Oops. It was a holiday here in Phils (that is what the locals call the Philippines!) and it looks like the blog fairies did too! Sorry for the delay in posting Monday’s article. Without further ado…
The parables of the hidden treasure and the pearl both talk of the riches of the kingdom of heaven. The treasure was found in a field, where we can only suppose that there were no fences and people were permitted to wander and even dig. We walk by it all the time, we might cut through or sit and picnic. But it is only when we stop to look around at the field that we discover the riches there. The treasure of Jesus is available, like an open field. When we dig below the surface and seek deeply, then we know the wealth of the kingdom.
These riches found by the man must have been enough that he needed nothing but the treasure in the field. He likely sold his house and all possessions and purchased the field. It didn’t sound like the owner was reluctant and it took time before being convinced to sell. The field was available, ‘ready for the taking’ as it be. And the man was also just to own the field. He had found enough in the depths to convince him and who stops digging for gold when they find the first load. We continue digging once we have found the treasure.
Our Father is always ready to share the treasures of the kingdom to those who seek it. We who have found the treasure available to us in the open field have also noted its worth beyond measure. We may not have understood immediately that our house and belongings were all nothing in comparison to the treasure of Jesus. But, at some point in our lives, we see that only He matters. Only He can bring the peace, the joy, the satisfaction, the love, the everything that we need. We dig deeper into Christ and find it all in Him.
This treasure is not a specific thing, like the pearl is in verse 45. Perhaps the treasure was shared with the family and friends were invited over to partake in it. Jesus shared the kingdom of heaven with all who would listen. I hope the man did too.
Then we have a merchant. This man is one which is trained in his business. He seeks the best, the finest of pearls. So, in verse 44 we find that the treasure of the kingdom of heaven is for everyone. Now we find that it is also for the man who knows quality and seeks riches specifically. He found the best, and instead of buying cheap and selling for profit, he purchases the treasure and keeps it for himself. The pearl is his own richness. His treasure is his own, it is portable and can be taken anywhere he goes. A pearl cannot be shared like the treasure, but it is not meant to be hidden in a drawer and kept out of sight.
I wonder if the pearl was mounted tightly and worn daily, for all to see. I am certain that we are called to do so: we must be the light on a hill and the salt of the earth. So, once we have found the treasure, we must share it. We share it by behaving differently from those around us. We share it by no longer being who we were before. We share it in the choices we make. If we are digging for riches in the kingdom of heaven, the natural outcome is to share them when we find them.