January 14, 2010
(Jesus said) "Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows." Matthew 10:31
In 2009, the Men's NetWork of Lutheran Hour Ministries had its first annual virtual fishing contest. For the many who participated it was a great deal of fun.
Fun. Sport. Fellowship. Those are the things I look for on the rare occasions I get to go fishing.
From a recent report by the BBC, the Japanese are a lot more serious about fishing than I am. If that sounds cryptic, let me explain. A few days ago a bluefish tuna -- a handsome tuna that weighed in at 511 pounds -- sold for a record 16.28 million yen.
If 16.28 million yen sounds like a lot of yen, it is. That fish, and I acknowledge it is a big fish, sold for a whopping $175,000.
Now I know the bluefish tuna is the best tuna there is, and this one was caught in waters where really tasty tuna grow up. Still, it's hard for me to believe I'd buy any fish when -- for the same money -- I could buy a Corvette, a Lincoln Town Car and a Chrysler convertible.
Maybe I'm old fashioned, but I get shocked at the prices some people are willing to pay for food. Not so long ago a truffle, once again, a large truffle sold for $330,000. Then there was the Glasgow, Scotland chef who made a pizza for a couple in Rome. It was a pizza that cost $3,467.
Of course, Jesus told each of us that we were worth a lot. For example, in the Gospel of Matthew He told us we were worth more than many sparrows.
And if you were to ask Jesus how much more we were worth, He would show you. On Calvary's cross He showed us we were worth Him sacrificing His own life so we might be saved.
The innocent, omnipotent Son of God, the one who was present at creation, voluntarily, willingly, and graciously gave His life to save sinful humanity.
He knew He would be tortured, beaten, and murdered in a most cruel manner, but He endured it so sinners might be given an opportunity to be forgiven and redeemed.
There is no other word for it. It's impossible to understand why He did what He did, but each of us ought to be glad -- eternally glad -- Jesus paid that price.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, for Your amazing grace which saves a wretch like me, my gratitude and praise. I will never understand why You should be mindful of the sinful human race, but I shall live eternally because of Your substitution and sacrifice. Dear Lord, I love You. In Your Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries