Matthew 13:31-52 – Buried Treasure

Matthew 13:31-52 – Buried Treasure October 12, 2016

Crater of Diamond State Park“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.”

When I and my family lived in Hot Springs, Arkansas we went one day to visit the only diamond-producing site in the world open to the public: Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro, Arkansas.  In 2006, the year we went, someone found a 6.35 carat brown diamond.  We eagerly packed up our shovels and trowels, buckets and gloves, and went looking for diamonds.

We found no diamonds that day, but at a different mine, my son Charlie and I came away with two large clusters of beautiful, large quartz crystals.  The idea of finding buried treasure has a universal appeal to people.

It’s this image of finding a treasure hidden in a field that Jesus uses this morning to help us understand what the kingdom of heaven, in which we live, is like.

What does your life seem like to you today?  If someone had asked you, say yesterday, to describe an image that portrayed your life, it probably wouldn’t have been the parable of the hidden treasure.  And yet this is exactly what Jesus says our lives are like in the kingdom of heaven.

Imagine that my family and I had gone instead to an empty lot somewhere in Arkansas, and the kids began digging around.  Suddenly, one of them, probably Charlie, runs to me and says, “Dad!  I found a diamond!”  And then he shows me what is clearly a large, white diamond.  It appears likely that there are other diamonds nearby.

I happen to know that the lot is for sale.  What do you think I might pay for that piece of land?  I might go and sell my other possessions to make the purchase possible.  I don’t have a lot of spare cash lying around, but I’d probably put a lot of things up for sale on E-bay.  I’d be likely to defer paying my credit cards and even take some cash advances from all my credit cards to buy that piece of land.

This is a picture of our life with God, of life in the kingdom of heaven.

You and I have stumbled across the greatest treasure known to man.  We’ve discovered God Himself.  We’ve discovered eternal life and the one who gives eternal life.  We’ve discovered the source of every blessing in this life and in the life to come.

What would you give for such a treasure?  What is it worth to you?

If you were told that you had to give one hour of your time every week for such a treasure, surely you’d do it.  What if you were told you had to give 10 hours of your time every week?  Would it be worth your while?

And what if you were told that to receive this greatest treasure known to man that you had to give 10% of your income every year?  Would it be worth your while?

The truth is that it’s easy to say that we’re Christians, but saying that we’re Christians isn’t enough.  To say we’re Christians, without showing it to God by our lives, would be like saying we know about the buried treasure in the field but refusing to sell everything to buy the field.

It’s not enough to “know” that the field contains the greatest treasure in the world: to obtain the treasure, you must do something.  Just being able to say that God is my treasure or that I know that God sent His Son to save the world isn’t enough.  You have to do something about it.

There is, in other words, a cost to being a disciple of Jesus Christ.  But rather than measuring this cost in terms of money or possessions, God measures it in terms of our very lives.  How much of your life are you willing to give to the Lord, the Lord who has given you everything?  (Of course this cost isn’t a payment for eternal life: that price was paid by someone else!)

To truly follow Jesus Christ costs everything you have because it costs your life.  It’s a pretty good deal.  I give my life to God, and He gives me His life, eternal life with Him, and blessing in His presence forevermore, starting right now.

But sometimes we forget that we’ve vowed to give our lives to God.  We want God to keep His end of the bargain, while we renege on ours.  You promised to give your life to God, if He gave His life to you.  He’s done what He said He would.  What does keeping your end of the bargain involve?  What will it cost you?

Many people would give all they had if they could find the secret of eternal life, even if that life were limited to a life on earth.  But what will you give for life everlasting in the presence of God, a life that starts now?

Rather than considering the entire cost this morning, I want to make it simpler for all of us.  I want to make a suggestion that is bite size, something we can act on today, in considering this great treasure God has shared with us.  I want each of you to consider one way in which God is asking you to give yourself more completely to Him.  It might involve what people have called time, treasure, or talent.

Time.  Maybe you should invest in God and His kingdom by investing time praying, reading His Word, or serving others.

Treasure.  God has given you Himself, at a great cost to Himself.  Do you give Him a tithe, or tenth, of the monetary treasure He’s entrusted to you?  Maybe He’s even calling you to more!

Talent.  God has given you His gifts for His purposes.  He has given you life, and He’s given you His Body, that you might contribute your life to His Body as well.

“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.”

Consider investing today in the kingdom of heaven.  Consider investing in just one way today in the greatest treasure known to man: God Himself and His kingdom.

Prayer:  Lord, I long to discover the mystery of your Kingdom and live in it ardently in my daily life.  May I, with the help of your Holy Spirit, penetrate into this mystery in prayer.  Lord, I want to be generous and give up everything for the sake of your Kingdom in my life and in the lives of those souls entrusted to me. You know that I cannot do so on my own.  Help me with your grace to be generous.  Amen. 

Points for Meditation: 

  1. How might you invest yourself more fully in God and His kingdom today?
  2. Imagine life in God’s presence in this world as being a great treasure. What does that treasure look like?  What response do you have to possessing this treasure? 

Resolution:  I resolve to ask myself today what God wants me to give today that I might obtain His treasure, which is more of Himself. 

 

Crater of Diamonds State Park – Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license

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