Friday, June 7, 2013
$.50 worth of cornmeal
I was reminded today of a story I once heard about a southern plantation owner who left $50,000 (a great sum of money in the 1800s) to a former slaved that served him faithfully his entire life. A lawyer of the estate notified the former slave of his vast inheritance. Weeks went by and the former slave never requested any of his inheritance. Finally, they decided to send a banker out to explain to this man what his inheritance was and that he could draw out money any time. The old man replied, ‘Sir, do you think I can have fifty cents to buy a sack of cornmeal’? He could have asked for much more—but he died having only withdrawn 50 cents from a $50,000 inheritance.
In his book "The Gospel for Real Life" Jerry Bridges explains that we are just like that former slave. He had no concept of how much money $50,000 was and so he only asked for 50 cents. We have an amazing inheritance in the gospel, but we don't really understand it so we try to get by on as little as possible.
In Ephesians 3:8 Paul talks about the unsearchable riches that are available to us in Christ. I like that term, unsearchable riches. Paul wasn't talking about financial wealth, but about the glorious truths of the gospel. To use the figures from the story, what Paul is saying is that we have $50,000 available to us in the gospel, yet most of us are trying to squeeze out 50 cents worth. Why is that? I would argue it is because we don't really understand the gospel.
Tim Keller says the gospel is not just the ABC's of Christianity, it is the A-Z. We never get past the gospel to something else, we just get deeper and deeper into the gospel. I hope that you will make it a priority to understand the glorious riches that are available to us in Christ Jesus!