Jesus shows the value of sacrificial giving to God, whether the amount is large or small.  When the poor widow cast into the treasury box the two mites, the amount seemed small in comparison to others, who were able to give much more.  But Jesus explains that her gift was greater because she gave her all while the others conveniently gave out of their abundance (Mark 12:41-44).  Sacrifice is not simply unpopular in our selfish world, it is virtually unknown.  Many church members do not even consider the idea.  In regards to giving, serving, building the church, it never even enters their thinking.

Jesus shows the value of life.  In the Lord’s story, a man was robbed, beaten and left to die (Luke 10).  The good Samaritan stopped and helped restore the man’s health.  The priest and Levite, who passed by without helping, obviously didn’t think the man’s life was worth their time, money or effort.  It is interesting.  in 2001, when terrorists murdered over 3000 Americans, that was deemed enough to strike back in the interest of national defense.  Now, in 2014, terrorists are still killing Americans, just not as many at one time.  The recent beheadings of two journalists ought to stir the good conscience as much as the killing of the 3000.

Jesus shows the value of the soul.  He asks, “What shall it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul/” (Mt.16:26).  He taught his disciples that the Samaritans were a field ready  for the gospel seed (Jn.4).  And, in the event of all events, he gave himself for our sins (Gal.1:4).

David Barker