Click here for audio: The Hidden Treasure
“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).
If we think of the “kingdom of heaven” either as a place in the sky where we go when we die, or as the establishment of a new era on earth where God reigns supreme, we run into some interesting problems. There is nothing in the standard protocol of spreading the Gospel of the kingdom that requires a cover-up. Quite the opposite, adherents are encouraged to preach this Gospel from the rooftops. Likewise, if God were to establish the expected version of the coming kingdom on earth, it would be a bit difficult to hide. And the “buy-in” to this kingdom would not, presumably be optional. You’re either in or you’re not.
If we think of this kingdom as an inner dimension, that place where the infinite life, love, power, and intelligence of God rise up into individual expression within us, this parable takes on new significance. Our relationship of oneness with God is “hidden” within our false sense of identity. We believe many things about ourselves that are not in integrity with the truth of our unity with God. When we are introduced to this notion of the inner kingdom, a spiritual center where we are whole and complete, created in the image and after the likeness of God, we have to let go of many preconceived notions about ourselves, to sell all that we own in order to re-establish our identity on this new bedrock of Truth.
While some see this re-establishment of identity as a laborious process, the parable indicates it is a joyous process. In her book, Lessons in Truth, Emilie Cady even refers to it as a shortcut:
“ … there is a shortcut to the top of the hill; and while there is a good but long, roundabout road for those who need it, we prefer the less laborious means of attaining the same ends by seeking directly the Spirit of truth promised to dwell in us and to lead us into all Truth.”
The hidden treasure is within you. Seek and you will find. Knock and the door will be opened. And most of all, do it in joy.