Robert Morris - The Secret of the Treasure
Okay, so we're in the third week of a series called Simplify, just simplifying our life. And we're taking this from a scripture in 2 Corinthians 11. And I've read it out of a different version every week. I read loud the New American Standard the first week, then New King James, and then I just started reading different versions, and I just thought I'd read it out of The Message version this weekend. All right? So 2 Corinthians 11:3 from The Message version says, "And now I'm afraid..." I just want you to realize who's talking. This is the Apostle Paul. And he says, "I'm afraid. I'm afraid of something". "...that exactly as the Snake seduced Eve with his smooth patter..." Patter means fast talking, like some salespeople. Okay? Not all. If you're in sales, I didn't say you. Some salespeople. Okay? "...with his smooth, you are being lured away from the simple purity of your love for Christ".
Now, the title of the message is The Secret of the Treasure. And I was going to call it The Secret of Loving Jesus, and we're going to talk about that a little bit, but I thought, we're going to talk about the parable of the treasure, and it's a one-verse parable. Some say there are two one-verse parables, but I think this is the only one-verse true parable in Scripture. But I just felt like you might remember it and say, "I want to go back and hear that message". So, you might remember the word treasure. Okay? But let me just say, we're talking about being simply devoted to Christ. And Paul is saying, I'm afraid that the same way the serpent seduced or deceived Eve, he'll draw you away from the simplicity of devotion or love to Jesus. Okay.
So let me say make this statement. The secret of loving Jesus is knowing that you are loved by Jesus. The secret of giving love to Jesus is actually receiving love from Jesus. And we're going to look in this parable of the treasure. But let me just show you that the secret of loving Him is being loved by Him. Let me just show it to you, all right? One verse. It's very famous. Watch this verse. 1 John 4:19. "We love Him because He first loved us". All right? So, there are different counts because people count different ones and say, but I believe there are 52 parables, pardon me, 39 parables in the Bible. We were talking about something else earlier, but 39 parables that Jesus told. There are seven in Matthew 13. Six of them begin with, "The kingdom of heaven is like..."
So, seven parables out of 39 in one chapter. And one of these parables is a one-verse parable. And I read 27 commentaries on this parable, and all of them got it wrong. And I'll prove it to you with the Bible. The common understanding of this parable is what they say, and it's completely backward, and it totally takes the focus off of Jesus and puts it on us. And that's what's wrong with it. So, I'm going to show it to you. And let me just say something, by the way. I love commentaries. Commentaries are great for background and for historical content and sometimes revelation. But most of the time, you need to understand, revelation comes from the Word through the Holy Spirit, even though a commentary might be explaining the Word and the Holy Spirit can speak to you. Don't ever, ever, ever read a commentary to see if what you read in the Bible is true. Read the Bible to see if what you read in the commentary is true. This is our standard of truth. All right?
So, let me read you the one-verse parable, and then I'll tell you how and why we've gotten it wrong, and prove it to you and show it to you. All right? Here it is, Matthew 13:44. "Again..." Now, remember, there are seven. The last three begin with the word again, and I'll talk about that later. This is Jesus speaking, by the way. "...the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field". Okay, just want to read it one more time so we get it. All right? "...the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field".
Okay, the traditional understanding is that the kingdom is the treasure, that we are the man, and that we give up everything to get the kingdom. That's the traditional understanding. Okay, I'm going to give you three reasons why that's wrong. Okay? You can't find it. You can't hide it. I'm talking about the kingdom. You can't find it, you can't hide it, and you definitely can't buy it. Now, I'm going to explain it to you, so just stay with me because I can already feel the skepticism in the room. It's okay. I'm okay. I've been doing it 40 years. I don't mind skepticism, because in a minute, we get to the Bible and you'll say and think, "Oh, wow, there it is right there". And Jesus is the one that explained this parable. But you cannot find the kingdom on your own. In golf, we have a saying, maybe you'll make a good shot, and the ball actually ends up by the hole. And someone will say, "Good shot". And we'll say, "Even a blind squirrel finds a nut every now and then".
Okay, what you may not realize is that our minds have been blinded by the little-g god of this world, by Satan. We can't find the kingdom. The Holy Spirit leads us to the kingdom. We can't find it. Second of all, we can't hide it. Now, Jesus said, Don't hide the light that's in you. No one lights a candle, a lamp, and hides it under basket, but he puts it on a lampstand. So, you can hide the light that's in you. But if you're prideful enough to think that you personally can hide the entire kingdom, then I feel sorry for you. You can't hide the kingdom. It's too big. And thirdly, you can't buy it. And I can tell you why you can't buy it. Two reasons. Number one, it's not for sale. And number two, you couldn't afford it if it were for sale. You cannot buy heaven. You can't buy your way into heaven. You can't buy the kingdom of heaven.
So that's the traditional, and that's what the commentaries actually say, unless there's been a new one written since I read those. Okay? So let me tell you, actually now, what the meaning is. The field is the world. And just a few verses up, when Jesus is explaining the parable of the wheat and the tares. Matthew 13:38 says, "The field is the world". Did y'all catch that? The field is the world. And Jesus Himself said it. So how can you come down just a few verses later and not understand that? The field is the world. It's not the kingdom. The man is Jesus, and the treasure is you. See, this is what Jesus is trying to say. He's trying to say that I became a man, and I came into this world, and I found you. See, the reason that I'm really harping on this, not just focusing, I'm harping on it today. Which is more romantic?
If I say to Debbie, "I am never going to leave you because I am obligated to stay with you. I'm obligated. The law tells me I have to stay with you until death do us part. So, since I'm obligated by the law, I'm going to stay with you. Night, night". Is that more romantic, or is it better to say, "Sugar, I promise you I will never leave you. I couldn't leave you because I love you with every fiber of my being". It's love, right? Okay. You say, "Well, even if you say that, Pastor Robert, you are human. You do make mistakes". I get that. But let me tell you, there is someone who doesn't make any mistakes. His name is Jesus. And He said, "I will never leave you. I will never leave you". And that is what causes me to never want to leave Him. Not because I'm obligated by some system of rules, but because I'm in love with Him. You understand what I'm saying?
So we're talking... it's Mother's Day, so ladies, I'm going to make a few comments to you. You are treasure. And I am very sorry if you haven't been treated as treasure, but you are treasure. You are treasure. And in the very same way Jesus found the treasure... He was looking for it. And Jesus gave up everything to get the treasure. You are treasure. You were meant, ladies, to be pursued. God created you to be pursued. You like to be pursued. Men, you were created to pursue. Men like to find things. They like to go on adventures. Even back before you had grocery stores and DoorDash. I don't know the last time I've actually gone to a grocery store. But before we ordered them to our door, even before then, we had to go out and find our food. We pursued our food. Men like to pursue. Women like to be pursued.
I can prove that women like to be pursued by one thing that they say a lot. If the man's in trouble for something, and he doesn't know most of the time what he's in trouble for, but he's in trouble for something. What's amazing is he'll say, "Just tell me what I did". And what does a woman say? "Well, if I have to tell you..." because she wants to be pursued. She wants you to think about it. Anyway, it's crazy. But anyway, that's just the way it is. Okay? All right. So James, our son, was pursued as a young man by girls. He was pursued. I mean, it was just crazy. He would come home from school in junior high and high school, He would get in the back seat. We'd go to pay him school, and he'd have eight or nine Christmas presents, and he'd just dump them in the back seat, like that. And we'd say, "Where did you get these"? And he'd say, "Girls". But he had no interest in girls at all in junior high and high school. He was interested in hunting, fishing, golf, sports, which was great with us because it says not to awaken love before it's time.
So, he was totally interested in the outdoors. He had no interest, but they were interested in him. And we would go home, and we'd open these presents, and we'd say, "James, this is an extremely nice shirt. Who gave this to you"? And he would say, "A girl". We'd say, "Yeah, but what was her name"? And he'd say, "I don't know". And I would say, "Well, did she say anything when she gave it to you"? And he said, "I think she said, 'Merry Christmas.'" And I'd say, "Well, so what did you say"? He'd say, "I didn't say anything". I'd say, "You didn't even say thank you"? He said, "I didn't ask for it". But as he got older and as he was pursued, we realized there were a couple of girls that were really pursuing that weren't right for him. Good, fine young ladies, fine, Christian young ladies. But we could tell their personalities weren't going to make it. They weren't going to make it at all for him, his personality.
And then all of a sudden, when he got around his early 20s, around 20-21; 19, 20, 21, somewhere in there, the word marriage started being thrown out with one of these young ladies. And again, a fine young lady, but we just knew that's not the right person, and so we talked to him about it, and he was so principled that he just said, "Okay, if you don't feel good about it, then it's okay". I don't even know... So, I actually asked them to take a break for 40 days, but I said, "Because your emotions are so involved, you can't. Just take a break for 40 days and just trust God. Like a fast, but y'all can eat, but just fast from each other". And that was on Tuesday. And on Saturday, she called him, and he didn't look at caller ID or anything. He just answered his phone and said, "Hello". And she said, "Hey". And he said, "We're not supposed to be talking". And she said, "What your father doesn't know won't hurt him".
And James said, "Goodbye," and hung up. And so then he comes down, and he says, "So and so and I broke up". And I said, "What do you mean"? So he told me what happened. And I said, "Well, did you tell her you were breaking up with her"? He said, "I said goodbye". I said, "It's actually going to take more words than that with a woman. Let me just let you know she's going to..." Anyway, so, Debbie got this word from God, and so she said to me, "James loves to hunt. He loves to pursue". And what we didn't know... When James was younger, he would hunt with me in the stand. As he got older, I'd let him hunt by himself. What I didn't know was I would drop him off at the stand, and as soon as I'd leave, he'd get out of the stand, and he'd go hunt deer. And he would always come back with the biggest deer, and he would drag it back hundreds of yards or half a mile through the woods so that I didn't know he'd got out of the stand and went and got... But he loved to pursue.
And so Debbie said to me, "You need to explain to him how God made men". So I told him, I said, "God made you to pursue, and he made women to be pursued. And so, these women have been, these young ladies are pursuing you". And I said, "Listen to me, if one of them catches you, you will never treasure her, because you got caught. And God did not create you to get caught. He created you to catch". And I said, "You know how you do with deer? You see a trophy". Now, I know "trophy wife" has a bad connotation, so please, I'm not saying that. But I said, "You need to see someone who is what you think you can't get and who's so gorgeous inside and outside that you think she's way out of your league". And then I said, "You need to wash your car, because you've just come back from hunting, and you need to get the blood out of the back seat from where you put the deer, and you need to take a shower after you come back from hunting".
And I started teaching these things, and I said, "You need to see a trophy that's out of your league, and you need to go for her". And it wasn't long after that till he met Bridgette, and he began to pursue, and he began to clean up. And y'all remember I told you how much he saves? He saved. He had more money in savings than I did when he was a teenager. He's just a crazy saver. He loved to save money. He hated to spend money. And when he met Bridgette, we went on a family vacation. He bought her a Coach purse, a necklace from Tiffany's, and he was about to buy matching Movado watches. And I said to him, "James, this is a lot of money". And he went like this, "It does not matter how much it costs". And I turned to Debbie and I said, "He's in love". Because James has never uttered those words in his life. "It does not matter how much it costs". He is now in love.
And they dated three and a half months, got engaged, and got married three and a half months later. And been married, how long? 14 years now. So, I'm just telling you. I know I took a long time that illustration, and I prayed about it and thought about it. But the reason was because I wanted you to understand that you did not pursue Jesus, even when you think, "Yes, I did. Something came into me, and I pursued God". Yes, I'll tell you what came in: the Holy Spirit, because Jesus pursued you. You love Him because He loves you. So let me give you the three... I actually have four points this week. I said three because I'm so used to it.
Here's number one: Jesus finds you. You don't find Jesus; Jesus finds you. Remember, we took all this from Adam and Eve? Okay? So, I can prove this point real, real simply. When Adam and Eve sinned, did they go looking for God, or did God go looking for them? And we're their descendants. I'm just letting you know, Jesus is the man. Jesus is the one who came to the world looking for the treasure. God gave the management of the world to Adam and Eve. They lost it to Satan. And Satan sees you as junk, but Jesus sees you as treasure. And He came looking for you. One other. I had these illustrations about James. I thought, "I've got too many illustrations about James," but this is just what I thought. James found money growing up. He always found money. I mean, always. He found dollar bills, $5 bills, $10 bills, $20 bills. He found $100 bills. It was just crazy. Wal-Marts, grocery stores, parking lots, in church, on the floor.
I told him, "You got to put that in the offering box". We would go scuba diving. I taught our boys how to scuba dive when they were young and got them certified and all. And we went scuba diving, and Josh and I found empty beer cans. James would find money on the bottom of a lake or the ocean. It was just crazy. And we're walking across one time, going to a Texas Rangers baseball game, and we had to walk across, had to, you know, have to park about a mile away. And we were walking across this field that apparently that was the only field they couldn't buy. Thousands of people walking across this field, just rows of people, grass pressed down and all. And it was I was in the front, then Debbie, then Josh, then Elaine, then James. I used to teach them, say to James and Josh, "You watch Elaine, and I'll watch mom, and we're going to take care of the girls".
And that's the way, that's what men do. Anyway. So, we're walking along. So I've gone, Debbie's gone, Josh has gone, Elaine's gone, and James says, "Dad, here's $20. Found $20". Thousands of people walking across the field. And so one day I just said to the Lord, "Lord, why does James always find money"? This is what the Lord I felt like said to me, "Because he's looking for it. He's looking for it everywhere he goes. He's looking for money. He values it". In the same way, I'm just telling you, God values you.
So Jesus finds you. Here's number two: Jesus buys you. Jesus didn't steal you; He bought you. If you didn't know this. And Hebrews 9 and 13 tells us, with His own blood. That's what he bought you with. 1 Corinthians 6:20, "For you were bought at a price..." And, it says, the field is the world. Maybe you don't know this, also. He bought the whole world. He bought everyone in the world. Now, that doesn't mean everyone's saved because He gave you a free will. So, you can choose whether you go to heaven or hell. God doesn't send you. You get to choose where you go, where you spend eternity. That's your choice. But He bought the whole world. Here's another way to say it. 2 Corinthians 5:19. "God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing [or counting] their [sins] to them". He's already died for the whole world. He's not going to die again. He's already done it. So He risked everything for you. The value of anything is determined by what someone's willing to pay for it. If you're going to sell me a car and you say, "This car is worth $40,000".
Let's see what you can sell it for, because you might only sell it for $30,000. That's the value of the car, then. I thought about this: baseball cards, and so I actually looked it up. But I asked Debbie, I said, "What do you think the most expensive baseball card is that's ever been sold"? And she had a good answer. She said, "Babe Ruth". And I said, "That's actually the third". That was mine, too. Babe Ruth and Mickey Mantle were my two choices, their rookie cards. Babe Ruth's rookie card sold a while back for $4.2 million. Don't you wish you had kept it? Mickey Mantle's sold for $5.2 million, but in August of 2021, I never even heard of this guy, Honus Wagner. You ever heard that name? Some of you, if you're a baseball fan, you've heard it. But if you're not, it's like me giving you a Greek word. Honus Wagner. In August 2021, his card sold for $6.6 million. And I looked it up to see why it was so valuable.
Do you know why it was so valuable? Because after his rookie year, they had to get the baseball player's permission to print the cards. And it was during Prohibition, and he was a teetotaler because he had alcoholism in his family, so they were trading back then baseball cards for illegal liquor, so he didn't give them permission to ever print any more of his cards. And this was the only one left. Sold for $6.6 million. Okay, now, that's a lot for a baseball card, but do you realize that the highest price that's ever been paid was paid for you because it was the blood of Jesus? You cost the blood of Jesus. That's how valuable you are. I'm just trying to let you know, you're the treasure. You are the treasure. So, He finds you. He buys you.
Number three: He hides you. Colossians 3:3, "For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ..." John 10, "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give..." They don't earn or buy. "...I give them eternal life..." I wonder how long eternal is. "...and they shall never perish..." I wonder what the word never means. "...neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father's hand". Ephesians 1:13. "In Him you also trusted..."
So, you do have a part in your salvation to trust, to (as Steve Dulin taught us in the Habitation services) hear, believe, and obey. We've got that responsibility, once we hear, that we believe. And then if we want to grow in Christ, to obey. But for salvation, we simply believe, and we receive a free gift, the gift that, Romans 6, "The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ, our Lord". It's a free gift. "In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed", now watch this, "you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased", remember, you were bought, "possession, to the praise of His glory". The reason I'm, again, I'm harping on this is because you need to know that Jesus loves you and He bought you, and you actually belong to Him.
Now, that's really good news. You belong to Him. He paid for you, and you're in His hand, and you're in the Father's hand, and you're sealed by the Holy Spirit. There's the Trinity right there. It's just, it's like this. I brought an envelope up here. So, you've got this right here. Here it is. And I did it where I wouldn't have to lick it because I didn't want y'all to get grossed out. I didn't want to have to spit on the front row down here. So you pull this out, and you seal it like this. And then I wrote on it, and I'm going to put it on the screen so you can see what it says. "Do NOT open until the Day of Redemption"! That's what it says. It says you're sealed until the Day of Redemption. And then they take the envelope, according to the Bible, and they put it in Jesus' hand, and then they put it in the Father's hand. Do you realize how safe you are in the hands of God, sealed by the Holy Spirit, sealed by Him? So, He finds you, He buys you, and then He hides you.
And then number four: He rejoices over you. He rejoices over you. Hebrews 12:2, "...looking unto Jesus, the author..." Now, this is the one I wish I could, I'd like to preach a whole series on this. "...and finisher of our faith". See, because there's a whole thing out there being preached that He's the author of our faith, but we have to finish it. Boy, if it's up to you, you've already lost it. You're in a lot of trouble. We just went through the Divinely Human series. They all messed up, all of them. So, He's "...the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him..." Joy, remember that. "...endured the cross, despised the shame, and has sat down at the right hand throne of God".
Why has He sat down? Because it's finished. There's nothing else that needs to be done for your salvation. But what was the joy set before Him? It was the joy of finding you, buying you, hiding you, and keeping you safe until the Day of Redemption. That was His joy. And I'm telling you, you're the treasure. Let me just give you two verses. Exodus 19:5. "...you shall be a special treasure to Me". And Isaiah has more messianic scriptures than any other book of the Bible. This is a messianic scripture, spoken first to the King of Cyrus, but talking from the Father to the Son. I could have also given you Psalm 2 where the Father says to the Son, "Ask of Me, and I will give You The nations for Your inheritance". But this is referring to that as well. Isaiah 45,:3. "I will give you the treasures of darkness..."
We were in darkness, and the Father gave us to the Son. He gave the Son the treasures of darkness; like the $20 bill that everybody walked over, but the Son knew it was treasure. He knew it was treasure. So, it's all through Scripture. So, let me just tell you, right after this, you've got verse 44, a one-verse parable. We just read it, Matthew 13:44. Right after it... It changes everything about every parable you read when you realize that Jesus found you, that you didn't find Him. He even tells the disciples, "You did not choose Me; I chose you". He tells them really clearly, "You did not choose Me; I chose you". But watch right after this, this next... This is a two-verse parable, verse 45 and 46 of Matthew 13. "Again..."
Now, I wonder if sometimes Jesus said it like this to the disciples. "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant..." You are not the merchant. He's the one that paid with His own blood. "...seeking beautiful pearls". You're the beautiful pearls. "...who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it". Another way to say that is, "left heaven, became a man, and shed his own blood so you could go to heaven". You are the treasure. The reason Paul said, "I'm afraid that in the same way Eve was deceived by the serpent, you'll be deceived". What he'll do is try to get you to understand that it's all about you. And it's not all about you. It's all about Jesus. It's not about your works, your righteousness. It's about His works and His righteousness. And you receive it.
Salvation is not a goal to achieve; it is a gift to receive. It's wonderful. And when you realize that Jesus loves you, no matter what, with all of His heart, forever and always, you'll love Him. I promise you. And your life gets so much more simplified because it's just about loving Jesus, just loving Jesus. One last illustration. Every time when I leave work, if I have to make an overnight trip and go speak somewhere, and Debbie, for some reason doesn't go, which most times she does, but if she doesn't, when I get home, get in the car from the airport, I call. When I leave work, I call. If I'm coming in from our place out of town, I went out to work during the day and around in the land and study some, and then I'm coming home, I call. But every time I call her on the phone, she can vouch for this, I ask her two questions, every time.
Are the doors locked, and is the alarm on? Here's why. Because she's my treasure, and I am going to protect her with everything that I have. And the great news is that you... see, she's my bride. You are the bride of Christ, and He is going to protect you. You can bank on it. He's going to protect you. I want you to bow your heads and close your eyes, and I want you to just take a moment and just say, "Holy Spirit, what are You saying to me"? And maybe you just need to say, "Thank You, thank You, thank You that when I wasn't even looking for You, You came looking for me. And now it's five years, ten years, 50 years later, and You are still hiding me, You're still securing me, You're still taking care of me".
And this is for some of you that are, you're going through something really difficult right now. He's not going to stop providing for you and for your family. He's going to take care of you. He's going to be as faithful tomorrow as He was yesterday, because He's the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Lord, I want to tell you thank You that You found us, that You bought us with Your own blood, that You hid us, and that You rejoice over us. Thank You that we are a special treasure to You. In Jesus' name, amen.