When you find an unexpected treasure you can’t help but tell others about it. My uncle can vouch for that. As a frequenter of yard sales, estate sales and the landfill, he looks for things that have worth that others no longer value. About ten years ago, he poked his head into the shed of his local landfill and found a small painting that had a nice frame. He promptly went home and hung it on the wall of his kitchen. But, my aunt didn’t like the painting so he promptly took it down and put it away in a plastic container in their basement.
About five years later, their nephew was visiting from out of town. Being the giving person that he is, my uncle took his nephew down into the basement in order to give him a gift. So, he opened up the container and showed him the painting wondering if he might like it. His nephew, who is a bit of art enthusiast, told my uncle that he thought the painting had some value. He asked if he could take the painting back home with him so that he could do some research on it.
Shortly thereafter, my uncle got a call from his nephew who asked, “Are you sitting down?” Through his research, he’d found that the painting was the work of a Southern artist during the Post Civil War era by the name of William Aiken Walker. His contacts in the art business felt the painting would fetch a considerable amount at auction.
You know, when you find a treasure that has great value, you can’t help telling people about it. It doesn’t matter whether you spent your whole life searching for it or you stumbled upon it accidently—it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience that means a great deal to you.
Jesus tells a series of parables about people who find treasure. One finds buried treasure in a field and another finds a rare pearl. Both, having found these prizes, proceed to sell everything they own to purchase their treasure. Jesus equates their discovery to one who finds the Kingdom of Heaven. In Matthew 13:44-53, Jesus makes it clear that the Kingdom of Heaven is worth infinitely more than a painting. In fact, its value is out of this world!
This article is an excerpt of a sermon in my summer series in Jesus’ Parables. All are welcome to join us for worship every Sunday at 9:30 am. Lighthouse Community Baptist Church is located at 22 Pequot Trail in Pawcatuck.