Man Finds Millions Buried on Old Farm

Today, Brad Harmon from Marketplace Christianity and I are trading posts with other. Brad is the founder and editor for Marketplace Christianity. A former certified public accountant, he now spends his time blogging, speaking, and consulting on ways to bring our faith into the marketplace.

We are both writing on how to apply Matt 13:44 in the workplace. I’m honored to have my post on his website, found here. Bradley’s excellent post follows below.

One of my favorite television shows is American Pickers on the History Channel. A camera crew follows two men, Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz, as they scour the country’s junkyards, basements, and barns for hidden gems. It amazes me what they find and how much they can get selling it.

Before American Pickers, my wife and I liked to watch Antiques Road Show – especially the British version because they had the really old (and valuable) antiques. It should come as no surprise, then, that the big picker score came from a small town in northern England.

There’s Gold in Them There Hills

Frank Hartford is an amateur picker who went on his dream vacation to pick his way through the English countryside. When he came back to the United States he was absolutely giddy. His friends had never seen him so happy.
That wasn’t the only change they saw in Frank. He’d always been a bit of a history buff, but he became obsessed with the Roman occupation of Britain and spent hours pouring over old books at the library.
What they didn’t know was that Frank had discovered a cache of Roman coins during his picking. He hadn’t told anyone about them. Frank’s frequent trips to the library had been to verify that his find was genuine, and to determine how he could legally lay claim to the treasure.

Everything Must Go

Frank needed to raise the money to purchase the old farm where he’d found the coins and secure the legal rights, permits, etc. to be able to claim his find. He figured he’d need about $350,000, but that was a paltry sum next to the $20 million he estimated his find to be worth.

Even so, Frank knew he would have to sell everything he owned to raise the money. He knew there was a risk that he could be wrong about all of this. Even worse, he knew that nobody would understand until he had the gold coins.

None of this seemed like much sacrifice to Frank though. All he could think about was the millions he’d get in return. He gladly sold everything he had so he could purchase that old farm and all that Roman gold hidden on it.

What Would You Do?

What would you do if you were in Frank’s situation? Would you give up the bird in the hand for the two in the bush? Or, in this case, the $20 million buried in the old field? It would take a complete, sold-out commitment – wouldn’t it?

Do you feel sorry for Frank? Sure, he had to sacrifice by selling everything he had to purchase the farm, but trading $20 million for $350,000 hardly makes me feel sorry for this guy. In fact, it’s hard for me to really call what he went through a sacrifice at all knowing about the payoff he’d receive.

Do you think Frank sat around talking about all the things he had to give up, or do you think he’d be telling everyone about the $20 million he found?

Jesus Talked About a Man Like Frank

Jesus talked about a man very much like Frank when he told this parable.

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field. (Matthew 13:44, KJV)

Okay, I have a confession to make – Frank isn’t real, but you probably already guessed that. I just updated this parable, because it’s so familiar that, if I’d started with it, many of you would have not felt the excitement of this man the way you might have related with Frank.

This man did not begrudgingly sell everything he had. He did it because of the great joy he had from finding this treasure. This is what Jesus is telling us being a Christian is like.

Are You Dwelling on the Sacrifice?

Too many Christians are still stuck on the sacrifices they make for being a Christian. Are you constantly talking about how hard it is to live the Christian life? Do you find yourself telling your co-workers “I can’t go to happy hour,” or “I’m a Christian so I can’t …”

Is it any wonder that people don’t want to know more about your God? He sounds like a real downer, and it doesn’t look like He gives you very much in return. Maybe you were foolish to make such a sacrifice?

Or, do the people you work with see how smart you were to trade away your possessions for something infinitely and eternally more valuable? The man in this parable was no fool – he was savvy. He made a wise investment, and he knew it. He was overjoyed with his decision. What about you?

Comment here.

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About David Rupert

Newsletter Editor for the High Calling Find me over at
This entry was posted in American pickers, antiques road show, Frank Fritz, Gold in Them There Hills Frank Hartford. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Man Finds Millions Buried on Old Farm

  1. Anonymous says:

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Aw, you had me going there. And I kept thinking, "This reminds me of that parable in the bible…" And I never really complain about being a Christian. Probably because I don't fall into legalistic traps that would make me feel trapped rather than free. I believe God's grace is worth far more than anything I have or could ever do. My motto is "His grace goes before me". I am covered. Now, I do my best for Him with what he puts before me.

  3. Brad Harmon says:

    Bradley,I posted a video on the Facebook fan page for marketplace christianity that shows a man running with joy to recover the treasure from the field he just purchased. Just imagine if every Christian treated their faith that way. I think we often get more excited about the big game on the weekend than we do about faith. Even worse, too many Christians focus on everything they gave up for this treasure. I'm glad you're not one of them.

  4. R. Sipes says:

    What’s the point of the story? The kingdom of heaven is worth infinitely more than anything else in this world.In Matthew 16:26, Jesus used the image of a pair of scales when he asked the question, "For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?" Pile up everything in this world on one side and put the kingdom of God on the other side and it still comes out lopsided. The salvation of our souls is worth so much more.Of course I cannot buy the Kingdom of Heaven, and neither can you or anyone else. The Kingdom of Heaven is far more valuable than anything in this world. Nothing we have could purchase it. I can’t earn it with my good works. I can’t buy it with my tithes and offerings. I can’t even give my own life to purchase it. Jesus Christ purchased it for me with His blood on the cross. And He gives it to me by His grace. Ephesians 2:8 says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.”So although I cannot buy salvation, once I have received the gift, I find that it is worth so much that everything else in this world pales in comparison. Jim Elliot, a Christian missionary who was killed in South America in the 1950’s said: “He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep, to gain what he cannot lose”–Richard

  5. Great post Brad,And like Brad also said you had me going too. I was getting ready to Google and find out about this man and see what his friends had to say,I don't think he was a fool, nor do I think is anyone who would give up all they own for a life with Christ.I think it was Billy Graham who quoted a theologian saying :it is not unwise to lose what you cannot keep to gain what you cannot lose."

  6. Brad Harmon says:

    @Richard Exactly. Why do we, as Christians, tend to talk more about the worthless things we give up than the priceless gift we receive? I can't think of a single person that would be dwelling on all they gave up if it were them in this story.@Mike Sorry about that Mike. I know I have a tendency to zone out when reading a passage that I've read many times before. Maybe that's why Christ used parables – to get people re-thinking old ideas?

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