Parable of the Hidden Treasure: Matthew 13:44
The parable of the hidden treasure is the first of a series of three short parables used by Jesus to describe the kingdom of heaven.
Jesus says, "The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field, which someone found and hid; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field." (Matthew 13:44)
As the story indicates, Jesus is saying that the kingdom of heaven is extremely valuable. Whenever someone discovers the kingdom of God, and realizes the treasure they've found, they sell all that they have to obtain it.
This meaning is similar to Jesus' explanation of the Cost of Discipleship. Jesus gives the example of building a tower, saying, "For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not first sit down and estimate the cost, to see whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it will begin to ridicule him." (Luke 14:28-29)
Jesus is essentially saying that those who realize the value of the kingdom of God will give up anything necessary for it, while elsewhere he warns that the cost is high.
Comparing this parable to the Parable of the Sower and Four Soils, just like the word of God (seed) had different outcomes depending on each person's circumstances (four soils), likewise not everyone who comes across the kingdom of God understands what they have found.
If we are walking in a field and trip over a decaying, dirty, wooden box, there are some who may just get frustrated and continue walking. However, there are others who inspect what they have found and discover a great treasure inside.
who discover the treasure, and understand its value, will give up everything to obtain it, which is eternal life. However,
those who are not willing to give up everything for eternal life, probably do not fully understand its value. Eternal life has infinite value, because "For mortals it is impossible" to obtain by our own strength (see Matthew 19:25-26).
The more we investigate this great treasure, the more we will understand its worth.
For a convenient PDF/eBook version of all Jesus' parables, download Understanding the 40 Parables of Jesus Christ. This 126 page eBook also includes supplemental information for understanding these parables.