How much is Jesus Christ worth to you?
How would you know? By what measure? Why is it even important?
In ordinary life, we understand that the value of something physical — a car, house, jewelry — is set by what someone else will pay for it.
We may have a theoretical value in our mind for something we wish to sell, but it is not until we put it on the market, and someone agrees to pay us for it, that we truly know the item’s market value.
There is a sense in which the same principle holds true for how we value people in our lives as well — and for Christians, this includes Jesus Christ.
A critical passage in the Gospel of Matthew illustrates the importance of Christ’s value to us personally as a proxy for the condition of our hearts toward God:
A Woman’s Act of Worship, in Matthew 26:6-13:
“Now when Jesus was in Bethany … a woman came to Him with an alabaster vial of very expensive perfume, and she poured it on His (Jesus) head as He was reclining at the table. But the disciples were indignant when they saw this, and said, ‘Why this waste? For this perfume could have been sold for a high price and the money given to the poor.’ But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, ‘Why are you bothering the woman? For she has done a good deed for Me. For you always have the poor with you; but you do not always have Me. Truly I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told in memory of her.’”
And Judas’ Bargain to Betray in Matthew 26:14-16:
“Then one of the twelve, named Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, ‘What are you willing to give me to betray Him to you?’ And they set out for him thirty pieces of silver. And from then on, he looked for a good opportunity to betray Jesus.”
In back-to-back passages, we see first, a woman lavishly anointing Jesus’ head with a precious perfume worth 300 denarii, equivalent of a year’s wages, to signify the extraordinary value she placed upon Her Savior.
The story of her unselfish devotion is shared to this day in churches around the world.
And immediately afterward, we see, as the late Bible commentator Bill MacDonald described, “one of the disciples (Judas) who had lived with the Lord Jesus, traveled with Him, seen His miracles … one whom Jesus could call, “my familiar friend … who ate my bread (Psalm 41:9) — it was that one who lifted up his heel against the Son of God.
The priests paid him on the spot for the contemptible total of about 15 dollars.”
MacDonald concluded, “It is striking to note the contrast between the woman who anointed Jesus at Simon’s home and Judas. She valued the Savior highly. Judas valued Him lightly.”
Now, let us make it personal.
Every day we also put a price on Jesus’ head by how we live our lives and set our priorities.
Jesus challenged people all the time to make up their minds about what really matters to them, as described in Luke 9:57-62:
“As they were going on the road, someone said to Him, ‘I will follow You wherever You go.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘The foxes have holes and the birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.’ And He said to another, ‘Follow Me.’ But he said, ‘Lord, permit me first to go and bury my father.’ But He said to him, ‘Allow the dead to bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim everywhere the kingdom of God. Another also said, ‘I will follow You, Lord; but first permit me to say goodbye to those at my home.’ But Jesus said to him, ‘No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.’”
Some say, “living for God is too costly.” But I would ask, “How costly is NOT living for God?”
The price of a misspent life is higher than you think.
How About You?
We know how much YOU are worth to Jesus: the price of His lifeblood on Calvary’s cross. The question is, how much is He worth TO YOU?
Remember, your earthly life is fast fading and eternity beckons. Why not live now as though you are already there?
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.
Through death into life everlasting
He passed, and we follow Him there …
— Helen H. Lemmel, “Turn Your Eyes upon Jesus”