This past Sunday, our brother Huw Davies, spoke to us about one of the most sensitive topics of our lives: our treasure. What is our treasure? Where is it? How do we deal with it? The “Parable of the Hidden Treasure” and “The Parable of the Pearl of Great Value”, in Matthew 13, suggest how godly people should choose their treasure and relate to it.
Each parables talk about a treasure a man stumbled upon, and by finding it, they put everything else on the side and ensure they enter into its possession. Have you considered what might be the treasure of your life? For many people it is money, power, fame, academic or professional recognition. For Paul, it was the knowledge of Jesus Christ. In Philippians 3, he writes “I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord”. The knowledge of Jesus Christ leads to a personal relationship to Him, and this in turn enables love, joy, thankfulness and fulfillment to fill our lives. Nothing else completes a person better, nothing raises someone more, and nothing gives one more significance in life than knowing the Lord and following Him. Everything Paul had enjoyed in his life before – after all, he did have a high standing in his community – he would “consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith”.
The other concept which is present in both parables and is frequent throughout the New Testament is the “Kingdom of Heaven”. This is likened in both stories to a treasure. From a Christian perspective, the kingdom of Heaven is the one where Christ reigns as King, where He is entitled and allowed to transform the lives of the Kingdom’s citizens. By accepting Him in our hearts, we become citizens of His Kingdom. When we put our faith in Jesus, His Kingdom takes dominion in our hearts, He becomes our treasure. Matthew 6:21 confirms: “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also”. Focusing on the reaction of the 2 men in the parables, they both follow a similar journey. They show trust, by renouncing the fake ‘treasures’ which might have given them comfort and security in life, and invest everything in the newly found treasure. Having done this, they become dependent on the treasure, this is all they have. They both undergo a radical transformation of their lives, by acquiring a new purpose and repenting for having ephemeral things be their treasure. When confronted with the Father, we understand that we need to compare to Him, and not to others, and that we need to repent from all the false leads (treasures) we had been pursuing. This Heavenly treasure and Sin cannot coexist, and in order for us to be allowed entrance into the Kingdom, Jesus had to die for us, to clean us, to justify us. That was the moment when Mercy met Truth. We deserved punishment and death (this is the Truth) but Jesus took our place on the cross (as required by Justice) to make us righteous and to secure our place in His Kingdom (according to His infinite Mercy).
As citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven, we are to mature in His knowledge and deepen our relationship with Jesus. In the same time, like children, we are dependent on Him and must fully trust Him, as the only treasure worth pursuing and cherishing in our hearts and in our lives.