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Jesus is the treasure we should all covet

If you could have one thing to possess, what would it be?

After the New England Patriots’ win in the Super Bowl over the L.A. Rams, some may be tempted to say Tom Brady “has it all.” Super Bowl rings, a supermodel wife, being one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history, etc. Even a beautiful daughter who “stole the show” during the post-game interview.

But what is the one thing in all the world you’d love to call your own?

In Matthew 13, Jesus tells a parable of a man who dug in someone’s field and stumbled upon a hidden treasure. Hidden to keep it secure against unexpected marauders or greedy thieves. Of course, the man should have informed the owner. But he didn’t. And that’s not the point Jesus is making. The man in the parable is not lifted up as a good role model.

Be that as it may, in his sudden good fortune, the man is joyful and ecstatic, determined to purchase the field so that no one could challenge the fact the treasure was truly his. Jesus’ point of comparison? That is the way each one of us who belong to Christ’s kingdom ought to be. The man in the parable knew that he was “rich” having that treasure. A single thought consumed him: “I can’t let this treasure slip right through my fingers. I must make every effort to ensure the fact this treasure will be mine!”

That is precisely the feeling a person should have when he has met Jesus!: “This is something of great value, far surpassing anything I’ve ever known. It is more unbelievable than I’ve ever dreamed possible. This is someone who completely arrests my attention in a way that nothing else ever could.”

What one receives in the person of Jesus Christ may not be completely understood at the outset of discovering Him, but it certainly becomes more apparent with greater understanding of who Jesus is and what He has done for us.

Sometimes, we get things backward, thinking that God “benefits” when we become Christians. But it really doesn’t take long before realizing that it isn’t God who received a “precious present” when my heart was surrendered to Him. The problem is there’s something in a sinner’s heart that doesn’t please God at all. If God actually applied His law to us, none of us would belong in the kingdom of God.

We can dig all we like in the field of our heart and throw away all the stones until the shovel strikes solid rock. That rock is the sinful corruption and twisted deception of our very evil nature at the bottom that cannot be pried loose or carried away.

As the Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 7, “Oh, what a wretched man I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” How could God ever see me as a “hidden treasure” worth having in His kingdom?

He is holy and righteous — I am full of sin and very unrighteous. He is pure love — I am so consumed with self and selfish desires. He only has my best interests at heart — I demonstrate in word and deed, thought and desire so little regard for Christ and the work of His kingdom. The truth of my indifference is evident and I groan at living in obedience to His Word.

Yet, as I dig into the futility of my sinful heart, suddenly the shovel scratches a treasure chest full of precious jewels and gems where God’s glory and His fatherly mercy shine forth like a gold mine. For I bear the image of the exalted King’s picture, the image of my Lord Jesus Christ. I realize that He has paid the ransom price for all my sin on a cross nearly 2000 years ago. The innocent blood shed for the sin of my soul has guaranteed me a glorious identity … being a child of the Living God. How can I ever assess the worth of that treasure, that the Creator of all and Lord of mankind has written my name in His Book of Life, engraved my name on the palm of His hand, and calls me His “beloved”?

He will one day catch my soul and body away to be with Him in the eternal marriage feast of the Lamb.

What else really matters? Super Bowl rings and supermodels, the roar of the crowd and a continuous shower of confetti falling on my daughter’s face cannot begin to compare with the eternal treasure I have found in Jesus Christ. He is the “Joy of man’s desiring.” Or, as another song goes, “I’d Rather Have Jesus”.

I don’t need to buy the field it’s buried in. This treasure is already mine by faith in Him. I get it for nothing. So do you. Possessing it brings joy overflowing.

Christians should be the happiest people of all. That Treasure — hidden from the eyes of the world’s unbelievers — is ours.

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