National Treasure: Book of Secrets is a fun movie (as long as you’re not watching it to learn history). It’s what would happen if Indiana Jones went on The Amazing Race. Benjamin Gates and company travel to Paris, London, Washington and Mt. Rushmore. They visit Buckingham Palace, the White House, Library of Congress, and Mount Vernon—retrieving clues and solving puzzles. It’s a sequel to the first movie in every sense of the word.
Both movies have to do with finding treasure that’s been elaborately hidden and remained concealed for centuries. As children, we grow up hearing stories about people searching for such treasure whether it’s Pizarro and other explorers searching for the City of Gold, Ponce de Leon looking for the Fountain of Youth, or the Crusaders seeking the Holy Grail. There’s just something about the idea of something quite valuable hidden out there just waiting for someone to find it that is irresistibly appealing (and sells movies). Perhaps we’re intrigued because it suggests there is more to life than what there is right now and challenges us to be discoverers. Whatever the reason, a fascination with treasure seems to be imbedded in our psyche.
I suppose it’s always been that way with man. That’s probably part of the reason that Jesus tapped into this image of treasure in His teaching. Sometimes, He did so to make a point about the nature of true treasure—that it lies in those things connected with heaven rather than earth (Matthew 6:19-21,19:21). On other occasions, He used treasure to challenge His disciples to seek God’s rule in their life as people seek earthly treasure.
An example of this can be found in Jesus’ stories about the kingdom that are recorded in Matthew 13. There He spoke of the kingdom of heaven as being like a treasure someone found buried in a field that didn’t belong to them. That person sells everything they own in order to buy the field and obtain the treasure. Jesus would have us be like Benjamin Gates in regard to the interest, enthusiasm, and perseverance we show in regard to His rule in our lives. We are to be treasure hunters and disciples of discovery in the kingdom of God!
But there’s more in these kingdom stories. At the end of them, Jesus speaks of those who have learned from Him as possessing treasure to share with others (v. 52). The treasures of the kingdom aren’t to be hoarded, but shared. And the more we give away, the richer we become (Acts 20:25).
There is no treasure like this treasure.
You are my strength when I am weak
You are the treasure that I seek
You are my all in all.
Seeking You as a precious jewel
Lord, to give up I’d be a fool
You are my all in all.
“So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him,” (Luke 5:11).