Just last year in the California foothills within the city of Auburn a husband and wife were out walking their dog on their ranch property and discovered a cache of gold coins next to a stump. These amazing coins in three rusted canisters, though dirty, were in mint condition and valued at over 10 million dollars. What a find!
Or should we say, “What a loss for the person who left them there.” It was very common for people to bury their valuables even in the 19th century to keep them safe as banks were not always trusted. People have been doing this for centuries, especially in the time of Jesus.
When Jesus came to earth 2,000 years ago he preached to people that God’s kingly reign had arrived. No longer would people need to be separated from God, but they could be in a relationship with the living God. This message was hard to understand for people because many wanted a “king” or savior who would come rescue them from their oppressors and establish an earthly kingdom. Jesus was inviting them to be a part of a different kingdom. Jesus declared in a simple story the “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.” (Matthew 13:44)
Jesus was communicating the kingdom is so valuable, that giving up everything on earth and getting the kingdom is the best thing ever. Jesus was not encouraging people to be consumed in looking for riches on this earth, but was stressing the most important thing in life is to seek Him. He was sharing it is a “treasure” to have God ruling over you and for you. In Jesus’ story he shares the man sold everything with joy to seek the best treasure. There is joy in pursuing the kingdom God has to offer and there is also joy in sharing this treasure with others.
I am sure the couple who found 10 million dollars in gold coins has felt a certain economic relief in their lives — maybe even some joy. But like most physical treasures, they do not last forever.
What “treasure” are you seeking? What investment are making in the things that are eternal? Is it time to seek the True treasure?
Frank Alioto is the pastor of The River Covenant Church: “An Alaskan church for people who would rather go to the River.” We gather on Sundays, 10:30 a.m. at K-Beach Elementary in Soldotna. Call 252-2828 or visit www.therivercovenantchurch.org.