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. The contrasting story of these two purchases is striking. Manhattan is now literally priceless, while the tulip bulb bought at such great expense lost almost all its value within a few months.
As Manhattan and the tulip bulb demonstrate, it can be difficult 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 Jesus in this world, our life will be saved in the next. If instead we seek to cling to our life in this world—doing and saying as we please—we will be eternally lost.
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 Howard, pastor of Good Shepherd Anglican Church in New York City.