Many have heard the sales line, “What do I have to do to put you into this vehicle?” The question implies that the salesperson is willing to make a sacrifice to make the sale and from the buyers position s/he’s thinking, “How much more do I have to give to get what I want?”
This is nothing like the deal that Jesus offers. It’s described variously as:
. Selling everything you own to gain a field in which is buried an enormous treasure.
. Selling everything you own to gain the world’s most valuable jewel
The self-denial that Jesus speaks of is real enough. However, when compared to what we get in return Paul speaks of the sorrow and loss and tragedy that comes with this life as, “Our light and momentary troubles.” And Peter says the salvation of our souls allows us to encounter any sacrifice while “greatly rejoicing, with joy unspeakable and full of glory” 1 Peter 1:8. James says, “Consider it pure joy whenever you face trials of many kinds . .” James 1:2.
Sadly, satan is a master salesman. In answer to the question that opened this post, all he has to offer is illicit sex, the promise of greed fulfilled, power and position and what passes for “love” in the pagan world. He does that and people say to themselves (to use a description of C. S. Lewis), “Why would I go to a Pacific Island paradise when I could have a mud puddle in an back ally now?”
Jesus says He’ll take our obsessive thoughts, our neuroses, our shame and fear and rage and real guilt and give in return love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control and forgiveness from real guilt.
Remarkably, people walk away from that deal.
Jesus sacrificed everything so that we need sacrifice next to nothing, and in return He’ll give us paradise. Just how dumb does someone have to be to turn down an offer like that?
Sacrifice? What Sacrifice?