Kevin Kinard had been making his annual visit to Arkansas’ Crater of Diamonds State Park for over twenty years, when he discovered a 9.07 carat diamond. This past Labor Day, Kevin picked up a crystal, thinking it might be glass. To his amazement, it turned out to be the site’s second-largest diamond found in its 48-year history. To the untrained eye, the marble-sized crystal looked like an invaluable rock. But to a gemologist, the beauty and value of the diamond encased below the plain surface could not be hidden.
Jim Schlatter, a friend of mine, recently shared a devotional thought at an Apple of His Eye Charity board meeting. He referenced one of Jesus’ parables in Matthew 13. “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)
Most interpretations I’ve heard of this parable indicate that it has to do with our discovery of Jesus. Once we learn that He is the means to forgiveness and a love-relationship with God, we understand that He is the greatest treasure on earth. This interpretation is true, Jesus is of inestimable worth. “But we have this treasure [Jesus] in jars of clay [our frail bodies] to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” (2 Corinthians 4:7)
But Jim presented an explanation that I had never considered. This parable is also a depiction of God discovering a treasure, not of gold doubloons, but of people. To God, we are an assortment of treasures. We may look like common rocks in the dirt, but you and I are of great worth to God.
We are not to have the attitude that God is fortunate to have discovered us. No, we are the fortunate ones to have Him declare us to be His treasure. And He hasn’t collected only the rich and powerful. Even the broken, the poor, the outcast and the overlooked are precious to Him.
Though each of us has been encrusted by the dirt by sin, when we ask Jesus into our lives, He picks us up, washes us off, and begins the process of chipping away at our rough edges so that we can display His beauty and grace to the world around us. “In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)
Because you are a treasure to God, Jesus sacrificed Himself so that you could have a love-relationship with God. Once you ask Jesus to come into your life and take over the steering wheel of your life, you also become more and more aware of what a treasure Jesus is.