Hidden Treasure
Lesson 17

In ancient times it was common for people to resort to hiding their valuables in the ground. Thefts and robberies were common and the uncertain and changing nature of the political landscape was such that it often resulted in a change of the ruling power which in turn frequently led to the wealthier being heavily taxed. As a result, the rich sought to preserve their wealth by concealing it, and the earth was viewed as being a safe hiding place. Often, however, events took place that resulted in the place of concealment being forgotten. Perhaps death unexpectedly took the owner, or some other change of circumstances prevented him from returning to claim the prize, and the wealth which he had taken such pains to conceal was left to the fortunate finder. It was not, therefore, altogether uncommon to discover old coins or ornaments of gold and silver on neglected land. This type of experience was a well known one to those who gathered to hear Christ speak, and using this experience as an object lesson, Christ opened to the people another aspect of His kingdom.

1. To what material object did Christ liken His kingdom?

Matthew 13:44

2. What portion of his possessions did the man have to part with in order to obtain the desired treasure?

Matthew 13:44

Note: A man rents a piece of land for the purpose of farming it, and as his plow turns over the soil, buried treasure is unearthed. Examining his discovery, he realizes that a fortune is within his reach. Returning the treasure to its hiding place, he returns to his home and immediately sets about to sell all that he has in order to obtain sufficient money to purchase the field.

Looking on the field, there is nothing that would suggest to the casual observer it had a value, the purchase of which warranted such extreme measures. The man, however, knew what he was doing and upon gaining title to the property, he immediately set about to search every part of it in order to find the treasure he had secured.

3. In giving up all, are we to fear material loss?

Matthew 6:31–33

Note: Christians should not allow themselves to be troubled with anxious cares as to the necessities of life. If men love and obey God, and do their part, God will provide for all of their necessities.

4. What is the promise to those who walk uprightly?

Psalms 84:11

Note: All heaven was poured out to us in Christ, and He that spared not His own Son in order to obtain our salvation, will not withhold any good thing from those who walk uprightly.

5. If we seek the Lord with all our heart, what is His promise to us?

Psalms 34:10

Note: God is willing to do great things for us if we do those things that are pleasing in His sight. His promise is that if we ask we shall receive. Any failure to receive the fulfillment of the promised blessing is to be found in us. A close examination will reveal that either we have failed to, by faith, grasp the promises, or we have turned aside from obedience to His revealed will.

In the parable of the field containing the treasure, the field represents God’s Word. While many Bible truths are easily discovered in the Scriptures, many of its treasures lie far beneath the surface, and can be obtained only by diligent search. The truths that go to make up the great whole must be searched out and gathered up, “here a little, and there a little.” Isaiah 28:10

6. From whom is the gospel hidden?

2 Corinthians 4:3-4

Note: When sin is cherished, men do not feel the necessity of making diligent effort with prayer and reflection, to understand that which they must know, or lose heaven. They have been so long under the shadow of the enemy that they view truth as men behold objects through a smoked and imperfect glass; for all things are dark and perverted in their eyes.

7. Where are all the treasures of knowledge and wisdom hid?

Colossians 2:2-3

Note: All that can satisfy the needs and longings of the human heart, for this world and for the world to come, is found in Jesus.

8. How does the natural man view spiritual truth?

1 Corinthians 1:18

9. What is the attitude of the natural heart towards God’s authority?

Romans 8:7

10. How did Christ describe the way that leads to eternal life?

Matthew 7:13-14

Note: If men could have the world and Christ also, many would readily accept Him, but between the world and the followers of Christ, there is to be a clear and decided distinction.

11. What must take place before we can understand spiritual truth?

John 3:3

12. What did Christ say to the spiritual leaders of His day, regarding their knowledge of spiritual truth?

Mark 12:24

Note: The priests and Pharisees thought they were doing an important work in putting their own interpretations upon the Word of God, but Satan had so blinded their eyes that they could not see its true import. This danger did not end with the Jewish teachers of Christ’s day. All too often the supposedly wise men of every generation have made the same mistake in seeking to interpret the oracles of God in keeping with long held tradition. The Scriptures do not need to be read and understood by the dim light of tradition or human speculation. God’s Holy Word is a light in itself.

13. If we lack wisdom, where may we obtain it?

James 1:5

14. Of what were the Jewish teachers guilty of teaching?

Mark 7:7

15. What must the teaching of tradition inevitably lead to?

Mark 7:9

Note: An attempt to interpret Bible truth within the context of tradition leads to confusion and shrouds the truth in darkness. Those who suppose that they understand philosophy think that their explanations are necessary to unlock the treasures of truth and thus prevent heresies from coming into the church. However, history tells us that inevitably these very explanations have been the source of the heresies that have plagued the church. Their explanations have only darkened that which they sought to make clear.

16. What is the promise to those who do not rely upon their own understanding?

Proverbs 3:5-6

17. What is required in order to gain a true understanding of truth?

Jeremiah 29:13

Note: God will accept nothing less than unreserved surrender. Half-hearted Christians can never enter heaven.

18. By what do we obtain life?

Matthew 4:4

Note: Our salvation depends on a knowledge of the truth contained in the Scriptures. Whenever men choose their own way, they place themselves in controversy with God. Not by one word, not by many words, but by every word that God has spoken, does man live. We cannot disregard one word, however trifling it may seem to us, and be safe.

It is in the surrender of the will that the line of demarcation between a child of God and the rebellious, those who refuse the great salvation, is distinctly drawn. If we would find acceptance with Christ, He must have the entire management of our will and actions.

The parable of hidden treasure illustrates the value of the heavenly treasure, and the effort that is required to secure it. As the finder of the treasure in the field was ready to part with all that he had, ready to put forth untiring labor, in order to secure the hidden riches, so the finder of heavenly treasure will count no labor too great and no sacrifice too dear, in order to gain the treasures of truth.

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