Seeking, Finding, Sharing

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Earlier in Matthew we hear Jesus instruct his followers to prioritize their pursuit of holiness – “Seek ye first his kingdom and his righteousness.” Now again we are reminded with the parables of the hidden treasure and the pearl of great price; the same point. God’s great truths are before us, waiting for us to find them. Indeed, finding is the first act. We must find the hidden treasure, we must seek out the pearl of great price. Christ and the Kingdom of God are the treasures, the pearls we must seek. They are hidden within the Old Testament, there for the taking, for any of us who would seek them out if only we have eyes to see and ears to hear. As Matthew points out repeatedly, Christ is the fulfillment of the Old Testament.

But finding these great truths isn’t enough. Thus we have the second act. The kingdom’s value is inestimable, but does us little good unless we claim it for ourselves. Remember, the treasure hunter “…out of joy goes and sells all that he has…” It is not greed but joy that drives us to possess God’s righteousness and the kingdom of heaven. The wise man sees his life is enriched to an untold degree when he possesses God’s truth. He sees that it is worth everything he has. But to be so wise, to claim this for ourselves, we must first establish our pursuit of holiness in the forefront of our lives, and be willing to give up all that we have — material goods, earthly attachments, even family relationships in order to obtain it. While we may not be required to make such sacrifices, the point of value in the hidden treasure is our own willingness to let go of what we have in order to grasp Christ. To build treasure in heaven we have to let all else go and follow Christ. Half measures won’t do.
The third act is found in Christ’s words to the scribes. Like any householder, we need to combine the old with the new — the truths of the OT with the wisdom of the NT. Once we have laid claim to the great treasures, we need to open it up to others so they, too, can partake. Of all the above, it may be this last which is hardest for us.

Three actions: Seeking out the treasure, taking the treasure for one’s own, and like the scribe or the householder, sharing, or instructing others in recognizing the treasure. Where are you in this parable?

Linda Crowley