Pastor Tim: Jesus knew the value of people

Pastor Tim Smith, of Hele Road Baptist Church in Torquay

Pastor Tim Smith, of Hele Road Baptist Church in Torquay - Credit: Archant

'How much do you want for your Doctor Who annual?' I was once asked some years ago. At the time I thought it was a very strange question.

My Dr Who annual was old; it was a Christmas present when I was six years of age, and as far as I was concerned had nothing more than sentimental value.

However, although its original price was 62.5p (that's 12/6 in old money), it turns out this particular book is very rare and highly sought after among Dr Who memorabilia collectors.

I looked on eBay the other day to find a copy going for £210! This makes me wonder what other unknown valuable treasures I've got hiding in the loft or sitting gathering dust in a box in our spare room?

Of course, when we begin to seriously consider what it is that we really value in our lives, most of us will soon look beyond the material and the monetary and, instead, reflect on the people, those that we love; they are the ones who enrich us and make life worth living.

As I write this, my wife Linda and I are about to celebrate our 33rd wedding anniversary.

As well as finding it hard to believe how the years have flown by, I'm also grateful to God that we've already been able to share over three decades, making memories, together. Whoever it was who first said: 'it's not what you have, but who you have in your life that counts' was certainly right.

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In the New Testament, one of the striking things we read in the gospels about Jesus is how much he valued ordinary people.

In Matthew 14:14 we read that when a large crowd gathered around Jesus, he had compassion on them.

The unusual Greek word used there, translated as compassion, is splanchnizomai. In the world of medicine, splanchnology is, in part, the study of your digestive system.

So when the Bible repeatedly describes the compassion of Jesus towards men and women, boys and girls, it's saying he was deeply moved, he felt their hurt in his gut.

He felt the limp of the crippled, the loneliness of the leper, the emptiness of the hungry, the shame of the sinful. And having been so moved by their hurts, the Bible goes on to say that Jesus responded by healing the multitude in need. Why? Because Jesus knew the value of people.