Back in 1970, when milk was four cents a pint, finding a two-dollar note was finding a veritable fortune for a nine-year-old boy. It was laying in the grass opposite the ‘Horseshoe Inn,’ the local pub in our village of Matata. I imagine that the note slipped out of a patron’s pocket the previous night as he pulled his car keys out of his pocket. I snatched up the new-found treasure and took it to my mother for inspection. ‘Thou shalt not steal’ sat at number one on her ‘Matriarchal 10 Commandments’ list, so I had to verify the source of my wealth, lest I be branded a thief.
The man in Jesus’ Parable of the Hidden Treasure reacted shrewdly to his find. This one sentence story has a powerful message:
“The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid again; and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field” (Mt.13:44).
I had experienced some of the joy of the man that found the hidden treasure, but unlike him, I ‘did the right thing’—for a nine-year-old boy, anyway.
The point of the Parable lies in the man’s “extreme care” to make sure that he obtained the treasure. He re-hid his find and sold up to buy up the ground wherein the wealth lay.
Jesus is pointing to the normal reaction a person has to discovering something of immense value. They sacrifice everything they have to get it. No one who understands the value is surprised at his response, because everyone knows a good thing when they see it.
The way a person reacts to finding the Lord’s church says everything about the value they place on it. When I realised that I had found in the church, I snatched it up like that two-dollar note. I had found the hidden treasure…
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