Mark 10:45 - (Jesus said) "For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many."
Matthew and Maria Colonna Immanuel of Staten Island, New York, didn't pay much attention to the electric box which was hidden by bushes in their backyard. No, they didn't mind it at all until some animals chewed up the bushes. Without the protective foliage, the electric box was a real eye sore.
Matthew and Maria hired a professional to landscape their yard.
Everything was going great until he came to the electrical box which wasn't an electric box at all. After the landscaper had dragged it up on their porch, Matthew and Maria could readily see the "electric box" was a small safe.
It took considerable coaxing to convince the safe to reveal its secrets.
Eventually, the contents were brought out, and Matthew and Maria made an inventory. The two listed
1. piles of wet $100 bills, which had to be peeled apart and hung out to dry;
2. jewelry, dozens of rings, gold, jade, and diamonds, etc.
Altogether, the contents of the safe were valued at $52,000. Oh, there was one other thing Matthew and Maria found: at the bottom of the safe they found the names of their next-door neighbors. Armed with a single question, Matthew wandered next door. He asked, "Have you ever been robbed?"
The question opened a floodgate of responses. "Yes, they had been robbed ... back in 2011 ... their safe had been taken ... they had filed a report with the police ... the officer said it would be highly unlikely for them to regain any of their valuables."
It was then that Maria and Matthew turned the safe, and its contents, over to its rightful owners.
Maria noted many people disagree with what they did. Indeed, more than a few have called them "crazy" for returning the contents of the safe. Her reply to all who feel this way is a wonderfully simple, black-and-white answer. She said, "Why did we return it? That's simple. It wasn't ours."
During the time Jesus was doing His earthly ministry, nobody ever asked, "Jesus, why did You leave the comforts of heaven to battle sin, the devil, and death? Why are You willing to sacrifice Yourself to reclaim those souls?"
If someone had asked that question of Jesus, I think His answer would also be wonderfully simple. Quite possibly, He could have said, "I'm going to suffer and die to buy back the kidnapped souls of damned humankind. Why would I do that? Easy, I do that because those souls shouldn't be owned by sin, the devil, and death. The best case that can be made for them is they are kidnappers and murderers. I'm doing what I'm doing to free those souls and bring them home."
Now that may sound like foolishness to the world, but for us who are saved it is the power and wisdom of God.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I give thanks for the Savior's sacrifice. Because of the greatness of Your love, I have been saved and someday will return home. In Jesus' Name, I give thanks. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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