I woke up from a nap with this melody in my head, which has only happened a few times in my life. It felt like a pretty good melody, so I didn’t want to forget it; and I came up with a quick way to get it on paper. I was producing the EFY album that year (1997) and knew we needed a solid theme song. One of my favorite parables is found in Matthew 13: 44, about the treasure hid in a field. I had done some research on this parable, and it felt like it would be a great foundation for the message.
Here’s a guy who sees a treasure out in a field, that obviously no one else has seen, or recognized its value…because the treasure is still there. It says the treasure is hidden, but that could mean that it’s hidden from the world’s perception of its true worth. Now, apparently, there’s a law operating in Jesus’ day, that if you found something on your property, you could claim it as your own if you so chose. So here’s a guy walking through some land that does not belong to him. And he sees what he esteems as a great treasure, and he really wants this treasure, but he’s not a dishonest man. He’s not going to steal it. So he comes up with a plan to claim it as his own. Now he feels this is absolutely appropriate because, obviously the current owner of the land where this treasure is located doesn’t even seem to realize, or care that this treasure is out there. So this traveler, not wanting to lose what he has found, covers it up. Then he returns to his own home and begins to sell his property…this is where I have to put myself in the man’s place…and of course, I’m adding to the story, but likening the scripture to myself…he sells his treasured guitars, his ipod with all his cherished music, his dear library of magnificent books, and equipment, and belongings, and everything he owns, including his house, land, vehicles, etc., till he has nothing left, except the clothes on his body, and the money he has gathered together by selling everything. EVERYTHING! And then he goes to the man that owns the land where earlier, this traveler had found the hidden treasure. And he says to the owner, “I want to buy your field out there, and this is ALL I HAVE.” And he gives him the money. Why would he do that? (We have to ask that question.) Well, because he valued the worth of the treasure as being of greater value than everything he possessed. Do you and I see the kingdom of God that way? Is it worth more than everything else to us? Jesus is teaching us that it must…and if it doesn’t, then we don’t get to go there. That is the purpose of this parable. Not to get us to go and sell all our stuff, but to teach us that we must come to value the kingdom of God above all else, until nothing of this fallen world has a hold upon our hearts.
Now, from time to time, it’s a fun challenge to see if we can find Jesus in His own parables. I believe we can find Him in this one. He’s a Man, traveling through a field…this earth. He’s finds a treasure that no one else values like He does…You and me. And He goes and sells all that He has to buy us.