In Jesus Christ are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. (Colossians 2:3)

 

Dear readers,

 

a farmer in Hesse (Germany) received a lot of money with an antique bronze horse-head. Archaeologists found this treasure during excavations in the farmer´s field.  The horse's head once belonged to a Roman  statue. Presumably it represented the Emperor Augustus (63 BC to 14 AD). Experts estimate the value at 1.6 million Euros.

 

The farmer wanted money for the discovery. After all, it was his field. A court awarded him a compensation of 773,000 Euros, due to the apparent expropriation. You have to imagine this: The man plowed his field for many years and had no idea what fortune lay beneath his farmland!

 

The dream of many people: To find a precious treasure. Coins, gold, antique sculptures or valuable pictures. A happy marriage can also be a great treasure!  Or peace! An excellent  job can be like a goldmine!

 

Often it is not even the materialistic effort,  which transforms us into "treasure seekers". We are searching for happiness.  Or at least for a happy  life.  Some people are searching for a lifetime. Unfortunately  unsuccessful too.

 

We as Christians should be treasure seekers! We should be seeking always for the treasures of wisdom and knowledge which are hidden in the Lord Jesus Christ. Through HIM  the most precious treasure of lasting value can be found: True wisdom and profound knowledge of God.

 

1. Caution! There is the danger of confusion!

 

That horse´s head from the antique sculpture has a special treasure which even I would have recognized. But not always is it so obvious. Especially with religious issues, there is a likelihood of confusion. In his letter to the church in Colossae in Chap. 2:4+8 the apostle Paul warns about this. He writes in his letter to the Colossians that the treasures we find in Jesus can easily be confused with similar offerings in the world.  In verse 4 he writes (Col. 2:4) “I tell you these things to keep you from being fooled by fancy talk. So that nobody can mislead you with false arguments”. And in verse 8: “Don´t let anyone fool you by using senseless arguments. These arguments may sound wise, but they are only human inventions. They come from the powers of the world and not from Christ.”

 

The Christians in Colossae had major problems. New preachers came with new insights. They wanted to introduce new dietary laws into the community. They taught that now certain holidays and festivals would have a great importance for the faith. They taught of supernatural powers, of angels to be feared and worshiped. In summary:  Less Jesus Christ, instead more rituals, more spiritual.

 

These ideas are in danger to fall on  fertile soil. Some like to hear this and jump on it: Not only Jesus Christ should be the  center of  faith, instead they develop their  faith into a complex construction of faith. Many people are not against religion, it just has to fit into their own world of ideas. A well-known athlete said once, that he would choose the best out of all religions for his life. Portions which suit him best. Paul says: This is of great  danger!  It waters down and distorts what the Lord Jesus Christ did for us: by his death on the cross, he forgave sin to every men. Through his resurrection he has defeated death. But this message of crucifixion is unfortunately nonsense for many people. Already at the time of Jesus and until  today.

 

2.Looking for the right place

 

The archaeologists searched in the right place. They had first found pieces of clay and knew that 2000 years ago this field was   part of a Roman settlement. They dug deep, they found a well. Under stones they found the horse's head.

 

Jesus says in a parable (Matthew 13:44): The kingdom of heaven is like what happens when someone finds treasure hidden in a field und buries it again. In his joy, he sells all his property and buys instead the field with the treasure.

 

The treasures are there, says Jesus, you just have to keep  your eyes open. You have to search for the treasure! Look for me! The treasures of the kingdom of heaven are hidden in Jesus. That's why it's up to you to look for HIM! Find the way to HIM and go to HIM. Discovering the Kingdom of Heaven in the Lord Jesus Christ, seeing the new world of God,  is the first great treasure we can find. Then it goes on, from "treasury to treasury". Many treasures are to be discovered, and we may be curious about everything that we can discover in Jesus.

 

This generates growing in grace and knowledge of our Lord. The Apostle Peter writes (2 Peter 3:18): “Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord und Savior Jesus Christ.” Learn to recognize HIM ever deeper! That is what it's all about: deepening your relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ!

 

We will never finish with this process. No one can ever grasp all the wealth hidden in the Lord Jesus Christ. All our knowledge remains fragmented (1 Cor. 13:12) However, we should not be satisfied with the discovered treasures and take it easy. We should continue searching for the spiritual treasures we find in Jesus!

 

The best way to get to these treasures is to study the Bible intensively. It starts with the personal Bible study. That means praying while you read the Bible and listening to what God has to say. Let God speak to you. Do not rely only on preachers and their interpretations, including me! But deal with the Word of God personally. Let it work on you. Reading it attentively and keep praying.  That is healthy for your soul.

 

Many Christians shy away from this "work"! But we can grow only to become mature Christians through intensive personal Bible study. We should not let anything prevent us from seriously reading and researching God's Word daily.

 

3. These treasures are not my private property

 

The farmer was not allowed to keep the Roman horse's head from the statue found in his field for himself and hang it on the wall in his house. The field belonged to him, but legally not the find. That's the same with the spiritual treasures. Certainly my private  Bible books are mine, but the Word of God is not my private property. Christians do not collect spiritual treasures to hoard them. God does not want that! We have to share it. We should make them accessible to others. We should encourage others to become treasure hunters themselves.

 

In Matt. 25: 14-30, Jesus clearly states in a parable what his people should do with these entrusted treasures: Work with them! His judgment on the useless servant who had concealed his treasure again was devastating (Matthew 25:30): Throw this worthless servant out, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and moaning.

 

We can not dispose of the spiritual treasures, nor can we use these gifts, at our discretion. We should boost courage  and thus become helpers for others, so that they can enjoy the treasures in Jesus, too. That is why we call each other's attention to treasures we have found. For example in a house Bible circle. We enrich each other with the discovered treasures in our lives. This is a wonderful service that we can do each other. So we grow in trust in God, we grow in his love. That leaves us growing  into a living community.

 

It would be a pity if Christians were like the farmer who knew nothing of the wealth under his plow. It would be a shame if the Bible remained for years, possibly lifelong in a bookshelf and the treasures hidden there in Jesus Christ, remained undetected. Set yourselves in motion and seek the greatest treasure you can find: the Word of God. By the Lord Jesus Christ, the Messiah, you will find it. HE himself is this treasure!

 

Translation R.Jordan

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