; Eph. 4]. Our spiritual leaders are quick to plug people into some category.  Where as they should seek those who have the gifts and apptitudes for the task at hand, just as they did in Acts 6.  Instead they are quick to fill positions were they have a need.  One can become quite busy pleasing others.  We can get so busy that we don’t even consider to ask, is this really what the King wants ME to be doing?  Our real job is to please the King, and do what He wants with our life.  Over the years this may even change and we grow and mature in Messiah.  There may be a time when working with small children is where we need to be, then again that may be the last place a person belongs.

Once we know ourselves, and our gift then we will also know where the King wants our skills.  Real submission to God, is following Him, not someone else’s ideas.  There is nothing wrong with helping out around the congregation till one figures themselves out.  Find what you do best and then do it for the Kingdom. [1 Cor 12]

Congregations have a way of emphasizing  evangelism and helping the poor, but not everyone is truly cut out for these jobs.  Sometimes we do jobs because they need doing.  But sometimes there is another who is being overlooked, but who is more suited to the job.  If we look for and train a replacement, then we can move on to what we should really be doing.

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well. Matt. 6:33 

 

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