Today's Gospel in Art - The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field

  • Patrick van der Vorst

The Hidden Treasure,  by Sir John Everett Millais 1864 © Christian Art

The Hidden Treasure, by Sir John Everett Millais 1864 © Christian Art

Gospel of 26th July 2020 - Matthew 13:44-46

Jesus said to the crowds: 'The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field which someone has found; he hides it again, goes off happy, sells everything he owns and buys the field.

'Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls; when he finds one of great value he goes and sells everything he owns and buys it.'

Reflection on the Wood Engraving

In our reading today, again Jesus uses imagery which His audience would be familiar with. Banks were uncommon in the ancient world and not used by most people. The average person did not place his or her valuables in a bank. So wealth and treasures were indeed being hidden in boxes stored in the ground. Upon hearing the word 'treasure', our mind automatically thinks of worldly goods such as gold coins, diamonds, silver, etc… But the treasure that Christ offers us is entirely different: the forgiveness of sins, eternal life… and simply the joy of knowing Christ Himself.

But in order to find this treasure, we have to make the effort. The man 'goes off happy, sells everything he owns and buys the field'. He had to put in the effort, work, investment and sacrifice… Yet he does all this with great joy, as he 'went off happy'.

Our engraving is by John Everett Millais. Millais wrote that he had to alter the composition of this wood engraving six times, in order to get the balance between the white, grey and black areas right and in order to achieve the level of detail he required. The kneeling man, the oxen, the yoke, the treasure, the unploughed versus ploughed land… a beautiful image of spiritual life…

LINKS

Today's story - https://christian.art/en/daily-gospel-reading/494

Christian Art - www.christian.art


Tags: Christian Art, Patrick van der Vorst, John Everett Millais

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