Jesus once told a story about a man who was working in a field. He was digging away, when he discovered some kind of amazing and precious treasure. The man was so struck by this treasure, that he decided he must have it. So, he hid the treasure again, ran home, sold all he had and used the money to buy the field.
Jesus says that the point of the story is to show his listeners what the Kingdom of Heaven is like. In short, it’s of such immense value that when we discover it, we’ll give absolutely everything to have it (Matthew 13:44). What Jesus is saying is that a relationship with him has a pricetag, a cost. That cost is everything we are. No more, no less. Sounds expensive, right? So, is Jesus worth it?
The best answer to that question is offered by those who really know what the cost and the worth of following Jesus are. People like Cheu in Laos. He was brought up in a poor Buddhist family. As a young married man his wife got sick, so he went to a local shaman who said he needed to make expensive animal sacrifices to help make her well again. He didn’t have any money to pay for the rituals, and instead approached his uncle, Lha, a Christian, and asked him to pray for his wife.
Lha prayed, and Cheu’s wife was healed. Something stirred in Cheu, so he started asking more and more questions about Jesus. Not long after he became a Christian, and so did his wife.
But Cheu’s family were not happy. As Buddhist’s they felt betrayed. They laid a plan, arranging to meet Cheu, but instead they kidnapped him. He was tied down with rope and beaten severely. They held him captive for 12 hours, before letting him go.
Soon after they visited him again and said if he didn’t turn back to Buddhism, they would ‘hit him until he died’. Cheu lied. He told them he’d stop following Jesus, so they let him go. But instead, he ran away, taking his pregnant wife with him.
They weren’t wealthy, but they gave up all of the little that they had – family, employment, home, security – to keep Jesus.
Nothing can stop my belief now… I will continue believing in Jesus…
Cheu says: “Nothing can stop my belief now… I will continue believing in Jesus… I will sacrifice myself to God. I will follow whatever God wants me to do”.
For Cheu, Jesus is worth it. But what about us? We have more in terms of wealth, freedom, education and probably social status than Cheu, but do all our possessions and our comfortable existence stop us from seeing how much Jesus is really worth?
We support people who are beaten, tortured,
imprisoned, falsely accused, and hated simply for following Jesus.