Weekly Scripture: Matthew 20:1-16
How much is a human life worth? There is no way we could fill up jars with coins, like the ones in the image above, in order to quantify the value of a human life. And even if we could, they would all need to be even. That’s because whatever a human life is worth, each is of equal value in God’s eyes. The truth is that in creating us, God has endowed each of us with immeasurable worth. And it breaks God’s heart when we either devalue ourselves or when we devalue others in order to inflate our own sense of worth. Take a moment and quietly reflect on the fact that God values you as his treasured child.
You are precious to God. And every person you will encounter today is precious to God also. Jesus told the parable in this week’s Scripture to remind both the religious people and the nonreligious that they were deeply loved and valued by God. This was a difficult teaching for the religious people to accept. They believed that their obedience to God made them more important to God than those who did not practice religious obedience to the Law. They tried to do good things and believe the right ways, so that they would be valued. However, Jesus wanted to flip that belief upside down. It is because we are valued by God that we are empowered to do good works. And one of the greatest works of all is freely loving your neighbor – whether they are religious or not. In fact, loving them can help them discover that God treasures them. A kind word, a listening ear, or an open heart – each of these can change the life of a person for the good. How might you help someone see how valuable they are to God?
When we reject and devalue others in order to elevate ourselves, we communicate conditional love and acceptance. But God’s love for us is unconditional. Nothing we do can add or subtract from how much God values us. Treating others equally is a witness to the power of the Gospel. Treating others with partiality – either negatively or positively – misrepresents the Gospel and might place an obstacle in the way of someone’s relationship with God. How might your treatment of others help clear those obstacles and open the door to salvation, healing, and wholeness for them?
So, how much is a human life worth? Remember that Jesus gave his life for us all. That is a high and heavenly value. Let us treat each person accordingly.
Breath Prayer: LORD God, bring equality to the earth.