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Lowell Brueckner

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Seeking the Truth of the Kingdom, chapter five



“The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid again; and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.” (Matthew 13:44)

The chapter is taken from this book

If you carefully study the four teachings that we have presented to this point, you will see that they have a prophetic touch, but the two, which follow, do so even more. We have the present parable only in Matthew and I think that we will see that it is fitting to his Gospel, because it presents Christ, in a special way, as the King of the Jews. I believe that this parable has to do with Matthew’s people and their Messiah. We do well to understand that the gospel is a message “to the Jew first and also to the Greek” (Ro. 1:16 - in this verse, as well as in other places in the New Testament, Greek is synonymous with Gentile, or non-Jew). Peter said this in Jerusalem, “It is you who are the sons of the prophets…, For you, first, God raised up His Servant and sent Him to bless you by turning every one of you from your wicked ways” (Ac. 3:25,26). So Matthew first preaches his Gospel to the Jew.

Jesus is the Sower in three previous parables and in this one He is the man who buys a field. The act of finding a treasure and hiding it again makes it very improbable that any common mortal should represent the main character in the story or that the treasure should represent Christ, the gospel, or salvation. I don’t think that we can find a good biblical reason for finding, then hiding, any of these. It also collides with the presentation of the gospel as a free gift that cannot be bought, but must be received on the basis of pure grace. To preach that one has to sell all and buy Christ, the gospel or salvation, runs the risk of satisfying the religious pride of man, who wants to do something in order to gain his salvation. The New Testament condemns these efforts “so that no one may boast” (Eph. 2:9). 

The protagonist, who carries out the will of God in each parable, is the God/Man, Jesus Christ. Precisely for that reason He came, not to do His own will, but that of the Father. The truth of the matter is that no one else is capable of doing it. Again, we persist in standing by His teaching: “Without Me, you can do nothing.” Therefore, every effort of man is false and in vain, if he does not walk hand in hand with Jesus. He must be permitted to exercise complete lordship over His work.

As a 12-year-old, Jesus said, “I must be about my Father’s business” (Lk.2:49-KJV). In this parable, how does Jesus do the will of His Father? He does so by joyfully selling all with the purpose of buying the field. The symbolism remains constant, so the field, as in all the parables, is the world, which He buys in this case. Paul describes to us perfectly how He did that: “God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them” (2 Co. 5:19). We also quote the apostle John: “He Himself is the propitiation (something or someone who appeases wrath) for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world” (1 Jn. 2:2). Jesus bought the entire field, to acquire the treasure that was in the field, but not to save the whole field.

Consider Exodus 19:5: “You shall be My special treasure among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine,” said God to Moses, referring to Israel. The verse demonstrates that God had to buy the earth in order to appropriate the treasure. The result in the end was that the non-Jews, as well, received salvation, but Jesus came precisely “to His own” (Jn. 1:11). All doubt concerning this is taken away, when we read what Jesus told the Canaanite woman: “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel… It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs” (Mt. 15:24,26). He, who is not a Jew, must consider himself unworthy to be able to participate in the riches of God’s promises.

That is clearly the teaching of Paul to the Gentiles in Ephesians 2: You were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world” (vs. 12). In Romans 11, Paul compares Christians, who are not Jews, to branches from a wild olive tree, grafted into a holy olive tree, which is Jewish. Paul warns us not to boast, because some of the original branches were removed: “Do not be conceited, but fear” (vs. 17,20).

So that we never arrive at the conclusion that God has abandoned the Jews, Paul made the following questions and assertions: “What advantage has the Jew?... Great in every respect…” (Ro. 3:1,2). “God has not rejected His people, has He? May it never be!... God has not rejected His people whom He foreknew… (11:1,2); I say then, they did not stumble so as to fall, did they? May it never be!” (11:11); “From the standpoint of God’s choice they are beloved for the sake of the fathers” (11:28).

Paul teaches that, as God could graft the Gentiles into the olive tree, He is powerful enough to once again engraft the Jews: “How much more will these who are the natural branches be grafted into their own olive tree?” (11:24). He assures us that this actually will happen: “If their transgression is riches for the world and their failure is riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their fulfillment be!... For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?... So all of Israel will be saved…” (11:12,15,26). It was prophesied that Christ would leave His glory to obtain their redemption: “The deliverer will come from Zion, He will remove ungodliness from Jacob. This is My covenant with them, when I take away their sins” (11:26-27). God found his people in Egypt, when they had no homeland and He brought them out. For 40 years they wandered in a wilderness, before they entered the Promised Land. Christ came to Israel, a tiny country, still hidden and insignificant in the eyes of the world and dominated by the Roman Empire. Nevertheless, His own rejected Him and lost their preeminence as God’s people (not without purpose, but under the wise, divine plan). In this way, Israel is like the treasure “hidden in the field, which a man found and hid again”. When Jesus comes to reign in the Millennium, Israel will be rediscovered in the purpose of God.

We will let three verses tell us briefly the whole history, as well as the future: “The Lord has chosen Jacob for Himself, Israel for His own possession” (Ps. 135:4). “The kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people, producing the fruit of it” (Mt. 21:43). “I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn” (Zec. 12:10). The Jew finally will come to recognize his Messiah and enter again into the plan of God, exactly at the hour, which He has already established.

God does not have a “Plan B”. What He has determined in the beginning is what He will bring to pass. He does not change, adjust or step back. What He has begun, He will finish. It continues to develop and become more perfect before our eyes. Personally, it has been of great benefit to me to meditate upon the faithfulness of God to His people Israel. It assures me, since He is a God who does not change, that He will be faithful to us, the Gentiles, and, in particular, to me. For that reason, in this chapter, it will be my pleasure to present the promises of God given to Abraham, beginning in the book of Genesis, and show how He has brought them to pass.

God called Abraham to enter His eternal purposes and took him to the land, where that plan could take place. He said to him, “Lift up your eyes and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward; for all the land which you see, I will give it to you and to your descendants forever” (Gen. 13:14-15). Although God would work through Abraham and his descendants, He Himself possessed this land in a special way. The land was His and still is. Many generations later, when the children of Israel were about to enter it, God made them understand clearly that the rights to the land belonged to Him. “The land, moreover, shall not be sold permanently, for the land is Mine” (Lev. 25:23).

Israel was not a good example of obedience and cooperation with God. Before they entered the Promised Land, Moses gave them a list of the consequences that would come, if they would not fulfill His commandments. We can look at them in the book of Deuteronomy, chapter 28. He is faithful, not only to bring his promised blessings to pass, but also to fulfill the curses.

A great percentage of the Bible is prophetic and, like no other book, all of its prophecies reach fulfillment. It is one of the great proofs that we are involved with a perfect, supernatural book that is worthy to be called, “the Word of God”. First, we will look at the punishment that was prophesied and then we will see exactly what took place centuries later.


“The Lord will bring you and your king, whom you set over you, to a nation which neither you nor your fathers have known, and there you shall serve other gods, wood and stone” (Dt. 28:36). Jeremiah gives us the account in his day of what was already history in chapter 39:1-9: Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and all his army came to Jerusalem and laid siege to it… When Zedekah the king of Judah and all the men of war saw them, they fled and went out of the city at night… But the army of the Chaldeans pursued them and overtook Zedekiah in the plains of Jericho; and they seized him… Then the king of Babylon slew the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes… He then blinded Zedekiah’s eyes and bound him in fetters of bronze to bring him to Babylon… As for the rest of the people who were left in the city, the deserters who had gone over to him and the rest of the people who remained, Nebuzaradan the captain of the bodyguard carried them into exile in Babylon.”

Moses prophesied that the people of this invading nation would be “of fierce countenance, who will have no respect for the old, nor show favor to the young” (vs. 50). Jeremiah in his Lamentations described what actually happened: “Princes were hung by their hands; Elders were not respected. Young men worked at the grinding mill, and youths stumbled under loads of wood” (5:12-13).

We will include one more detail of the prophecy of the Babylonian invasion of Israel in Deuteronomy 28: “You shall eat the offspring of your own body, the flesh of your sons and of your daughters whom the Lord your God has given you, during the siege and the distress by which your enemy will oppress you” (vs. 53). We return to the book of Lamentations, chapter 4, verse 10: “The hands of compassionate women boiled their own children; they became food for them because of the destruction of the daughter of my people.”

In Deuteronomy 28:64-66, a change takes place. Now, the prophecy does not have to do anymore with Babylon, but goes beyond to a day when Israel would be scattered over all the earth: “The Lord will scatter you among all peoples, from one end of the earth to the other end of the earth; and there you shall serve other gods, wood and stone, which you or your fathers have not known. Among these nations you shall find no rest, and there will be no resting place for the sole of your foot; but there the Lord will give you a trembling heart, failing of eyes and despair of soul. So your life shall hang in doubt before you; and you will be in dread night and day, and shall have no assurance of your life.”

For fulfillment of this prophecy, we cannot go to another part of the Bible, because it happened after the Gospels were written, after the coming of the Messiah and His rejection by His people. Jesus Himself prophesied, weeping over Jerusalem: “The days will come upon you when your enemies will throw up a barricade against you, and surround you and hem you in on every side, and they will level you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not recognize the time of your visitation” (Lk. 19:43-44). History tells us that 37 years later the Roman general Titus came to Jerusalem, leveled the city and burned it, perfectly fulfilling what Jesus had said. The Romans persecuted the Jews and scattered them throughout the world. They lost their nation and lived as strangers in all parts of the earth. It was in this way that the treasure was hidden once again.

They existed in these sad conditions century after century, despised, fearful and insecure among the nations until the Second World War. We know well the history concerning their persecution, especially in Europe, where the Jews were sought out by the Nazis, corralled like cattle, sent to concentration camps and finally to the gas chambers. Six million Jews were assassinated by Hitler in his intent to wipe them off the face of the earth. They also received tremendous persecution from Stalin in Russia. Nevertheless, this did not become the end of their story, nor was it their ultimate destiny, because God had inspired prophets to write of eternal plans that He had for them.

About 2,500 years ago, Ezekiel came to know the following: “Thus says the Lord God, ‘I will gather you from the peoples and assemble you out of the countries among which you have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel” (11:17). Once again, in 20:34, 41 and 42, we read: “I will bring you out from the peoples and gather you from the lands where you are scattered, with a mighty hand and with an outstretched arm and with wrath poured out…As a soothing aroma I will accept you when I bring you out from the peoples and gather you from the lands where you are scattered; and I will prove Myself holy among you in the sight of the nations. And you will know that I am the Lord, when I bring you into the land of Israel, into the land which I swore to give to your forefathers.” Once more in 36:24: “I will take you from the nations, gather you from all the lands and bring you into your own land.”


In Ezekiel 37, God let his prophet know that this renovation would take place in three stages. First, he compared Israel to a valley of dry bones, during the time of their dispersion among all the nations and then asked, “Son of man, can these bones live? (vs. 3)… these bones are the whole house of Israel…I will cause you to come up out of your graves and I will bring you into the land of Israel (vs. 11,12)… I will take the sons of Israel from among the nations where they have gone, and I will gather them from every side and bring them into their own land” (vs. 21)… I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold, a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to its bone” (vs. 7). The first phase consisted in opening the graves, which meant, they were going to be allowed to leave the nations, where they had been scattered for so long a time. Then, the dry bones would be united once again in the land that had been promised to Abraham and his descendants.

More or less at the beginning of the 20th century, a movement began that continues to this day. Many Jews began to leave all of earth’s continents, where they had wandered, in order to repopulate their ancient land once more. Just as Abraham entered as a stranger, so thousands and later millions of the scattered people arrived anew in a land that was not yet under their control. It was not too many years ago that Russia opened its doors and thousands of Jews, which lived there, returned. How can it be that after so many centuries a people should decide to return to live again in the land of their ancestors? It was all directed by the hand of God, who in these last days put it in the heart of every one to fulfill His eternal plan.

The second phase had to do with the following: “I will put sinews on you, make flesh grow back on you, cover you with skin…” (vs. 6). “… I looked and behold, sinews were on them, and flesh grew and skin covered them; but there was no breath in them” (vs. 8). This meant: “I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel; and one king will be king for all of them; and they will no longer be two nations and no longer be divided into two kingdoms” (vs. 22). So, not only were they to return to the land, but they were to form one nation, as a totally independent government. For 2,500 years, since the time that Babylon led them captive, Israel had not been self-governing. In the time of Jesus, they were still not a free or independent nation, because they were under Roman domination. Some were hoping that, if Jesus were the Messiah, He would free them from this oppression.

However, in these days we can testify that this phase has also been fulfilled. This to me is very exciting, because we are not talking about ancient history, but a time, which some of us can remember. I would like to direct you to Isaiah 66:8, where this prophet also speaks of the renovation of Israel: “Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things? Can a land be born in one day? Can a nation be brought forth all at once?” It is a national miracle that has never occurred before at any point of history. An old people, scattered throughout the earth, return to the land of their patriarchs and inhabit it again. They speak their old language and practice their ancient customs. Can a land be born in one day? Can a nation come into being so quickly? Well, we know this: May 14, 1948, is the exact day, when the prophecy of Isaiah, written 2,700 years ago, came to pass. This date marks with all certainty the fact that we are rapidly approaching the end of this age.

The third phase: “I will cause breath to enter you that you may come to life” (vs. 5). Now we observe the Lord God passionately commanding Ezekiel to prophesy: “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on this slain, that they come to life”’” (vs. 9 – Without a doubt this is the breath of the Spirit of God). We see the same passion that motivated the Merchant to possess the treasure: “From joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.” The prophet responds, “I prophesied as He commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they came to life and stood on their feet, an exceedingly great army” (vs. 10). We see the meaning already in chapter 36: “I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances” (Ez. 36:27). In 37:23, the Lord confirms this transformation.

The fulfillment of this third phase will take place when Christ appears again, this time as King of Kings and Lord of Lords, sitting upon the throne of David in Jerusalem to reign over the world for a thousand years. The hidden treasure will once again be discovered and the plan of God to reform his people, bought by His Son Jesus Christ, will go forward.

The prophet Amos spoke of these days: “I will restore the captivity of My people Israel, and they will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them; they will also plant vineyards and drink their wine, and make gardens and eat their fruit (Amos 9:14). This prophecy has already been fulfilled, because Israel is now among the most productive fruit-growing nations in the world. Through Amos, God assures us of their future in the following verse, the last in his prophecy: “I will also plant them on their land, and they will not again be rooted out from their land which I have given them, says the Lord your God.” Through the nation of Israel, we see the unfailing, unmovable faithfulness of the Lord.


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