A friend of ours tells the story of taking violin lessons as a child. Her grandfather had purchased a violin second hand during the depression so her mother could take lessons. Both our friend and her mother had carried that violin back and forth to school for years.
Our friend’s mother died. Years later, our friend remembered the violin and went looking for it. She found it under a bed, hidden away with other things. She tried to get it appraised by Antiques Road Show, but they recommended she take it to someone else. Eventually, she found a dealer who knew what it was. He told her he could only offer her $100,000. It was all he could pull together, but that wouldn’t be fair to her.
But it had been an honor for him just to play it.
No, it wasn’t a long-lost Stradivarius. It was a Guarneri.
Giuseppe Guarneri was an 18th century contemporary of Antonio Stradivari. Only about 150 of Guarneri’s violins are known to exist, far fewer than the number of Stradivari’s.
Our friend said she had considered the violin a family heirloom, but she had no idea that the instrument under the bed was worth millions.
If you came across a Guarneri in a flea market, you’d stop at nothing to buy it, wouldn’t you?
This is what Jesus offers us. He told a parable of a farmer who discovered a treasure hidden in a field. “In his joy, he went and sold all he had and bought that field.”
In his joy.
There is nothing in the Bible about Jesus’ appearance. We don’t know what he looked like, how tall he was, or anything else. He just blended in. But we do know that when people discovered who he was, they left everything to follow him.
Not out of obligation or compulsion.