I’ve noticed that several of my favorite movies have a similar theme: treasure hunting. After all, who doesn’t love a journey with a huge payoff at the end? And so much the better if the way is peppered with thrilling adventures.
But I was surprised to see how much these treasure hunts have in common with several parables in Matthew 13. Take a look at the beginning of just these few:
“The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field.” (Matt 13:31).
“The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into a large amount of flour…” (Matt 13:33).
“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field.” (Matt 13:44).
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. (Matt 13:45 emphasis added).
Now, take a look at the four similes and see if you see a common denominator. Where would you find a seed, yeast, hidden treasure and a man looking for pearls? They would all be below the surface, hidden from view.
They are still completely there, though not visible at the moment. And either time will make them obvious, as in the first two parables, or some effort will be required to find them, as in the last two.
And I believe one of the biggest takeaways from each of these is that God’s kingdom and its reality are presently hidden from view, below the surface. And though time alone will make it obvious one day, I want to be among those who, by faith, going hunting for this treasure right now.
But it will surely take some faith–because no one goes digging holes without first believing that a treasure exits. No one dives to the ocean floor unless he believes an oyster bed awaits him. Then armed with that conviction, he’s motivated to invest the sweat equity required.
The other of Hebrews gives us a similar approach when he says,
So, are you ready for some digging? Let’s go get our shovels—treasure awaits!