The gem in a box of Cracker Jacks is not valuable. It only takes about 1/2 cent to make. The Pink Star diamond is worth 83 million dollars. It costs more for various reasons. One reason it is worth more is that greater resources were spent on acquiring it. That is simple economics. Here is a startling application of that principle, the great sinner is worth more than the saint because it took more to redeem him.
Let me prove it to you.
Enoch was a sinner, but he was also a good man. He was so close to God that he was taken to heaven without seeing death. Conversely there is Manasseh, who was toxic. After listing his sins, which included child sacrifices, 2 Kings says, “Manasseh seduced them to do more evil than did the nations whom the Lord destroyed before the children of Israel” (verse 21:9). But Manasseh was saved. At the end of his life, “…He entreated the favor of the LORD his God and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers” 2 Chronicles 33:12.
So in redeeming these men, on which did Christ spend more of His blood? Right, on Manasseh. And since Christ’s blood is the thing with the greatest value, simple economics insists that Manasseh is worth more than Enoch because more riches were used in his redemption. And the Bible agrees. “But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound…” Romans 5:20. More grace, more value.
This concept is not just novelty. It is practical. It is supposed to change me. When I deal with a toxic person, I have to remember Jesus paid an enormous price for their sins. Therefore, the co-worker who lies about me, the ex-husband who had an affair with the best friend, or the white supremacist at a rally are precious, because great resources were spent on their opportunity for salvation.
Seeing what they cost Christ should change how I feel about them. The value I place on that toxic person is proportional to the value I place on Christ. As long as they are unredeemed, the suffering He paid for their sin becomes suffering without recompense. That means that when I think of that person and the pain they cause me, it needs to be linked to the pain Christ experienced for them.
I would hate that Jesus should have suffered in vain. Therefore:
I will pray for the toxic in my life (Luke 6:28).
I will deal righteously with them (Proverbs 25:21).
I will turn the other cheek while keeping out of their reach. (Matthew 5:39, John 2:24, 25).
I will not allow them to indiscriminately hurt me because that increases their burden of guilt (Romans 12:19, 20, Matthew 10:23).
I will care about their salvation (2 Timothy 2:24 – 26).
I will not vilify them (James 4:11).
I will remember that their salvation cost Jesus more than most people’s (Romans 5:6).
In humility, I will consider them better than me (Philippians 2:3).
And in God’s strength I will strive to bring them to peace with heaven (Luke 19:10).
All this I hope to do, so Jesus will see the travail of His soul and be satisfied. (Isaiah 53:11).
“I tell you that there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous ones who do not need to repent.” Luke 15:7