Jesus speaks about the Kingdom of Heaven in parables, not to confuse those who listen to him, but to reveal to them truths they already know. To our deepest questions of faith, meaning, and spirituality, Jesus answers in metaphor with stories of ordinary life. Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh calls to mind another ordinary metaphor for our lives of faith as he reflects on Jesus’ parable of buried treasure.
The Kingdom of God is also said to be like a treasure that someone finds and hides in a field. Then, in his joy, he sells all he has and buys that field. If you are capable of touching that treasure, you know that nothing can be compared to it. It is the source of true joy, true peace, and true happiness….
That treasure of happiness, the Kingdom of Heaven, may be called the ultimate dimension of reality. When you see only the waves, you might miss the water. But if you are mindful, you will be able to touch the water within the waves as well. Once you are capable of touching the water, you will not mind the coming and going of the waves. You are no longer concerned about the birth and the death of the wave. You are no longer afraid. You are no longer upset about the beginning or the end of the wave, or that the wave is higher or lower, more or less beautiful. You are capable of letting these ideas go because you have already touched the water.
Thich Nhat Hanh, Living Buddha, Living Christ
(London: Rider, 1996; New York: Riverhead Books, 1995), pp. 156-57.