July 19, 2014
But now thus says the LORD, He who created you, O Jacob, He who formed you, O Israel: "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are Mine." Isaiah 43:1
If it's difficult to set a value on human life, how much more difficult is it to set a price on part of a human life? Well, not to be put off by difficulty, American insurance companies have tried.
For example, one company figured the premiums for a young woman who made a living judging perfumes. She was allowed to insure her nose for $50,000. Jan Kubelik, the great violinist, had the fingers of his left hand insured for $250,000, and Paderewski, the great pianist, had his fingers underwritten for $10 million.
How much are you worth? I guess it depends on who gives the answer. Ask the terrorist who is filled with hatred. He will gladly tell you, "You are worth more to me dead than alive." He reasons, if you die, all your friends and fellow citizens will quiver and quake with fear. If you die, the media will focus on his cause and give it free publicity. If you die, money from hidden sources will become available for his organization. If you die, firebrands and ne'er-do-wells will flock to his gang in search of glory. To the terrorist, you are worth less than nothing.
How much are you worth? To the government, your value is a series of formulas on a spreadsheet. To the politician, your value is a vote to be tabulated. To your employer, your value is weighed by what you give versus what you cost. To the advertiser, your value is computed by your spending power. To the credit card company, your value is how much debt you can incur without disaster.
So, what are you worth? Hearing that question, most of us end up saying, "not very much." That's because life has hurt us; people have walked on us, and their words have injured us. It's easy to feel neglected, unrecognized, under-appreciated and un-applauded. Then, if we look in ourselves and see the sins that are harbored in our hearts, we really can be depressed.
In contrast to all this negative input, we have the thoughts of the Lord.
The Lord who formed and created us, who knows us better than anyone else, assures us of His love which has been personified in His Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ. Jesus is the physical proof that our Lord doesn't love us only with words. No, He shows us His love in the Person of His Son. Jesus was sent to bear our sins and carry our sorrows. Because of the Savior's supreme sacrifice, the Lord offers us the assurance we need not be afraid. Indeed, we can be at peace for He has called us by name, and through the Savior's work, we belong to Him.
So there, my friends, you should have your answer.
If you don't, take another look. On one side of the scale is placed all the negatives and nastiness the world and Satan can muster. On the other side of the scale is placed the rescue that has been won for us by the Redeemer.
What are you worth?
Look to the Bethlehem manger, Calvary's cross, and the Garden's empty tomb and you will see God's answer. It is an answer which outweighs all others combined.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I give thanks You have the capacity to love the unlovable and decided to rescue that which was worthless. Now I ask that You will grant me the grace to live as the valuable, blood-bought person You have made me through Jesus. It is in His Name I pray. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries