…He replied, “Peace to you, do not be afraid. Your God and the God of your father has put treasure in your sacks for you…” Genesis 43:23
When I go into the villages to share the gospel, I often tell a story of hidden treasure:
Every day a farmer goes to the landowner’s fields with his ox and plow to work the land. Every day he guides his ox up one row and down another. It is a boring job that he can do almost without paying attention.
He plows each row, daydreaming about the things he’d love to be doing if he had the chance. Up and down. Up and down.
Shocked out of his fantasies, he wondered what the plow had hit. He left the ox and plow where they stood and walked a few steps back to the spot.
He knelt down in the dirt, and with his hand slowly began moving away the soil. Piece by piece…lump by lump…until his fingers touched a hard object at the bottom of the hole he had dug. He pulled an iron pot out of the earth. It was small, black and dirty. He lifted the lid and looked into the vessel.
He was amazed at what he saw.
He looked around to see if anyone was watching. When he saw that he was alone, he reached into the pot and pulled out gold and silver. He pulled out diamonds and rubies and emeralds and sapphires and pearls and other gems he didn’t even have names for. There was more treasure in the small pot then he could ever imagine.
He quickly put the treasure back into the pot, closing the lid tightly. He put the pot back into the earth. Then he covered the pot with the soil and put a stone above the place to mark it. He walked to the ox and plow and started to work again.
The whole rest of the day he couldn’t stop thinking about what he had found. The treasure amounted to a fortune that he could never earn. He couldn’t just take it; that would be stealing. By evening, he knew what he had to do.
The next day he sold his family cow, and the goats, and the chickens. His sons were irritated when they saw their inheritance was gone. Then he sold all of the things inside his hut – the sleeping mats, the blankets and pillows, even the cooking pots. His daughters were annoyed that they no longer had a dowry. And last, he sold his hut. His wife was outraged that their family was now homeless. Everyone in the village thought he’d gone crazy. But he didn’t care. He knew something that they didn’t.
He took the small amount of money he’d been able to collect to the man who hired him to plow the land each day.
“It’s not a lot of money, but it is everything I have to give. Will you sell this land to me?” He asked.
The piece of land the farmer asked to buy was small compared to some of the landowner’s other plots. Though there was a trickling stream running through the corner of the land, the earth there wasn’t strong or healthy and it had never given a profitable harvest. The landowner thought the farmer was a little peculiar but agreed to the price and sold him the land.
The farmer immediately walked to the field he now owned. He went to the spot he’d marked with the stone and swiftly uncovered the treasure that now belonged to him. He was full of joy at the great gift that he had found. And he couldn’t wait to share the good news with his family.
“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.” Matthew 13:44
The greatest treasure I have ever found is the gift of Christ’s sacrifice for me on the cross, His death and resurrection…salvation. It is what allows me to truly experience joy, and I have given everything I have to have access to that treasure.
And at the same time, I believe that Jesus looked at me as the treasure, covered in muck and miry clay, hidden in sin. He wanted me to be His for eternity, so He gave up everything, sold it all joyfully, so that He could buy the field I was buried in and claim me as His own.
Yesappa, Thank You…
Blessings – Julie (written in Sholavandan)
Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.