Continuing our series on The Treasure in the Field, Introduction
Clue #1 - “Now”
The first surprising thing about these clues is that the kingdom is HIDDEN IN THE PRESENT. Many have been looking for the treasure in the wrong place because they think it will only be found in the future. But Jesus said that the Kingdom “has come” (Matthew 12:28).
In one sense that future hope is a correct expectation, for Jesus certainly spoke in futuristic terms about the kingdom. For example when he taught the parables of the ten virgins and of the talents (Mt 25:1-30), he started by saying, “At that time, the kingdom of heaven will be like....” The time to which he was referring was clearly the second coming of the King in power, for that is the subject of the previous chapter.
Here, then, Jesus is speaking of the kingdom in a future sense, of what the kingdom will be like. But even in these parables, the weight of Jesus’ message is on the present rather than the future. He speaks of what we should be doing now (i.e. make sure that we are filled with the oil of the Holy Spirit and make the most of the talents that have been entrusted to us) in the light of this revelation of the future.
However, while there is clearly an important futuristic element in the revelation concerning the kingdom, most of the parables of the kingdom do not begin: “The Kingdom of God will be like....” They start: “The Kingdom of God is like....” The good news that Jesus proclaimed is that the kingdom to which the prophets looked forward had become a present reality in Jesus. For those who have eyes to see it, the treasure is hidden in the present.