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regime change

“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man [Greek anthropos = man or woman] found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.”       Matthew 13: 44 [Jesus teaching in parables c. AD 32]


Regime change is the replacement of one regime by another. Whilst those two words have been in use only in the past century (not earlier it seems), the concept of regime change has been in our world since the very beginning.


War, coup d’état, revolution and the ballot box all bring about regime change. The Second World War changed Hitler’s regime. Hitler radically altered Jersey’s regime in 1940 – but only for a few years.


The United States is the most notable of all for procuring regime change ---- in other countries ---- so as to improve things for itself and its people.    Yes, altering the regime of others is big business (as it were).


It comes as something of a surprise, then, to find that Jesus Christ (on earth AD 0 – AD 33) was very much in the business of regime change (see bold above).


The man above who “found treasure hidden in a field” experienced regime change. Emotionally he is filled with joy over what he has “found”. More than that, the man immediately makes far-reaching, life-changing decisions. He “sells all that he has and buys that field” – the field containing the hidden treasure.


This regime change is definitely not the same as the regime change to which we in Jersey have become accustomed on our lifetimes in the news media– because it affects the man himself and not others. He is the one to change. He does not procure change in others.


This one is different because the regime change brings about the sale of “all that he has” – and the purchase, using that “all that he has” of hidden treasure – not oil, not hegemony, not a Bentley, not something to impress the neighbours but invisible, hidden treasure.


This man no longer “gets”; instead he “gives” all he has.


What on earth is this field with its secret treasure? What on earth can give rise to such regime change in a man or a woman?


The answer is in bold above. The true field-with-secret-treasure is parallel to the “kingdom of heaven”. When a person discovers this he experiences a regime change: “in his joy he goes..and sells all that he has ... and buys that field.


Joy over a field because of its hidden treasure? Joy of what is there, albeit concealed, in the field that Jesus called “the kingdom of heaven”? Yes.


But what’s this about the man then selling absolutely everything he has and buying the field where the treasure is hidden? Jesus’ regime change alters the man’s value system. He becomes different inside. This isn’t an externally imposed regime change – it’s so real that there is a change in the man’s own internal governmental system that has so gripped him and throttled him all his life.


The change is not imposed on him. He wants it – because of the hidden treasure he’s found in the kingdom of heaven. And his value system is so altered (by his joy of discovery) that he willingly parts with everything in exchange for the “kingdom of heaven” with its “hidden treasure” that he has discovered.


I would like to come clean as to what I think this hidden treasure actually is within the kingdom of heaven. But I’m persuaded not to – by the fact that Jesus didn’t disclose it.


Instead, when you read this – or see me – write or speak to me to see if we both think alike.


After all, the person who finds treasure knows what the treasure is.......

‘If Socrates would enter the room, we should rise and do him honour. But if Jesus Christ came into the room, we should fall down on our knees and worship him’. (Napoleon Bonaparte, French Emperor, 1769-1821)
"Was it for crimes that I had done / He groaned upon the tree? / Amazing pity! Grace unknown! / And love beyond degree!" (Isaac Watts, English hymn writer, 1674-1748) 
Richard Syvret

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