September 10, 2015
But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For His sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ. Philippians 3:7-8
Jesus talked about what happened when a man found a treasure in a field and another man who discovered an especially beautiful pearl. According to the Savior, both men sold all they had so they could purchase that which they wanted most.
To the best of my knowledge the Savior never talked about what would happen if two men apparently discovered a Nazi treasure train, which had been hidden away in a Polish mountain.
The story begins with a train carrying more than a billion dollars of gold being hidden, sealed and forgotten in a tunnel, which had been built by concentration camp slaves.
Now, 70 years after that train first went missing, two unnamed men say they have discovered it. Sadly, they can't sell all they have and buy an entire mountain. If they tried that, people would know where the treasure train is located. Besides, right now, the law says the government would get everything.
So, what can these men do to get this most precious treasure?
The answer is they do nothing. Well, almost nothing. What they have done is said, "We will share the train's location when and if we're promised 10 percent of all that is recovered." After making that demand the two men began doing ... nothing.
* They don't visit the site. Such a visit would give away the location.
* They don't take an exclusive news crew in. Although having a crew make a movie of the find might make for a good TV documentary, it would also lose them a fortune.
* They don't try and smuggle some of the gold out when nobody is looking. There are far too many people waiting for them to try such a stupid thing.
Only by doing nothing can these men ever hope to gain some of the gold. Only by doing nothing will these fellows prosper. It's quite a change from the characters in Jesus' parables. Even so, the people in Jesus' stories and the tale of these modern-day treasure hunters have two things in common: first, they keep their eyes on the treasure and, second, they are ready to do or not do what is necessary to get the treasure.
For Christians the point of both stories is plain.
We need to keep our eyes trained on heaven and the Savior who is the only Way for us to be given that treasure. In this world there are a lot of temptations that will try to sidetrack us. There are a great many seductions that will try to turn our eyes from the treasure. There are many obstacles in our path that will try and trip us up.
In spite of all these, we need to remember our Treasure: our Savior who gave Himself as the ransom price so we might be forgiven and be granted life eternal.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I give thanks Jesus has done all that was necessary to win my forgiveness and grant me eternal life. May I always be thankful for this precious treasure. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries