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What the Bible says about Treasure, Searching for
(From Forerunner Commentary)

Matthew 6:19

Among the ancients, treasures, riches, or wealth consisted of clothing as well as gold, silver, gems, wine, lands, and oil. An abundance of anything conducive to the ornamentation or comfort of life was considered treasure. Like then, most people today are thrilled with splendid display of expensive garments and accessories. Our treasure, in fact, often consists of beautiful and richly ornamented articles of apparel. In a society like ours, an unlimited number of things could become our treasure—clothing and jewelry, cars and boats, or CDs and DVDs, to name a few.

Martin G. Collins
Parable of the Treasure

Matthew 6:19-20

To us, wealth is money, land, houses, and cars, but in biblical times, clothing was a key part of a man's wealth. For example, Joseph gave his brothers "changes of garments" (Genesis 45:22), and Achan coveted "a beautiful Babylonian garment" (Joshua 7:21). Part of clothing's appeal to them was its ability to make a "display," so the garments of the rich were impressively colorful and opulent. Moths were the most destructive force against such treasures. Although a moth is small, its power to destroy clothing is great (Job 13:28, Isaiah 50:9; 51:8; James 5:1-2).

Martin G. Collins
Parable of the Treasure

Matthew 6:19-20

"Rust" represents anything that "eats into" and destroys things more durable than clothing. In this parable, it has a wider application than mere iron oxide. Rusting or oxidation will eventually corrode all metal, including silver and gold; all of our physical treasure will deteriorate in time (Proverbs 23:4-5; James 5:3). Once moths and rust settle on an object, they gradually eat their way from the exterior to the interior. Thus, beyond their ability to destroy physical objects, moths and rust represent the decay of a person's life.

Martin G. Collins
Parable of the Treasure

Matthew 6:19-20

Houses in the ancient Middle East were frequently made of sun-baked clay or loose stones. Because of this, thieves found it comparatively easy to dig through the wall to enter and steal. Thieves represent the ungodly world that continually seeks to take everything we have and return to us nothing but trouble (Isaiah 56:10-12; John 10:10). Moths and rust attack consumable things, but thieves look to steal enduring treasures for themselves.

All three metaphors, moth, rust and thieves, merge into one lesson: the futility of an earth-centered life. Taken together, these three stealthy destroyers demonstrate the folly of amassing earthly goods for their own sake. If no other destroyers come against us, old age is like a moth that ruins our beauty and wholeness, disease is like rust that corrodes our bodies, and death is like a thief that breaks in and steals everything we possess. A grim Spanish proverb says, "There are no pockets in a shroud." We can take nothing with us but the character we have built (Ecclesiastes 12:7; Job 32:8).

Martin G. Collins
Parable of the Treasure

Matthew 6:21

Treasure is what we value highly, what we take great pains to serve, honor, preserve, and embellish.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Eating: How Good It Is! (Part Two)

Matthew 13:44

Jesus compares the Kingdom of God to a treasure hidden in a field. One has to work hard to find a hidden treasure, and in the same way, we have to work hard to find and understand God's truths. God wants to know whether we really hunger and thirst for Him. Will we work at it as if our lives depended upon it? In reality, it does!

Pat Higgins
Are We Opening the Door?

Matthew 13:44

What happens next? Christ finds us and hides us again, and what is His reaction? Joy! The same sentiment is expressed in Hebrews 12:2.

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Parables of Matthew 13 (Part 3): Hidden Treasure

Matthew 13:44

Acts 20:28 and John 3:16-17 show that the pruchase price for the field, the world, was His own blood—His all. So what is the lesson in the Parable of the Hidden Treasure? Our Lord and Savior, finding the treasure of His elect in the world, conceals and protects them against all the depredations of the enemy. Our being hidden is the protection part. He, with His own life's blood, redeemed us with joy.

This should give us great confidence in our spiritual battles. The greatest battle has already been won, and that is not all. Since we are His treasure, and since He hides and protects us, sanctifying us through His truth—and do not forget that He prayed for our protection from the evil one—we have it better than it seems. We have more going for us than we might think, despite the spiritual battles we still have to fight.

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Parables of Matthew 13 (Part 3): Hidden Treasure

John 5:39-40

The word "search" is ereuano in Greek, and means "to search, examine into." It can imply "to search by uncovering; to search minutely; to explore; to strip, to make bare; to search by feeling, by touch."

Homer, in The Iliad, used this word to indicate a lioness and her dedication to her cubs. They were lost, and she was on a huge plain searching very carefully everywhere. In The Odyssey, he used the same word to picture a dog tracking its prey - having its nose on the ground and never losing the scent.

Metaphorically, it can be used to describe one digging deep for treasure and precious metal, breaking every single clod that nothing would be missed. It means to shake and to sift until every meaning of every sentence, word, syllable, and even every letter may be known and understood.

Jesus is saying that these people search out every tiny, minute thing in striving for eternal life. But they were not willing to come to Him, humble themselves, and change so that they would have real, eternal life!

Can this happen to us today? Sure, it can! We see things that we are loathe to change in our lives, or we procrastinate. This is what Jesus is illustrating. Luke 18:9-14 gives us an example of a man who thought that he was doing wonderfully well. He probably knew more than the tax collector ever would. But the tax collector had the humility to humble himself before God and to repent.

John O. Reid (1930-2016)
Don't Take God for Granted


 




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