Bargain Shopping for Jesus
Posted: Monday, March 6
Verse of the day:
Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others.” (Mark 12:43 NIV)
Jesus is not a HOBO.
And of course, I’m referring to the Home Owners Bargain Outlet or, as their giant blue and yellow sign states, HOBO. Jesus is not a Sam’s Club. Jesus is not a Burlington Coat Factory Outlet.
Jesus is full price.
Walmart invites us to “Save Money, Live Better.” Target says “Expect More. Pay Less.” We are taught to believe that overpaying is the only true sin of consumerism. Cheaper is better, and if you’re only inclined to be cheap when it comes to buying frozen pizza or a new vanity for your half bath, more power to you. Bargain shopping can be a vital part of living within your means. Please don’t become a hobo (and now I’m clearly referring to a migratory worker or homeless vagabond.)
The problem is when we begin to approach Jesus like a bargain shopper. We start attending church with the goal to “Give less. Expect more.” In Matthew 13, Jesus calls out those who give from their surplus—those who only give when it’s convenient or self-benefiting. Inexpensive Christianity is an American hallmark. Why attend more when you can attend less? Why give more when you can give less?
Why give everything? Because the gospel is costly. It’s expensive. It doesn’t run a spring clearance event. The woman in Matthew 13 understood this all the way from her heart to her wallet. She was coming to worship God, and when the neon sign said “Pay What You Can”, she decided to pay full price anyway.