Supreme Ambition Ministries

To Know Christ and to Make Him Known – Philippians 3:10

An Eight Cow Christian!

     ticket-scalping.jpgWhat is my value to God?  How does He view me with all my warts…failures…and…well…sins?  Jesus opens a window into the value he places upon me and every Spirit-born believer.  In Matthew 13 our Lord shares a number of parables all wrapped around the theme of the ‘Kingdom of Heaven’.  Interpreting parables can be a fussy kind of thing.  One must keep in mind that with the parables there is one interpretation. There may be multiple applications within the context of truth declared but the interpretation is single in its scope.  Ok, enough with theology!  Let’s get to the heart of the issue. 
     
     I don’t have time to argue this point, but believe me when I say that Jesus uses the term “Kingdom of Heaven” to define that period of time between his first coming and his second coming.  Also, please undestand that to the ancient Hebrew the pearl had no value whatsoever.  In fact, you will not find it used in the Old Testament at all, except for some mistranslations.  Furthermore, Jesus own interpretation of the parable of the weeds sets the prameters for the interpretation of the Eight parables, when it comes to identifying the characters in the parables.  For instance,  the ‘man’, the ‘sower’, the ‘merchant’ must always refer to God, because Jesus defined him as such in the parable of the weeds.  The ‘field’, Jesus said, is the ‘world’.  Get the picture?  In the parable of the Pearl of Great Price Jesus says, ‘…the kingdom of heaven is like a ‘Merchant’ who went in search of fine pearls…”  When Jesus said this, the disciples were in great confusion.  It would be like me saying, “the kingdom of heaven is like a ‘cow-pile’.  Yeah!  You heard rightly…cow-pile.  I guess that’s not quite right either, because you can use manure for fertilizer, but you get the picture, don’t you.  NO VALUE WHATSOEVER IN THE PEARL!
 
     Apparently, Jesus saw value where no one else did.  From before the foundation of the world our Lord made a decision that he was going to shed the garments of diety and go on a quest for something of such unique value that all except he would not even recognize its value.  You and I are that pearl.  He saw value where there was none.  He saw us not as we are but as what he would make us to be. pearl-of-great-price.jpg
      Perhaps I can tell this better by offering a cultural illustration.  In the South Pacific it used to be the custom of men to trade cows for a wife.  A father might receive two cows for an average daughter.  An above average girl would often bring her father three cows.  Only a rare beauty would bring the unheard of price of four cows.  Once there was a father with a daughter so homely that he was hoping he could get just one cow for her.  There was another man on the island, who was considered to be a very astute trader.  One day he came to the father with the homely daughter and offered eight cows for her.  Everyone thought the man to have lost his mind.  However, it was not long before this homely girl was transformed into the most beautiful and gracious woman in the land.  She had started to think of heself as ‘an eight cow woman’, and she became one.
 
     cow.jpg Did you notice in the parable of the pearl how much Jesus paid for us?  The Bible says, “…he went and sold all that he had…”  The blood of God’s Son was the price paid for us.  Hey!  Can you get what this means?  I am an Eight Cow Christian.  You are too!  There was no value in us as far as the world was concerned, but the King of the Universe  saw us wallowing in the mire and muck of this world.  We were dressed in the most homely, unattrative manner.  Our hair was unkempt, and a beauty king or queen we weren’t .  But O Look at us now! One final thought. What would it be like if we would start treating one another like Eight Cow Christians instead of a one or two-cow deal?
 

May 6th, 2009 Posted by | Christian Education, Christian Life, Discipleship | 2 comments

2 Responses to “An Eight Cow Christian!”

  1. Wonderful post, David. I remember reading the story in HIS magazine years ago when I was an undergrad at the University of Utah. The only difference I remember was that in the InterVarsity version the girl was called the “nine cow bride.” Either way, the story calls us to put away self-deprecation (a means of bringing notice to one’s self) and act the part of those who “in Him are enriched in every way.”

  2. Pastor Dave-this was great! I didn’t know about the pearl having no value to the Jews at the time. And I love the story about the eight cows! Love in Christ-Wayne