4 July 2014 by Natasha Kim CM-
In the book of Leviticus of the Old Testament, the people had to observe certain protocols and adhere to certain lifestyles standards in order to be seen as pleasing to God’s eyes; it is very different from the valuation system in the New Testament when Jesus came.
Pastor Dr Billy Ng, founder and senior pastor of the Overcomers Church, the first non-denominational Church, in Oradea, Romania, recently preached at Puchong Tabernacle Assembly on 8th of June concerning this. He began by citing Leviticus 27:1-8.
The Bible verses according to that show the estimated cost of people, measured by their gender and age for the work they would perform at the tabernacle. There was a fixed value for people who presented themselves before Moses. The male was worth more because of the increased labour that they needed to do. Now, God knew that some of them would want to leave or redeem their wife or children whom they first presented, and so He even provided them with a way out.
The LORD said to Moses, "Speak to the Israelites and say to them: 'If anyone makes a special vow to dedicate persons to the LORD by giving equivalent values, set the value of a male between the ages of twenty and sixty at fifty shekels of silver, according to the sanctuary shekel; and if it is a female, set her value at thirty shekels. If it is a person between the ages of five and twenty, set the value of a male at twenty shekels and of a female at ten shekels. If it is a person between one month and five years, set the value of a male at five shekels of silver and that of a female at three shekels of silver. If it is a person sixty years old or more, set the value of a male at fifteen shekels and of a female at ten shekels. If anyone making the vow is too poor to pay the specified amount, he is to present the person to the priest, who will set the value for him according to what the man making the vow can afford. (Leviticus 27:1-8)
The way out was that if you were worth 100 shekels of silver, you would need to pay 100 shekels of silver to redeem yourself and so forth for the worth of their family members. If you cannot pay the worth, the priest would lower the amount and allow you to redeem your child for five shekels of silver.
“So now, you are happy that you got your son back but at the same time, you don’t feel so good because now the priest says your son is only worth five shekels,” shared Billy.
“I grew up in Ipoh, and there was a valuation system there. Often when two fathers talk, they would ask, 'What is your son doing?' The Father would for example then reply, 'My son is a lawyer,'” said Billy.
In fact, this is how people are commonly valued in many countries, based on the performance of their work. Then, there are parents who shy away from these conversations due to the shame they would feel if they answered the question.
“When I was young, I was very poor and was always condemned in school,” he shared. In school, the valuation system is based on what you have and what you wear.
“But when Jesus Christ came, he gave us another valuation. Everything changed because of Jesus Christ,” shared Billy.
When he grew up nobody ever told Billy that he wasn’t useless or wasn’t poor until he became a Christian.
“Everything changed for the first time in my life because this time, I heard that with God all things are possible,” he shared.
Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." (Matthew 19:26)
“Let me show you what Jesus Christ thinks about you,” said Billy.
He then began to share an interesting parable that Jesus Christ told according to Matthew 13:44 below.
The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. (Matthew 13:44)
This parable is strange because it tells of a man finding a treasure and then hiding it, and selling all he had after to buy the field he hid the treasure in. Some people say that the treasure refers to Jesus Christ but in fact, this parable refers to you and I.
“Sinners do not seek Jesus; however, Jesus seeks them. He loves all people and is actively seeking them,” shared Billy.
The correct explanation for this parable is that there are treasures in this world and there is a man out there that is seeking treasure in this world, and this man is Jesus.
The treasure to Jesus is the sinners He finds and when He finds them, He hides them (protects them).
“Jesus says, 'This one is mine,'” said Billy.
In the verse, it goes on to say, “In his joy, he went and sold all he had and bought that field”; this simply means that God gave up everything to buy that treasure, which is you!
“You are the treasure that God looks at and He is willing to pay a huge price to redeem you by giving us Jesus Christ, His son,” shared Billy.
In your life and in all your undertakings, do not listen to people who say to you that you are not valuable, because God knows your worth and He knows that you are extremely valuable because of His deep love for you, His treasure.
In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents. (Luke 15:10)
Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. (Isaiah 43:1)
Note: Pastor Dr. Billy Ng was born in Malaysia, educated in Singapore, and grew up in America. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from Singapore, and an MBA and a Doctorate in Operations from Arizona. He became a university professor, a financial and business consultant, a pastor, and an ice-skating coach. Then in 1999, after achieving the American dream, he answered a call from God to give it all up to start a ministry in Romania. Today, he is the missionary founder and senior pastor of Overcomers Church, the first non-denominational church, in Oradea, Romania. His passion in life is to see people transformed by the love and power of Christ.
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