little stories…BIG TRUTH // Parable of the Hidden Treasure
[ECC Associate Pastor, Greg Miller, Covington Campus]
The Parable of the Hidden Treasure : Matthew 13:44-46
God's love is greater than everything.
“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. “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it. (Matthew 13:44-46 NIV)
The search.. “when a man found it” .. “looking for fine pearls”
This is what the Lord says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.” (Jeremiah 29:10-14 NIV)
In the Israelite saga, God gives the Israelites over to their idols and sinful desires. But when they feel the weight of their decisions, and the price of what they gave, and when they feel the pain of separation from God..He tells the Israelites that He knows they will eventually return to Him, seeking Him with “all your heart.” The entire heart is important, here.
When I seek God half-heartedly, He doesn't seem to show up or endorse that behavior. But when I SEEK God with ALL of my heart, THEN He proves Himself as the great God of the universe. He rewards whole-heartedness with His presence.
Separation and stagnation cause desperation which leads to salvation.
Every person is searching.
The treasure .. “He hid it again” .. “he went away”
If we are “out of our mind,” as some say, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:13-21 NIV)
We often chase the wrong treasure. We think that if we get the next best thing (financial security, a new relationship, a promotion, new house/car, etc) then we won't be sad or alone. But it's not true. Our loneliness comes from being separated from God, not the lack of anything else.
It's like we've won the cosmic lottery. But we have a hard time seeing it because our minds are on the fool's gold.
The true treasure is unthinkably magnificent.
The cost .. “sold all he had and bought that field” .. “sold everything he had and bought it”
The gift of God's grace is free. However there is a cost to following Jesus. You can only have one treasure. Jesus calls us to complete surrender & submission. The cost is everything the world offers us.
As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” He said to another man, “Follow me.” But he replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family.” Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:57-62 NIV)
Jesus says we must give all of ourselves to Him before He will give all of Himself to us. Nothing, not anything, can go before Jesus. He MUST be first. And He promises that He will be right there with us the whole way.
The cost is complete sacrifice :: The reward is complete satisfaction.
God's love is greater than EVERYTHING.
- Examine your life..do you have the treasure?
- Put Jesus first.
- Surrender everything to Him.