Ansell: The Parable of the Hidden Treasure, and the man who sells all to buy the field
I meet with a great friend on Tuesday mornings over Zoom, and we are going through the Book of Psalms. We have more questions than we have answers, and I am always challenged not only by God’s Word but also by the conversation.
It’s easy for my friend and myself to blame others for where we are or aren’t in our Christian journey. What I’m saying is, sometimes we run across a precept in our study of the Scriptures and we say, “Why didn’t they teach us this at Sunday School?” At the end of the day, we know we have to look in the mirror and take responsibility for our lack of spiritual knowledge and maturity. It’s too easy to blame others isn’t it? I hope that makes sense.
Today after our dialogue, I was reminded of the Parable of the Hidden Treasure (Matthew 13:44). Do you remember the story? A man finds a treasure in a field and he sells everything that he has in order to buy the field where the treasure is. I love this idea, that a relationship with Jesus is worth everything we’ve got. Wow! It blows my mind!
We can’t pay for our salvation, but once we have found this treasure, we should be willing to give up all that we have or all that we are in order to follow Jesus.
I think a lot about life and what I’ve invested in (too much wood, hay and stubble I’m afraid, 1st Corinthians 3:12-15), and I don’t know about you, but I wish I had some “do overs.”
We are approaching the high school graduation season, and I can remember what it was like to be 18 and have my entire adult life in front of me. All I knew at this stage of my life is that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with the Blonde (aka Jennifer, my wife), but beyond that and getting a Route 44 Dr. Pepper at Sonic after work, those were pretty much my life goals.
If I had a “do-over,” do you know what I would do? I’d skip college (and the debt), I’d still marry the Blonde because that would be non-negotiable, but I would learn how to speak a foreign language, how to drive a stick, I’d learn how to jump out of the back of airplanes and dodge bullets. What I’m saying is, I would take the Gospel to the ends of the earth the way Jesus told me to do in Acts 1:8. I would live the dangerous, ambitious, holy life each of us that call ourselves Christians are called to live.
Now that I said that, let me say this. Someone’s got to stay home and keep the home fires burning. This is probably where me and my friend struggle. Aren’t we supposed to be the change we want in the world? If we don’t go, who will? When Jesus said, “Go” (Matthew 28:19 & 20), who was He talking to if He wasn’t talking to you and to me?
I can drive a stick, and one time in high school I ended up trespassing onto private property by accident, and the landowner did not appreciate our violation, and so I’ve been shot at and know how to dodge bullets - I guess I just need to learn to speak Arabic and pack light.
Let me say this and then I’ll be quiet. I’m old, and I’m tired, and so am I going anywhere soon? No, not really (feeling very hypocritical right now), but I am praying and seeking how to get into Syria and how to minister best to these struggling people that need Jesus. If you don’t already pray for me, then start to pray for this short-term mission trip. By the way, do they have Sonics in the Middle East? He told me to tell you that.