Friday, December 09, 2005

The value of God?

I arrived home today to find my latest coin had arrived for my collection. This is a special coin with a special story.

Coin collecting may not be everyone's cup of tea but most people can identify with some coin or other. Some coins seem rather normal but others ooze intrigue and interest after a few hundred years underground or even underwater.

Whether its pirates pieces of eight or medieval coinage from the darkest streets of London, I love wondering about the history behind these tiny discs of metal. If only they could speak. Whose hands could of held them?

My new coin certainly falls into this category. It was minted around 35AD in Jerusalem and its a standard shekel which would have been changed at the temple into temple money (this was coinage bearing no idololoturous imagery). The old coins would never be used in the house of God.

Problems soon arose however as people who changed this money soon realised that they could charge a premium for doing so. Over time, the cost of changing coinage grew and grew meaning that poorer people couldn't afford the better offerings once inside.

It was this system which angered Jesus greatly. On one occasion He stormed through the temple, turning over the money tables as he went "This is supposed to be a house of prayer..." He said "but you have turned it into a den of thieves!"

What's it worth?

This coin is also very special for another reason. Although its minted approximately two years after the crucifixion of Jesus, this coin is the same type as the infamous '30 pieces of silver'. This was the price for which Judas agreed to betray Christ to the authorities. As I held this coin for the first time today, I wondered for what price I betray the faith which I claim? The coin looks so small especially in comparison to the life of a man yet sometimes people seem to betray their beliefs for even less than this.

For anyone who's interested. This coin is valued today at £186.28 which means that using the same '30 piece rule' the price on the head of Jesus would be £5588.40.


Anonymous said...

wow. Beautifully put. Such is the case for most of humanity; You don't know what you have until it is lost (Jesus).

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