Jesus died for me. What a treasure I must be!
I can think of a number of times over the years when I’ve heard people say something like this. And typically they were people I knew read the Bible frequently. But this idea isn’t in the Bible. Jesus didn’t die to purchase treasures. He died to ransom (Mark 10:45) enemies (Romans 5:10). We’re not the Pearl of Great Price (Matthew 13:46); Jesus is. So where did they get this idea from?
Somewhere along the way their subjective experience and/or bad teaching caused them to look at the cross, see Jesus hanging on the cursed tree, and see a statement of their self-worth rather than amazing grace that saves wretches.
Lenses are extraordinarily powerful things. We interpret reality depending on the way we see it. If something is wrong with our seeing — our lenses — we won’t see reality. We will see a distortion.
And this is far more important when it comes to spiritual sight than it is with physical sight. Here’s how Jesus said it:
Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light, but when it is bad, your body is full of darkness. Therefore be careful lest the light in you be darkness. (Luke 11:34–35)
The degree to which our spiritual eyes are bad is the degree to which our understanding is dark.
The truth is we all have bad eyes that need corrective lenses to let more light in. And the corrective lenses that Jesus provides us with are his Word and the gift of teaching in the church (Ephesians 4:11). When teachers “rightly [handle] the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15), people receive corrected sight and their “eyes” become more healthy and their soul more full of light.
And there is nothing more important for people to see clearly than why Jesus came to die. That’s why John Piper wrote the book, Fifty Reasons Why Jesus Came to Die. At 122 pages and only two pages per chapter, this is a great book to give away. It’s something people will read. And if you want to give a lot away, we’ll let you have them by the case (48 copies) for $1.65 per copy.
Right handling of Jesus’s word is about the greatest gift we can give anyone else. Because through it they may receive a healthy eye and lighted soul.