saying-109; the treasure in the field.

 

Thomasgospel-Jesus

if you want to experience what he meant

saying- 109; the treasure in the field.

 

 

 

 

Jesus says,

The kingdom is like a man who had a [hidden] treasure in his field

without knowing it.

And [after] he died, he left it to his son.

The son did not know (about the treasure). He inherited the field and sold [it].

And the one who bought it went plowing and found the treasure.

He began to lend money at interest to whomever he wished.

 

 

 

Comments:

 

The obvious explanation of the story seems like this: work hard,

and you will find the treasure = the kingdom of God. Not the owner nor his son did anything

with the field, but the buyer went plowing, and by his hard work he found the treasure.

 

However, again the clue of the matter may not be what is most obvious

As elsewhere, the kingdom is compared to a person, the owner of the field;,

not to the hidden treasure! We should realize that.

The man, and his son also, were not aware and therefore, not troubled by the possession

of much money, which would have made it quite more difficult to live the kingdom,

as money corrupts, as it did the treasure finder. Money buried in the ground may have functioned

as an abject symbol of exactly one of the things Jesus abhorred most.

 

 

From the perspective of the kingdom, a mind without any longing for or even awareness of

the idea that anything in the world could possibly be of any value, is the real treasure.

It is better to be unaware of potential material wealth

one could gain, which would only pose a hindrance to finding the kingdom.

Finding a ‘treasure’ means losing the kingdom!

 

 

The ultimate finder of the ‘treasure’ is the one not acting according to the kingdom:

he started to lend money at interest where Jesus has said in saying-95 that it is

better to give it away instead of making profit at the cost of one’s neighbors -

Reading Hedrick (1994, 2010) I noted agreement on this interpretation.

The meaning is obvious: better remove awareness of money or wealth from your mind,

as it only corrupts your whole being!

 

This saying warns against craving for material goods, and is an instigation

to cultivate a mind that does not cling to anything material.

 

 

"The unfettered mind has no abiding place"

(Takuan Soho,1986)

 

 

 

It sounds to me that the parable would also be complete if the final sentence had

not been there. The fact that the buyer of the field started to plough may suggest that the

prior owners didn't; the one who toiled being rewarded. In that case the meaning may

be similar to Aesop fable 42 in that what is gotten from toil is a treasure for people (Meyer,1992).

It would also comply with Ecclesiastes who states that man better finds enjoyment in all

his toil (Ecclesiastes 2:24; 3:13; 3:22; 4:19; 8:15; 9:9), Ecclesiastes in his advice

sometimes being of rather cynical nature. Jesus might then have

meant that finding the kingdom would change the peasants' perception of their toil's character

for the better.

 

 

The finder had to buy the land to own the treasure, although the treasure itself can be

regarded a ‘movable’, not being attached to the soil, such as grain is, for example. According

to Jewish law anything found on the land is to be considered as a ‘movable’ and may be rightfully

claimed by the finder even when the field does belong to another man (Safrai S and Stern M;1974). However, although the treasure could in itself be regarded as a ‘movable’, the law also stated

that on buying a piece of land the property ‘includes the height and depth’, which means the

space up into the sky, as well as anything beneath the surface. So, the parable story nicely

complies with the actual legal rules: the man could not legally have unearthed the treasure,

that would have been theft; he had to be the land’s owner to become

the lawful treasure’s owner.