The Parable of the Hidden Treasure explained? Jesus had just finished explaining to the disciples the meaning of the Parable of the Wheat and the Tares, and these two short parables are a continuance of His discussion of the “kingdom of heaven.” He expressed truths about the kingdom in three pairs of parables in Matthew 13: the seed and the sower (vv. 3-23) and the weeds in the field (vv. 24-30); the mustard seed (vv. 31-32) and the leaven (v. 33); and the hidden treasure (v. 44) and the pearl of great price (vv. 45-46).
In the parable, once the man found the treasure, he immediately knew the value and was filled with joy. In the same way, when we find God by seeking Him, we recognize the value of God’s awesomeness immediately. There is no joy that compares to the magnitude of knowing God and being welcomed into his kingdom. (You might find the article on Seeking Jesus helpful.)
The similarities of these two short parables make it clear they teach the same lesson—the kingdom of heaven is of inestimable value. Both parables involve a man who sold all he had to possess the kingdom. The treasure and the pearl represent Jesus Christ and the salvation He offers. And while we cannot pay for salvation by selling all our worldly goods, once we have found the prize, we are willing to give up everything to possess it. But what is attained in exchange is so much more valuable that it is comparable to trading an ounce of trash for a ton of diamonds (Philippians 3:7-9).
In both parables, the treasures are hidden, indicating that spiritual truth is missed by many and cannot be found by intelligence or power or worldly wisdom. Matthew 13:11-17 and 1 Corinthians 2:7-8, 14 make it clear that the mysteries of the kingdom are hidden from some who are unable to hear, see, and comprehend these truths. The disobedient reap the natural consequences of their unbelief—spiritual blindness. Those whose eyes are opened by the Spirit do discern spiritual truth, and they, like the men in the parable, understand its great value.
Notice that the merchant stopped seeking pearls when he found the pearl of great price. Eternal life, the incorruptible inheritance, and the love of God through Christ constitute the pearl which, once found, makes further searching unnecessary. Christ fulfills our greatest needs, satisfies our longings, makes us whole and clean before God, calms and quiets our hearts, and gives us hope for the future. The “great price,” of course, is that which was paid by Christ for our redemption. He emptied Himself of His glory, came to earth in the form of a lowly man and shed His precious blood on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins. See additional information on the The Parable of the Hidden Treasure video on YouTube.
What is the Kingdom of Heaven? For the most part, the kingdom of heaven and the kingdom of God are two terms that are used throughout the Gospels interchangeably. These terms lie at the heart of Jesus’ teaching. When He bursts onto the scene, it’s to announce that the kingdom of heaven is at hand (Matthew 3:2). You also find Jesus making many other statements about the kingdom of heaven/God, including This kingdom represents the place where God rules. Unlike worldly kingdoms where satanic and human influences vie for control and power, God alone reigns in the kingdom of heaven. And His kingdom is both a present reality and a future expectation.