The Music Box
Film: The Music Box
Parable: The Hidden Treasure
Scripture: Matthew 13:44
44 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.
Interpreting The Music Box
A man is out buying antique music boxes and “stumbles upon” a box of superior value. The box played a crucial role in his childhood and has great sentimental value to him. The result is that the man will pay whatever it takes to get that box—however many zeros he must add to his check. The owners wonder if they’ve missed something, but they finally agree to sell. The man is ecstatic since the box is far more important to him than the money.
To “stumble upon something” is to find it through no effort of our own. It’s an accident...in reality, that “something” finds us. Jesus says this is very similar to the Kingdom of God. It finds us. We don’t find it. This is the image Jesus paints in the parable of the Hidden Treasure. A first-century farmer might’ve had his own anecdotal version of this story—a moment in the past when a friend literally “stumbled upon” a hidden treasure. This was somewhat common, since banks were unusual in Palestine. Farmers would often hide their treasures in their fields at secret locations. This worked well— except in cases of accidental or sudden deaths. If the farmer died unexpectedly, the secret hiding place went to the grave with him. Then maybe 50 years later some sharecropper would run his plow into an obstacle, only to find it’s buried treasure he stumbled upon. If the sharecropper didn’t own the field, he’d sell everything he had to purchase it, knowing full well that the value at the end of the day would far exceed the purchase price.
Written by Craig McElvain
Read the following passages:
Matthew 10:37-39 - 37 “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.
Matthew 6:19-21 - 19“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Mark 8:34-36 - 34 Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 35 For whoever wants to save their life[a] will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. 36 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?
Luke 12:13-21 - 13 Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” 14 Jesus replied, “Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?” 15 Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”
16 And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. 17 He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’
18 “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. 19 And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’
20 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’
21 “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”
The Kingdom of God by Sally Turlington
Think about this:
1. Have you ever “stumbled upon” a great “treasure”?
2. Why do we tend to hang onto our stuff instead of exchanging it for the Kingdom of God?
3. If you’ve already sold out to the Kingdom, what benefits would you say have outweighed the costs?
4. What do you find yourself hanging on to (still) in the midst of this spiritual transaction?
5. Do you see yourself as having “stumbled upon” the kingdom, or are you more prone to see it as something you’ve searched for, found, and earned?
As you reflect on the parable and the film, consider that Jesus told these stories so that we could relate them to our everyday lives. Jesus reveals himself through such common experiences, and we can count on finding him in the most unlikely of places. Christ can “show up” while we’re sitting in front of our computers at work, cooking dinner, or driving in traffic. We often point to big moments in our lives as when we’ve received significant revelation, but through his parables, Jesus clearly states that learning about his love, grace, and mercy can be experienced in the most ordinary circumstances of life.
from 36 Parables, Blue Bible Study written by Craig McElvain
(For an explantion of my piece, The Kingdom of God, go to my blog post about it here.