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Two in one

Two in one

    Matthew 13:44

            “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.”

It is utterly without contestation that this verse refers to the extreme value of salvation. However, I would like to display a few of the nuances contained therein for our spiritual edification. 

    If we observe verb tense in verse 44, we see that at the beginning of the parable, the man had done something. It was he himself, who sometime in the past found and hid treasure in a field that did not belong to him. Before we continue, think about what is happening in this story. Think of yourself. Assume that you have a neighbor with an abundance of land. Assume then that one day you find a valuable treasure. Wouldn’t it make sense to hide the treasure somewhere that already belonged to you? That way there would be less of a chance of a thief stealing the treasure. That, however, is not what this man did. He hid the treasure in a field he did not own. Now, pay close attention, the man in the story is both God and man. The man in the story represents God because it was God who hid His treasure in earthen vessels {2 Corinthians 4:7} and we know that the field, and the earthen vessels represent the hearts of men in the world. As it is written “the field is the world” {Matthew 13:38 } and the field is the hearts of men {Mark 4:13-20}. After the fall, God no longer had claim on the world because Adam gave that authority to the wicked one, so the story shows us that the man represents God who had to pay the highest price to buy back what was lost. God is the one who sent His only begotten Son in order to pay the “redeeming price” or “buy back” the world {ie. the hearts of men} and offer them salvation. 

    The man in the story represents humans because it is the human that finds the treasure of a relationship with God. It is the human who “forsakes all” to walk in his relationship with the Lord Jesus. Man also does not own the field that he hides the treasure in, for it was under the authority of the wicked one until it was purchased back by God. Thus, the man in the story is metaphoric of both God and mankind. 

    Furthermore, as stated above, the tense at the beginning of the verse is past. However, the verb tenses at the end of the parable are present. Notice the wording : “he goes” as opposed to “he went”; “sells all” as opposed to “sold all”; “and buys” as opposed to “and bought.” Every instance in the verse regarding the man’s action after the treasure was hidden is expressed in present and continuous tense. Again, since we have established that the man in the story is implicative of both God and man then we can ascribe each of the specific actions to be metaphoric representations of the actions of God and man. What’s more, the actions taken by the man in the story are perpetual. They are not something that has been done and will not be done again. No they are continuous and fluid. Does this mean that God always has to crucify His son or that we have to repeatedly accept salvation? Certainly not! It does mean, however, that there is never a time when God does not attempt to buy back the individual hearts of man by displaying the love He has for them through the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ. It does mean, that there is never a time that a person, who has discovered how valuable his relationship with God is, will not give up all to pursue his relationship with the Holy One. 

    There is one more application of this parable wherein the man in the story solely represents mankind. It is the notion that once the man has ownership of the field and thereby the treasure within the field, he has nothing left with which to support himself. All he has left, since he has sold everything is the treasure that is now responsible for meeting all of his needs forever. This too is metaphoric of the kingdom of heaven in our lives. We, if we have tasted and seen that the Lord is good, must sole rely on the kingdom of heaven for all of our needs, for we have sold all else that we have possessed!

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