Forrest Fenn is a veteran of the Vietnam War. After retiring from his military career, he made a fortune as an art dealer. Supposedly, in 2010, then an 80 year old Fenn hid a box of treasure worth, as he estimates, 2 million dollars. He says he did so to give people hope. He also says that he wanted to do something to get kids out of the house and off of the hand held devices into the great outdoors. He offered clues in a 24 line poem. Now before you head off to “google” the poem, just know that he says he hid this treasure chest somewhere between Sante Fe, New Mexico, and Canada. I’ve been to Santa Fe. I didn’t feel close to Canada. In fact, there are a 1,000 miles between the two.
It is estimated that 350,000 people have ventured off in search of Fenn’s treasure. Some are extreme in their search. Ricky Idlett, a steamboat operator from Mississippi, confesses that he spends 12 hours a day researching the clues that Fenn has left in his poem.
Ah, the power of searching for that which is considered to be of value.
Matthew 13 is a treasure trove of parables about that which is of infinite, matchless, incomparable value—the Kingdom of God. Jesus introduced the Kingdom of God in the Sermon on the Mount. Matthew 6:33 is pure spiritual gold. “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you.”
In Matthew 13:44-46 are two separate parables that essentially say the same thing. The only difference really in the two short stories is that in the first, the man is not looking for treasure, but in the second, he is. In searching for God, some people find Him after intensely searching. They ask questions. They struggle. They read. Other times, the discovery is more sudden, more spontaneous. You weren’t looking at all for a relationship with God. In either case, two points strike our hearts.
Nothing compares to Christ.
Both men knew instantly that they had found something that was incomparable in its value.
Jesus said the Kingdom of God will be like that.
Why can this be our claim?
- A personal relationship with God is possible through Christ.
- A permanent residence with God in Heaven is promised through Christ.
- Both are provided not because of anything that we have done, can do, or will do.
The value of this relationship to Jesus is tied to joy. Therefore, when we lose the joy, we have to realize that we have lost sight of the value.
If nothing compares to Christ, nothing should keep us from Christ.
It is incomprehensible that we would not forsake all for the kingdom of God. This is the common response of both men in the parables. They were not cautious. They did not seek to diversify their portfolios. They were all in. Everything they had was invested in their new found discovery.
Our relationships to Christ must model this activity. He has no rival. He has no equal. Nothing compares to Him.
The response of the first followers of Jesus was to leave everything and follow Him.
We ask ourselves these questions. Do I seek God’s will first? Do I seek God’s word first? Do I seek Him first?
On June 8, 2017, Jeff Murphy, a 53 year old from Illinois, went missing in the Yellowstone National Park. Rescuers found his body the next day. He had fallen, investigators estimate, about 500 feet. His wife confirmed that he had been searching for Fenn’s Treasure. He is the fourth known person to have died searching for the treasure.
What does today find you searching for with all of your heart? If it is anything but the Kingdom of God, you are wasting your time.