“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. Mt 13:44
Jesus preached the first four kingdom parables to the crowds gathered by the lake Mt 13:1,2. He then left the crowd and went into the house and taught the disciples three more kingdom parables Mt 13:36. After sharing the first parable about the Sower, His disciples asked Him why he taught in parables Mt 13:10. Jesus responded, saying that these truths were only given to those that believed in Him Mt 13:11,16. He then asked His disciples if they understood the first parable Mk 4:13 for if they didn’t, they wouldn’t be able to understand any of them. So, Jesus explained all the parables to his disciples in secret Mk 4:33,34 and gave us a template to interpret these stories by explaining the first two. From this teaching Christians have a guide on how to interpret Jesus’ other parables. We learn that each object in his stories has a symbolic meaning. Therefore, in the Parable of the Hidden Treasure, we can use Jesus’ model to discern the “field” to mean the “world” Mt 13:38, and the “man” to be “Jesus,” the Son of Man Mt 13:24;37. If the field is the world, then the treasure in the field must be a certain type of person. It describes Israel, the Jewish people. We read the following:
6 For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession. Dt 7:6
The word holy means to set apart. God chose the nation of Israel not because they were a mighty (many) people but because He loved them. They, then became His treasured possession. Dt 7:7,8
Buried treasure is made up of many different gems. God used twelve different gems to describe the different tribes of Israel.
21 There are to be twelve stones, one for each of the names of the sons of Israel, each engraved like a seal with the name of one of the twelve tribes. Ex 28:21
The treasure is said to be hidden in the sense that the nation Israel was relatively unknown to the world at this point in time. Israel was birthed when God gave Abram a promise that he would be the father of a great nation Gen 15:5. When Jesus came to the earth as the Son of Man, He went to His people (found them) to deliver them into the Kingdom of God. However, they refused His invitation, so God hid them in obscurity again, and they continued to be subservient to other powerful nations, while He turned His attention to the Gentiles Mt 21:43.
But, before He left this earth, He joyfully Heb 12:2 sold all He had by taking our punishment and completed His mission to be the sacrifice, who would pay for the sins of the world Jn 3:16 and give everyone the opportunity to receive salvation 1 Jn 2:2.
This is my condensed version of the Hidden Treasure.
“Israel was God’s unknown treasure in the world. Jesus came to the nation to offer them the kingdom of heaven, but they refused it. He then turned to the Gentiles. However, in His joy, He completed the work of salvation by dying on the Cross and paying for the world’s sins.
In the next parable (the Pearl of Great Price), we will see Jesus’ love for the Church, before He turns back to save His treasured Israel.