“Redemption does not come so easily, for no one can ever pay enough to live forever and never see the grave” (Psalm 49:8-9, New Living Translation).

How much is a life worth? Ransom demands in famous kidnapping cases have reached into millions of dollars. Perhaps the largest in modern times was the $60 million ransom paid for brothers Jorge and Juan Born, Argentine grain traders, in 1974 (equivalent to $293 million today). That’s beyond most of our comprehension, but is that really how much a life is worth?

Or, perhaps the question should be how much is a soul worth. Does it exceed a $60 million ransom demand? Is there even a way to put a price tag on a soul? After all, our soul is eternal; it will never die. (Read Matthew 10:28.)

Parable of the Rich Man

In Luke 12:16-20, Jesus tells the parable of the rich man whose barns were full to the point of overflowing. Seeing this as a problem, the man determined he must pull down those barns and build even bigger ones. Then he could relax and enjoy his abundance. But God thought differently.

“And I’ll sit back and say to myself, ‘My friend, you have enough stored away for years to come. Now take it easy! Eat, drink, and be merry!’ But God said to him, ‘You fool! You will die this very night. Then who will get everything you worked for’” (verses 19-20, NLT).

What the man in the parable, and many today as well, did not realize was the folly of valuing the temporal while neglecting the eternal. No matter how much we accumulate of life’s goods, we will leave it all behind when we die. No suitcases or packing boxes are needed.

Our Most Valuable Possession

Mark 8:36 asks, “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?” (NKJV). Imagine! Our soul is the most valuable thing we possess—worth more than the entire world.

Psalm 49:8-9 tells me I do not have enough money to redeem my soul. Even if I had millions in the bank and was willing to pay every penny in exchange for my soul, it would never be enough. Nor does the richest man in the world (reported to have $131 billion) have enough to redeem his soul. Fortunately, that is not necessary for any of us. The price, although extremely high, has already been paid in full.

Charles Spurgeon is quoted as saying, “Consider how precious a soul must be, when both God and the devil are after it.”

The value of our soul is measured by the depth of God’s love for us. Because He is “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (II Peter 3:9), He chose to ransom us Himself by shedding His blood for our redemption.

“For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And the ransom he paid was not mere gold or silver. It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God” (I Peter 1:18-19, NLT).

Prayer: Lord, You paid a tremendous price that I might be saved. Help me not to become enamored with the temporal things of this life while disregarding the value of the eternal. You paid an immeasurable price to redeem my soul, and I am forever grateful.


Mary enjoys traveling, meeting new people, and spending time with old friends. Although directionally challenged, she would rather take the back roads with their discoveries than the boredom of the interstate.

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