Hidden Treasures: New Testament Word Studies–TREASURE

Adoration of the Magi, Albrecht Durer (1511), presenting treasures to Jesus as a baby.

In our weekly readings in the New Living Translation edition of the Bible known as IMMERSE, we read this week from Matthew 13 a series of parables Jesus tells to describe the Kingdom of Heaven. Many of Jesus’ parable stories begin with the phrase, “the Kingdom of Heaven is like.” What do you imagine the Kingdom of Heaven to be like?

Our hidden treasure word from the New Testament this week is found in Matthew 13:44, on page 336 in Immerse–Messiah:

The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure that a man discovered hidden in a field. In his excitement, he hid it again and sold everything he owned to get enough money to buy the field.

The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure! In Greek the word for treasure is θησαυρῷ, thesauro, where we get our word for “thesaurus,” a book full of words, like a treasure chest full of words with their meanings, synonyms and antonyms.

The Greek word for treasure is literally a storage container for highly valuable things. The word also can refer, as so in Matthew 13:44, to the actual treasure being stored.

Our hidden treasure this week is the Greek word for “treasure,” a word used in the Gospel of Matthew six times:

  1. Matthew 2:11. They entered the house and saw the child with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasure chests and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
  2. Matthew 6:19. “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal.
  3. Matthew 6:20. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal.
  4. Matthew 6:21. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.
  5. Matthew 13:44. “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure that a man discovered hidden in a field. In his excitement, he hid it again and sold everything he owned to get enough money to buy the field.
  6. Matthew 19:21. Jesus told him, “If you want to be perfect, go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

Maybe you have a “treasure chest” in your life, a storage container that holds all your most valuable possessions. Perhaps this is a jewelry box, or a safe, or a box of photos, or a collection of trophies and priceless memorabilia. In the event of a fire, what would you grab first in your home to take with you? So many people this year, as in the past few years, in California, facing the threat of wildfires, had to make that exact choice with mere minutes before leaving their homes to evacuate to safety.

Maybe you’ve never considered your own heart, the innermost place of your life like a treasure chest. What are you storing in your heart? What treasures are hidden deep within your innermost being? If the Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field, how have you discovered this treasure hidden within your heart? How are you storing your treasures in heaven? What are you doing with your earthly treasures to care for the most needy in our world today, as a way of following Jesus?

He promises to all his people that we will have treasure in heaven!