In parabolic form, our Lord Jesus Christ speaks of the real value of the Gospel, the joy that it brings to those who find it – and the efforts required for the faithful to possess it:

“The kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field” (Mat 13:44).

In these words of our Lord; we note that the treasure is not placed in visible prominence – but found amongst the mire of the natural ground, from which it must be unearthed in order for the finder to behold it’s true beauty. Not being openly visible, it must be diligently sought after, a process which may be a long and arduous task. But even when the discovery is eventually made, the work is not ended, for the field must be first procured in a legitimate manner before it can be made to yield it’s treasures. Only then can that treasure be taken by the finder – and only then can he partake of the benefits of possessing it. Effort is required every step of the way – firstly the seeking, then the giving of all to obtain that in which the treasure is contained; then the raising up of it out of the ground.

And even so it is with the Word. Being buried as it were, under the accumulated rubbish of mens’ philosophies and fables, the diligent seeker will need to pile to one side the defiling works of human devising, to get at the true source of life and beauty – the hidden treasures of the Word. But for the man in the Lord’s parable, simply to discover the treasure was not good enough. He must possess it. And to do this, he must be willing to give his all – everything – for only than will he afford the means to legitimately claim it as his own. Even so with us. There are many in this life, who upon discovery of the riches of God’s goodness (Rom 2:4) revealed in Christ find themselves unable – or unwilling – to exert the necessary labour to truly acquire it. They may fool themselves into thinking that because they are in the field; because they see the treasure; that they have it, and can simply take it for their own. But to do such would be to attempt to procure Divine Blessings by proscribed principles. Yahweh requires our all – the fulness of our lives, that we might be partakers of the treasure discovered. In the end, He will know which of his labourers have laid down in slothfulness. He will know the diligent efforts of the righteous; and He will bless every man according to his works.

The wisdom of the Word – hidden to the proudhearted of our age who are lifted up in the abundance of literal treasure – must be diligently sought for. This is the cry of Wisdom: “if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; Yea, if thou seekest for her as for hid treasures; then shalt thou understand the fear of Yahweh, and find the knowledge of God” (Prov 2:50). But do we cry for “knowledge” of Divine things? The prophets of old provide a wonderful example of this. Consider the mourning of Daniel, as recorded in the 10th chapter of his prophecy, as he yearned to perceive the significance of that which was revealed to him. Consider also the intense weeping of the exiled apostle John, who was unable to gaze upon the contents of the revelatory Scroll, for want of a man to unloose it. This is the disposition of all the faithful, for this is where their heart is. This is the spirit of those who exert themselves to become partakers of Divine understanding, and thereby also partakers of Divine Glory.

Christopher Maddocks