When we study the Old Testament, we discover God had a special relationship with his chosen people, the nation Israel. Their relationship was a back and forth negotiation mixed with worship and rebellion. This is a clear illustration that our human nature is constantly pulling us away from God. Over and over again, God promised the Israelites great things if they could only resist their human nature and stay true to him.
“Now then, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine; and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” Exodus 19:5-6 (NASB)
Unfortunately, the Israelites continued to fail in their efforts to remain true to God and were scattered throughout the world as punishment. Of course, God did not forget them or the promises he made. Jesus used a parable to illustrate how God considered the nation Israel to be a treasure that he would one day recover.
“The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid again; and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.” Matthew 13:44 (NASB)
God was fully aware the Israelites could not attain his high standard of righteousness. His plan from the beginning was to send his Son to cover their sins and restore his promise; however, God did not limit his gift to the Israelites.
“He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.” 1 John 2:2 (NASB)
Jesus also teaches in another parable that those outside of the nation Israel, known as the Gentiles, are considered by God to be another kind of treasure, described as fine pearls.
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls, and upon finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.” Matthew 13:45-46 (NASB)
Ultimately, we are all treasured by God. For this reason he sent his Son to die on our behalf, so that we might obtain the righteousness of God. We have been provided with a way to conquer our human nature and achieve eternal life with Jesus in the kingdom of heaven. This is our greatest treasure.
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What Jesus Teaches About Treasure
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