On May 24, 1626, the island of Manhattan was bought by Peter Minuit, of the Dutch West India Company, for goods worth sixty guilders. Ten years after the purchase of Manhattan, a rare tulip bulb (Violetten Admirael van Enkhuizen) was bought for 5,200 guilders, yet within a few months it was worth a hundredth of that amount, due to the collapse of the tulip market. The contrasting story of these two purchases is revealing. It shows how difficult it can be to value something rightly without knowing what the future holds.
In the Bible we find both an investment opportunity and the information we need about the future to value it correctly. Jesus says, “Whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it.” In other words, if we invest our life in him in this world, our life will be saved in the next. If instead we seek to cling to our life in this world—our right to do and say as we please—we will be eternally lost. We can be sure of the truth of these predictions because of the persuasive evidence for Jesus’ resurrection from the dead.
What Jesus offers is far more precious than all the real estate of Manhattan. Where do you stand with him?
sixty guilders is an occasional blog by Bernard N. Howard, Pastor of Good Shepherd Anglican Church in New York City. My overview of the Bible, “The Book of the Covenant,” is available from The Good Book Company US, The Good Book Company UK, Amazon US, and Amazon UK.