THEME: Kingdom of Heaven
The treasure that we seek is found in the Son of God.
“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. “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding aone pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.
In terms of their discovering the great treasure, which is the gospel, the man who discovered the treasure and the merchant who found the pearl in these parables are identical. There is a point of contrast that should not be overlooked, however. The man who found the hidden treasure was apparently not looking for it—his discovery was an accident—but in the case of the merchant, the finding of the pearl was the result of a long and faithful quest.
That contrast aptly describes the past experiences of people who find salvation. Some were not particularly anxious to find Christ—in fact, not even very interested in religion. They were going on their way when suddenly an unexpected thing confronted them: the gospel. They had never really seen it before. They were not seeking it. But there it was; and at once, with that insight granted by God’s internal work of regeneration, they saw that this was a prize of far greater value than anything that had ever come into their lives previously. They saw themselves as sinners in need of a Savior. They saw Jesus as that Savior. They recognized that if they had him, they had all else besides. So they turned to him and believed, on the spot. Their case is an illustration of Isaiah’s words, “I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me; I was found by those who did not seek me” (Isa. 65:1).
Perhaps you are like that, even as you read these words. You have not been seeking God. You have been reading merely to fill an idle moment, not to find salvation. But suddenly the way is open before you. Christ is present, and you are drawn to him. If so, God is at work; be glad for that. Now follow through, as did the man who found the hidden treasure.
The other type of person is quite different. He is the one who really had sought God and had found the way long and difficult. It is true that this person sought only because God had first come seeking him. It could be said of him as it is said in the hymn:
I sought the Lord, and afterward I knew
He moved my soul to seek him,
It was not I that found, O Savior true;
No, I was found of thee.
But this person did not know that during his years of seeking. Those were dark years of false leads and harmful misunderstandings. At times he nearly despaired, but then the search was rewarded. The pearl of great price was before him, and now everything else was laid aside to secure that most valued object. Those are the ones of whom Jesus spoke when he said, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you” (Matt. 7:7).
Perhaps you are that kind of person. You have not been indifferent to spiritual things but you have been seeking, and now the end of your quest is before you. Here is Jesus. Now you must believe on him unto salvation. You have asked, and the answer has been given. You have sought, and Jesus is presented. Now you must knock and enter in by the opened door. Jesus said, “I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved” (John 10:9).
Regeneration: spiritual rebirth
Contrast the circumstances of the men who found their treasure.
How does the work of regeneration change how a person views themselves?
Which type of person are (or were) you?