On a Treasure Hunt for Paradise
January 23, 2020 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments
Posted in: Pastoral Encouragement
What is Paradise?
I proposed this question in my sermon on Sunday as one of three foundational questions which contribute to the formation of a worldview. A worldview is a lens through which we interpret the world around us. Worldviews impact and shape how we respond to circumstances.
Jesus answers this question in order to shape the worldview of his disciples. In Matthew 13:44 he says, “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.” In the gospel of Matthew, the “kingdom of heaven” is a right relationship with God through the Messiah-King Jesus. Jesus identifies this right relationship with God to be “treasure.” This is paradise! To be in a right relationship with God through the redeeming work of the Messiah-King!
Let me highlight a few observations about what Jesus says regarding the “treasure.”
- The Treasure is Hidden. That seems like a pretty straightforward observation, right? But, think about it. If the treasure is hidden, how will anyone find it? The parable doesn’t answer that question. To know how to find the treasure, we need to answer first one other question: how is the treasure hidden.
I would propose that the treasure of a right relationship with God is hidden by our sin. From Adam and Eve’s first rebellious sin against God’s rule to our daily, sinful, rebellious thoughts and actions, a right relationship with God is hidden from the gaze and delight of our hearts. We are enamored by lesser treasures.
So, how do we find this treasure of great value? God’s word is a lamp for our path (cf. Ps. 119:105). God has shown in his word how we can find a right relationship with him (cf. Lev. 19:2 & Micah 6:8). The problem is that we fail miserably on this search path. But praise God! He has sent the search party out for us, namely, his only Son. Jesus says, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (Jn. 14:6). We find this great treasure by coming to Jesus in faith. We come to Jesus through God’s word which centers on Jesus.
All that to say, we need to seek the treasure. God helps us through Christ and the Holy Spirit. He has given us the treasure map in his Word. Are you seeking the treasure?
- The Treasure Spawns Joy and Life Change. The rest of the parable tells us how the man responds once he finds the treasure. He is exuberant in joy. And he makes a life-altering decision. Does finding the treasure “demand” such a response or “create” such a response? I chose the word “spawn” to communicate that finding the treasure will naturally create and develop such a response. The four parables Jesus tells before this one in Matthew 13 all communicate that the kingdom of heaven has a “growth” element. We cannot leave that behind when we come to verse 44 and the treasure. When we find our right relationship with God through Jesus it grows in us like a good infection; we become different people. We become exuberant in joy. We make life-altering decisions. That’s what happens when we come to be in a right relationship with God. That’s what happens when are worldview is shaped by our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
What is your paradise?