In Matthew 13, Jesus gives some very interesting examples of what the kingdom of heaven is like. In verse 44, He likens it to the man finding treasure in a field and then selling all he has to buy the field. He also said the kingdom of God is like a pearl merchant who finds a uniquely valuable one and sells all he has to purchase it, in verses 45-46. I find this similar to the parable in Luke 15. Jesus first talks about going to find one lost sheep, and the joy of finding it. Then He tells this story: Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? And when she has found it, she calls her friends and neighbors together, saying, “Rejoice with me, for I have found the piece which I lost!” Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents (verses 8-10, New King James Version). You may find it interesting to do a little study into this time and culture in the Middle East. You may also discover what the coin in that story would’ve meant to the woman who lost it. Young women in this area and in this era were not wealthy, generally. They would save and save, from their early teens until they got married, because they were going to wear a headdress that was very much like a wedding ring. It signified they were married. And it was made up of 10 silver coins. In terms of value, the lost coin was worth a lot to the woman in Jesus’ story. To her, it was priceless — what it signified was far greater than the dollar value. So she pulled the house apart looking for it. When she finally found it, she rejoiced — not at the recovered value, but at the signified worth of having all of these coins, of having her symbol of something far greater than a monetary value restored. Jesus tells us the kingdom of heaven is like that. He tells us we’re worth paying the highest price imaginable — everything. You are worth His very life. He paid the costliest price for you. Jesus is the measure of your worth. He set your worth as the price of His own life when He paid for you by dying. And remember, the price paid determines the value.
So many people don’t understand the worth Jesus set on their lives by the price He paid. They think poorly of themselves, of their worth. They see the field and think it’s not worth it. They see the pearl, and they can’t image why the guy paid everything for it. They see the one coin, and they don’t understand why the woman would search so frantically or why she was so excited she found it. They don’t understand the worth. They don’t understand that the treasure hidden beneath the surface made selling everything worth it to the guy who bought the field. They don’t see what he saw, the deep treasure that made every penny worth spending. They don’t understand that the uniquely incomparable beauty made the pearl worth it to the merchant. They don’t see its priceless splendour the way he does. They don’t understand the significance the woman put on that one coin and what finding it restored to her. They don’t know what all the celebrating is about. They don’t understand that their lives are worth so much more than the world tells them. They don’t see the worth Jesus put on them, the great value He placed on each of us by willingly giving His life as the price of our redemption. There is a treasure within you — the very image of God looking out from your eyes, walking around in your skin. The treasure within you was worth it to Him. There’s a priceless beauty within you that He saw and recognized long before you were even born, before you took your first step or ever did anything, good or bad. Able to look into your heart, your hidden depths, He saw your buried treasure. You are the most beautiful thing He has ever seen and ever will see. How can that be? It is because to Him, you look just like Jesus. And because of the beautiful, precious treasure that He sees when He looks at you, He declared, “You’re worth it!” He paid the highest price for you and the price paid determines your value. Jesus called your worth — the significance of a right relationship between you and your Father — worth dying for. He recognized that restoring you to God was worth the ultimate price. It was worth the stripes on His back, the nails in His hands and feet. You were worth the crown of thorns! Jesus is the measure of your worth. You meant something to Him far beyond monetary value.
Just like the coin that meant something to that woman, He saw your worth. You represent something — the original plan. You represent unbroken fellowship with His creation, into whom He infused life with His breath. You represent the being He made to fellowship with, and He said Jesus was the measure of your worth — Jesus was the price worth paying for you. What you’ve accomplished or what you’ve failed at isn’t the measure; how pretty you started or the scars you’ve picked up aren’t the measure. His blood is the measure of your worth. That’s who Jesus is. Jesus is the Word of God made flesh. Jesus is the prophetic Word fulfilled. Jesus is the most wonderful teacher, the most exciting preacher, the most gracious healer. Jesus is the measure of your wealth. He’s the measure of your strength. He’s the measure of your ability. Jesus is the measure of your worth.
– Article by Jeremy Pearsons from December 2009 BVOV Magazine.