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News and views from the German-language region of Europe

August 22, 2014

The unrecognized treasure

Filed under Sabbath Thoughts

In the summer of 1866 Daniel Jacobs, a South African farmer, asked his 15 year old son Erasmus to find him a thin branch. Jacobs needed the branch to unclog a stopped pipe. As Erasmus was looking for a suitable branch, he noticed a shiny stone in the sunlight. He picked it up and use it for several months in a game played with five stones.

A neighbor saw Erasmus playing the game with other children. The neighbor thought the stone might be worth something, so he asked Erasmus' mother if he could buy the stone. She gave it to him, not knowing if it was worth something.

Later it was determined that the shiny stone was a 21.25 carat diamond, the first one to be discovered in the then British colony of South Africa. Small, bluish white in color and about the size of a sparrow egg, the "Eureka" diamond was on display at the Paris Exhibition of 1867.

The diamond's discovery led to a "diamond rush", as thousands of miners came to "Colesberg Kopje", as the area around the Jacobs' farm was called. A large open pit mine resulted, which came to be called the "big hole".

As was to be expected, the value of land around the Jacobs' farm quickly rose to high levels. After all, under the land was one of the largest diamond fields ever discovered.

Some 1900 years before Erasmus Jacobs saw the shiny "Eureka" diamond in the sunlight on his parents' farm, Jesus Christ compared the "discovery" of the kingdom of God – the knowledge of this kingdom and the willingness to do everything for it – to a treasure hidden in a field:

"The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field" (Matthew 13:44).

The Jacobs family had no idea what the stone was worth that son Ermasmus had found. They just gave it away.

How much is the kingdom of God worth to us? We won't find anything more valuable for our life today!

With these thoughts I wish everyone a rewarding Sabbath!

Paul Kieffer's blog with personal insights and news from the German-language region in Europe.


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