Film Friday: King of Thieves

When young tech expert Basil comes knocking on the door of ageing crook Brian the stage is set for the biggest jewel heist in history. They gather a gang of Brian’s old mates and set about breaking into a jeweller’s shop in Hatton Garden. What could possibly go wrong?

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The gang blunder and squabble as they spend a long bank holiday weekend cutting through concrete and emptying a jewel-jammed vault. Along the way, as the gang bicker, a couple of the guys drop out, and this is the start of their troubles. Before long the phrase ‘honour among thieves’ is blasted into tiny pieces. These are guys who are out for themselves and with so many millions at stake the situation rapidly turns into dog-eat-dog.

The Bible features the well-known and misquoted phrase ‘The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.’ If ever there was a cautionary tale to illustrate the point this film is surely it. The biblical phrase often gets misquoted as ‘Money is the root of all evil.’ But money is a good thing, it can transform lives and bring hope and healing and purpose. I can enable folks to be liberated from slavery and poverty. It enables creativity and kindness. We all need it and at times it can be the oil of change and growth. It’s what it sometimes does to us, what we make it that can become destructive. The prophet Micah encouraged folks to love mercy, to set it high on our agenda. When we love money instead then we have problem. Of course we’d all like more money, some folks desperately need more. But I once heard it said that sometimes the deception is this… If I’ve been working hard and I’m hungry a good meal and a cup of tea is just what I need, the lie is that a hundred meals and a thousand cups of tea will make me feel even better. They won’t of course, they’ll make me ill.

Jesus once told a story about a rich man who got so wealthy he had to build more places to store it all. The money became such a burden to him it weighed him down till his life sank like a scuppered ship. He set it above mercy, above doing anything good with what he had. I remember once, as I helped host a local radio show, we chatted about how much we might give away if we had a million pounds – I said, (probably trying to appear smart!) ‘More today as we sit here imagining it than if I really had a million pounds!’ Money can grip us, for the Hatton Garden gang it put a choke hold on them, but to finish with another quote from Jesus, ‘Where our treasure ism that’s where our heart will be.’ Jesus likened the kingdom of God and all it held to a trunk full of treasure. It’s an ongoing challenge to get these priorities right, isn’t it?

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