It’s springtime! You can tell it’s spring because the crocus and the daffodils are pushing their colorful little heads up through the soil. On the corner up the street is another reminder that it is spring. The yard sale signs begin to appear. When my wife Chris and I travel to visit our daughter in Clovis, New Mexico, we spend most of Saturday morning visiting these sales. I don’t really mind because it gives me a chance to add to my library. I like to collect Bibles and cook books. I have several different Bible translations on my shelves that I have found at these sales. I also look for cookbooks that are put together by women’s clubs and other organizations. If you’re interested, my latest cookbook has recipes for bear stew and moose burgers!
On one of these occasions, as I was sifting through the books and other objects, it struck me how sad this really was. At one time, these items were very valuable to the seller. When they were purchased it was because they were either needed or much desired. Now here they are, thrown across a table and perhaps labeled at a fraction of their original cost. How can one decide how much a treasure is worth?
In Luke 15, Jesus tells of lost objects and the value that was placed on them by their owners. A Shepherd left the 99 to search for the one which was lost! A woman spent a large part of her busy day searching for one lost coin! The father continually waited for his lost son.
In Matthew 13:44-46, Jesus tells of great treasures that are found and what the finders were willing to sacrifice for them. The common thread with all of these is that they gave all that they owned for that one thing.
Jesus asked a difficult question in Matthew 16:26. “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?”
What sort of value can you place on something that was purchased with the life of another? When this was written, human life was not regarded as very valuable. That is unless you were rich or a man. Slavery was common and women were regarded as property. As we read the newspaper today or watch the evening newscast it doesn’t seem that much has changed.
The question that Jesus asked is still valid. Judas received thirty pieces of silver in exchange for his soul. Thirty pieces of silver; the price of a slave! That comes to about $10! Is your soul only worth $10?
One day, Satan had a yard sale and Jesus came to look at what he had to offer. As Jesus browsed among the tables He saw you. There you were, broken, dirty and in need of repair.
“I want this one,” He said.
“Why would you want such a worthless thing when there are so many other things that I have? Here are stones, for making bread; here are all the kingdoms of the worlds for you to command!”
“No, I want this precious soul,” Jesus said. “How much?”
Satan smiled and said, “I don’t know. Now that I see it, I may want to keep it for myself.”
Jesus looked at your poor and tattered soul and said again, “How much?”
Satan grinned and said, “Your life for his!”
Jesus said, “Sold!”