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The Hidden Treasure

              PART II: THE PARABLES OF THE KINGDOM

                    CHAPTER 6  THE HIDDEN TREASURE
 

                                      Introduction

              After explaining the Parable of the Weeds and Wheat to
         his disciples, Jesus told them four parables privately.
         This is the first parable that he told his disciples.
         (Morgan, THE PARABLES AND METAPHORS OF OUR LORD, p. 66).
         This parable is found only in Matthew 13:44. 
 
 

The Story
                       "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."    (Matthew 13:44,
                   New International Version).

              Jesus again tells a parable about the kingdom.   A   man
         happens upon a hidden treasure in a field and is exuberant.
         He then places it back in hiding. He leaves, sells all he has
         and buys the field in which the treasure is hidden.

                           The Interpretation

              Jesus is talking to his disciples, who would immediately
         grasp the truth of this parable, since they had experienced it
         firsthand.  The field is the world and the  hidden treasure is
         the Lord Jesus Christ and his salvation.

         As the man in the parable sold all he had to buy the natural
         treasure, the disciples had surrendered all they had to the
         Lordship of Christ.

              Please notice that in this parable, the individual was
         not actively looking for Christ when he found the Lord.
         However, the Holy Spirit guides us many times when we are
         not aware of his guidance.

              Also note that the story is realistic to this world.
         Many people would not tell the owner that a treasure was
         buried in the field before   buying it.   Jesus was not
         condoning dishonesty.

              However, Jesus was emphasizing the man's "earnestness in
         securing the treasure found, his fixed purpose to make it his
         own, and his prudence." (Trench, THE PARABLES OF OUR LORD. p. 47).
 

                              Central Truth

                        CHRIST (AND HIS SALVATION)
                        IS SUPERIOR TO EVERYTHING ELSE.
 
                               Conclusion

                Let us hide the Gospel (Word of God) in our hearts in
         order that it might not be taken away from us.  But, on the
         other   hand, let us share this treasure with others.  Paradoxically, giving
         it away to others helps us keep it!  END