Digging for Treasure
The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which someone found and hid; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. (Matthew 13:44)
I get what Jesus is saying here. The kingdom of heaven, Matthew's term for the kingdom of God, God's beloved community, is really, really, really, REALLY valuable. It is worth more than all our possessions. And we should give our all to have it. That seems straight-forward enough.
At the same time, I have some questions.
Why is this person digging around in fields that belong to someone else? Were they looking for treasure? Were they looking for this particular treasure? Or did they just like digging around in random fields and stumbled upon it? I know farmers like checking out other's fields, but to the best of my knowledge they don't go digging around in them. Or maybe they do.
All that aside, here is my biggest question. How did the owner of the field not know there was treasure buried there?
I wonder if that isn't what this parable is all about. The first owner of the field had this amazing treasure right under their noses, and they didn't know it. Day after day they worked that field, plowing, planting, harvesting, and never realized how close they were to something that could change their lives forever.
Did they not know what the treasure looked like?
Were they so focused on what they thought was their treasure - the field and harvest - they were blind to the real treasure hidden right in front of them?
Or was this treasure so well hidden only those who went specifically seeking it could find it?
So many questions, but here is my last one.
Would we recognize the treasure that is the kingdom of heaven if we stumbled upon it?