March 10, 2011

Peddling Heaven's Treasure

Holding a staff in one hand and a bag in the other, He went from door to door, visiting each house in the city.
At the first house a young couple answered the door. The woman, who liked to see and buy new things, invited Jesus in immediately. Jesus opened His bag, and she looked intently as He displayed first a piece of glittering pure gold.
“Honey,” the husband said, “we don’t need any more gold; we have enough.”
“That’s true,” the wife said, pointing to the gold rings that decorated her fingers, and the gold earrings that dangled from her ears. A thick gold ring encircled one of the man’s fingers, and a gold chain could be seen under the collar of his shirt.
“How about this white linen?” asked Jesus.
The woman rubbed it between her thumb and index finger. “It’s beautiful; soft, smooth, and so very white. Do you have the same material in another color?”
“I have only white,” answered Jesus. When she hesitated, He asked, “What about this salve for your eyes?”
“I use only mascara. I’m not interested in trying anything new.
2011 1507 page28“We’re disappointed,” the woman said. “We expected You to have something new to show us. These days, with new and improved technology, so many exciting products have come onto the market. To tell You the truth, we really don’t need anything. We’re quite rich, as You can see.”
Jesus closed His bag, wishing they were aware of their true condition.
The Next House
Jesus walked on, His eyes focusing on a house farther down the road. He noticed the well-tended garden, the beautiful flowers, and the neatly trimmed hedges. Walking up the winding stone path that led to the house, He paused before knocking. From outside He could hear a heated argument. It sounded unpleasant.
Jesus knocked, hearing the sound of a woman crying. Eager to help, He knocked again, this time louder. A man’s voice yelled, “Go see who it is.”
A woman opened the door halfway. Seeing Jesus, she said, “It’s only a salesman,” and she slammed the door shut.
If only they knew who I am, and what I have to offer, Jesus thought, they’d find true happiness in their marriage, and peace would rule their home.
The Next House
Jesus determined not to give up. He came next to a rather large house. It wasn’t quite dark, but pretty lights hanging from the trees around the house cast a pleasant glow. He reached the door and stopped. He heard lots of people inside, probably celebrating a special event. Loud music provided the accompaniment to loud talk and laughter. The tantalizing aroma of food filled the air.
Jesus knocked once, pausing when no one answered. He then knocked again, louder than before. No one heard.
“They’re eating and drinking,” Jesus said to Himself. “They know not that the Son of man comes.”
The Next House
Jesus picked up His bag and staff and walked on, His eyes fixed on a house quite far down the road. It was a small house, and by this time it was getting quite dark. Jesus’ feet were tired; His shoulders drooped with fatigue and grief, His knuckles were sore from knocking. This would be the last house He would visit today.
He walked toward the half-open door. From inside He heard the sound of children laughing. He knocked. When a kind-faced woman came to the door, Jesus said, “I have something to show you,” and He started to open His bag.
“Why don’t you come inside?” she asked, opening the door wider to let Him in. “Please, sit down. You look tired. Can I get You something to drink?” she said as she brought Him a glass of water. Two children peeked around the corner from the next room.
Putting down the water, Jesus called the children and lifted them onto His lap. Opening His bag, He took out the piece of pure gold. The woman’s eyes lit up. “I’ve never seen gold like this before!”
“I have a beautifull

What Do You Think?

1. You've obviously heard this story, based on Revelation 3:14-22, before. With which character(s) do you most naturally identify? Why?

2. What symptoms of self-suffiency are most evident in the setting where you live and worship?

How do you understand the symbols of gold, white raiment, and eye salve? How would their presence change your spiritual condition?

If Jesus came to your home today, how would He know that He was welcome to enter and make Himself at home?

y woven piece of white linen also,” He said as He pulled it out of His bag. She touched it. “I’ve never seen anything so white.”

“I also have a special ointment for your eyes.”
The woman looked at the three items. “You have such lovely and rare items. The trouble is I’m a widow, a single parent with two children. We’re very poor. Your items must be costly. If I only had enough money . . .”
“I’ve been to several homes,” said Jesus. “No one’s shown any interest in what I have. Many of them are rich and have everything money can buy. If you’re interested, I have good news: They’re not for sale—they’re free. I give them only to those who accept them because of their need. You can have this gold, this white raiment, as well as the salve for your eyes.”
Tears welled up in the woman’s eyes and began running down her cheeks as she threw her arms around Jesus.
“It’s late; I must go,” Jesus said.
“Don’t go—stay for supper,” she said. “We’ll share what little we have.”
Why is it that many of us don’t notice when Jesus is knocking at our heart’s door? Aren’t we interested in what He has to offer? Most of us think of ourselves as rich and in need of nothing. But the saddest thing is that we don’t know that we are poor, naked, wretched, blind, and so desperately in need of that which Jesus offers so freely.

Birol C. Christo is a retired schoolteacher and statistical assistant. She lives with her husband in Hosur, India. This article was published March 10, 2011.