Jesus said that the Kingdom would be taken from its current caretakers and given to a spiritual nation with the same faith as Abraham. While Israel, for the most part, was faithless, He found faith in the Gentile centurion. In Deuteronomy 32:20, the pre-incarnate Christ described Israel as “a perverse generation, children in whom is no faith,” but as He walked through the world—through this field (Matthew 13:38)—He found little gems of faith that the Father had hidden.

He declares that the work of God is for people to believe—to have faith—in the One He sent (John 6:29). He says the Father would draw people to the Son (John 6:44-45), and that drawing is the result of the Father giving faith. As Jesus traveled, He encountered some instances of genuine belief—in contrast to the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees—and He rejoiced in the rare faith He found. Thus, in Matthew 11:25, Jesus thanked the Father for hiding things from the world's wise and prudent and revealing them to babes.

When He encountered this kind of faith, Jesus consistently responded by healing or doing some other act of mercy, then He would instruct the faithful person not to tell anyone. In other words, He found faith that His Father had hidden in the “field,” yet He hid it again, just as the parable describes. When a leper came to Him, professing his faith that Jesus could cleanse him, He told him (after the healing), “See that you tell no one” (Matthew 8:4). A little later, He resurrected a little girl after seeing the faith of her parents, charging them to tell no one what had happened (Mark 5:35-43). Similarly, Jesus healed two blind men based on their faith, and then instructed them, “See that no one knows it” (Matthew 9:30). All these events, plus the healing of the centurion's servant, took place before Jesus gave the Parable of the Hidden Treasure, so the disciples could draw upon experience to understand the parable.

This dynamic is especially clear in Matthew 16:13-20, when Jesus asked them whom the people thought He was, and then whom the disciples thought He was. Peter said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God,” and He told Peter that his understanding—that treasure of faith—had been given by the Father. At the end of the conversation, “He commanded His disciples that they should tell no one that He was Jesus the Christ.” They were to keep the matter hidden.

Christ's pattern was to respond to those in whom the Father had hidden faith, then to keep that faith hidden until He had purchased the field—the world. He was willing to buy all humanity for the sake of the few whom the Father had given faith. After His resurrection, the treasure did not need to remain hidden, and the disciples proclaimed to the entire world that Jesus was the Christ.

The time would come when God would reveal what had been hidden, but only after the conditions were right—after He had redeemed the lives of His followers from the power of Satan, so they could not be snatched from His hand (John 10:28-29).

In one of His final prayers, Jesus reports to the Father, “While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name. Those whom You gave Me I have kept; and none of them is lost except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled” (John 17:12). This confirms that He was constantly on guard against losing those with faith.

What Christ values is the true faith that only God gives (Romans 12:3). Peter calls it “precious faith” (II Peter 1:1), describing it as “much more precious than gold that perishes” (I Peter 1:7). He treasures the faith that trusts Him to heal blindness, especially our spiritual blindness. He values the faith that trusts Him to make us cleaner than He made the lepers. He esteems the faith that trusts Him to give us spiritual life and eternal life just as He restored the little girl to life. He cherishes the faith that trusts in the overarching spiritual reality of His sovereignty, such that when Christ says to one, "Go," he goes; and to another, "Come," and he comes; and to His servants, "Do this," and they do it.

That faith, trust, or belief is so meaningful to the Creator that He gave up everything to purchase the world so that those with this treasure would become part of His realm. Faith is the basis of the Kingdom “given to a nation bearing the fruits of it” (Matthew 21:43).