Who is the treasure in the field in Matthew 13:44-45?
Jesus shared many parables in Matthew 13. He interpreted two of the longer parables for his disciples. The Parable of the Sower and Seeds, and the Parable of Tares of the field.
After Jesus interpreted the Parable of the Tares from Matthew 13:37-43, he went on to share the parables of the Treasure in the field and the Pearl of great price.
44 Again, 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.
45 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: 46 Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.Matthew 13:44-46
I used to think that the man who found the treasure in the field and the merchant who found the pearl of great value refer to believers. When they found God (the treasure and the pearl), they give up everything to believe in and follow God.
After years of failing God, I realise that I can offer nothing to “buy” God. God cannot be bought.
So how should we understand the Parable of the Treasure in the field
It was actually God who bought us with Jesus. He sent Jesus to be the atonement and sacrifice to reconcile us to Himself.
The man and the merchant refer to God. He was the one who sold everything (Jesus) to obtain the field and therefore the right to the treasure. He was the merchant who sold everything to buy the pearl of great value.
What is marvellous about this interpretation?
God paid to obtain me. There is a price and he paid for it. That price was Jesus. God sold EVERYTHING to buy me. This means that Jesus was everything to God. I sang in a contemporary Christian song that I do not know how much it costs God to save me. Actually I do if I read His word carefully. It costs him Jesus, his only begotten and beloved son.
I am described as treasure and pearls of great value by Jesus in these two parables. I look at myself and all I see are my faults and shortcomings. How can I be a treasure or pearls?
Yet, that is how God see me. Even before redemption, He saw me precious.
It is easy to dwell on my faults and shortcomings because it is human nature to focus on self.
It is a fight of faith to believe Jesus who said that I am a treasure and a pearl of great value to God. To look away from myself and focus on Jesus.
Therefore, God is an extremely good God. He is unfairly good to me because I am the apple of His eye.
That is how Jesus describe the Kingdom of Heaven.