“Jesus went out of the house and was sitting by the sea. Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat down, while the whole crowd stood on the shore. Then he told them many things in parables” (Matthew 13:1–3, CSB).
One of the parables taught by Jesus was the short parable of the hidden treasure. “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure, buried in a field, that a man found and reburied. Then in his joy he goes and sells everything he has and buys that field” (Matthew 13:44, CSB).
He starts, “The kingdom of heaven is like...” Sometimes this kingdom is called the kingdom of heaven. “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17, ESV). At other times Jesus declared, “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God ... for I was sent for this purpose” (Luke 4:43, ESV). Either way, the realm of God’s kingdom is universal, the reign of His kingdom is eternal, and the rule over His kingdom is absolute. The Triune God is King of His kingdom.
With a wooden boat as his pulpit, King Jesus taught his wandering, wondering subjects about His kingdom. With compassionate care and passionate power, Jesus declared, “My kingdom is like a treasure!” Oh, how Jesus wanted them... us... to see the glory and greatness of all that “God has prepared ... for those who love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9, CSB).
“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure, buried in a field, that a man found...” Walking along the highways and byways, a man stumbled across a treasure buried in a field. Oh, the joy. The excitement. It was better than the lottery and beyond imagination or description. Isn’t that true about the eternal security and salvation we have in Jesus’ kingdom? As a citizen of His heavenly kingdom, we’ll never die, but rather, we’ll live forever with our Savior. If you found a treasure, wouldn’t you do anything to own it as your own? In the parable, Jesus said the man sold everything to acquire it.
That’s usually the interpretation of this short parable. I’m the man who found the buried treasure. I need to obey Jesus’ invitation to deny myself, take up my cross, and obediently follow Him (Luke 9:23).
But let me suggest a different interpretation. Maybe Jesus is the man who found the treasure.
“For God loved the world in this way: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16, CSB). Though He was always “existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God as something to be exploited. Instead he emptied himself by assuming the form of a servant, taking on the likeness of humanity. And when he had come as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death—even to death on a cross” (Philippians 2:6–8, CSB) ... all so that He could purchase the treasure.
Jesus found the treasure... “Then in his joy he goes and sells everything he has and buys that field” ... you are His treasure.