The exhausted traveler considered finding a shortcut; he didn't think he could go much longer. The field to the right looked promising, so he decided to cut through it. Staff in hand, he wearily pushed himself forward with each step through the field. The tall grass slapped at his legs as he walked on. The sun beat down.
"Maybe I should go back and make this trip another day," the traveler reasoned, his staff hitting the ground with a rhythmic thump, thump, thump, thump, THUD. His staff had hit something. Stopping, he squatted down and cleared the grass away, revealing the corner of a wooden box. He began to move the dirt away, curiously wondering why a box would be buried in a field in the middle of nowhere.
The traveler stopped in amazement. The box was edged with gold. With new vigor, he started shovelling dirt away with his hands as fast as he could. His dry hands began to crack and bleed, but he didn't notice and continued on digging. Finally, the man had made a hole big enough to ease the box out of the ground. It was unbelievably heavy. Out of the ground, the box looked exquisite: beautifully ornate gravings cover the lid, and gold adorned the edges. The box itself must be worth a fortune!
The rusty lock easily fell off. With trembling hands the man carefully lifted the lid. His eyes were met with more treasure than he had seen in his entire life! It sparkled and gleamed in the sun's rays. For a while, he just sat in awe of such wealth.
It's worth was beyond measure.
When the traveler came to his senses, he realized that he could not take the newly discovered treasure home. For one thing, it would be much too heavy to carry; second of all, he did not own the field, and therefore anything in the field was not his to take. The man would not even think of stealing it; he was a man of the Law. What a disappointment to find such treasure and not be able to keep any of it! Just then, the man knew exactly what he should do.
Forgetting the very reason for his journey, the traveler covered up the treasure, jumped up and ran as fast as he could home. He didn't even notice the heat. When he reached his home, he stopped in front of the small, humble dwelling and smiled. He would sell his house. Yes, and everything he owned!
His house, possessions, livestock, furniture, and measly plot of land...all of it he sold. With that money he bought the field. Now the treasure was rightfully his! His heart overflowed with abundant joy.
The things he had owned before could not even compare to the treasure he now had. Selling all he had was not a loss, but a gain! He traded that which was worthless for that which was priceless. The reward was beyond measure. And the traveler's life would never be the same.
The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.