This parable, I find to have some particularly interesting elements. First of all, the man stumbles on the treasure by accident, or, more accurately, by God’s providence. He was not looking for it and he found it in a field that had been tilled and planted by another who had not found the treasure. Secondly, the field was not his own. This says both that the man was trespassing and that the field’s owner had no interest in things of true value.
Yet, the setting is still a field or a garden. It is a place that is not wild or unkempt but in a place that has been ordered and cultivated. And even though the treasure finds the man if you will, it is worth noting that the place in which the treasure is found is not in the chaotic wilds. So many people feel that the last place they can “find God” is in the church. “I feel closer to God when I am outside in the middle of nature.” Yet, usually, that is not where God is to be “found.”
I will admit that the church is often anything but a place of love and joy and compassion. Yet it is a place that has ordered itself in such a way as to strive to emulate God’s will. This is where God delights to make himself known. Sometimes it catches us by surprise and sometimes we are diligently searching for it. Regardless, unless we are in a place that strives to reflect God’s glory, the treasure will usually remain unseen.