In the fall of 1996 I needed a job. Kimberly and I had just got married, moved to Dallas, and started seminary. Neither of us had a job when we moved to Dallas, so neither of us had any income. This was complicated by the fact that both of us were spending money. Not tons of money (mind you), but our car needed gas, our bodies needed food, and the Silverwood Apartments expected us to pay rent every month (imagine that!) This negative cash flow situation prompted us to not be terribly selective in our job search. We were not looking for our careers, we were looking for J-O-B-$. With this in mind, we both accepted positions at a bartering company that ran out of a local hotel.
If you are unclear about what a bartering company does, don’t worry . . . it is not relevant to this story. What is relevant is that somehow, as a part of my job with this company, I was tasked with selling used fax machines. I had about 50 broken down fax machines that I was pretty sure were used in the Eisenhower administration, and I was supposed to sell them for about $300 a piece to clients of this bartering company. The machines themselves looked terrible, did not have all their parts, and worked only sporadically. After making several sales calls, I had to actually demonstrate the machines to stupefied clients, none of whom bought one (thank God).
Why did people NOT buy the fax machines? Was it because of my lack of salesmanship? Possibly. However the real reason I think the fax machines did not sell was because a NEW fax machine could be bought at Office Max for $99. That’s right, our broken machines were 200% more expensive than a brand new one still in the box. I asked my boss about this, and he assured me that we were selling “business quality machines, not the junk you get at the big box retailers.” Right. Anyone who believed that line also probably believes that professional wrestling is real and that “The Blair Witch Project” really happened.
This story illustrates an important point for us. Most of the time, we do not spend more to get less. Within our budget, we always want the best we can afford. Why would we intentionally and knowingly buy less than the best that we could afford? Knowing that this principle is true, marketers and advertisers spend big money to sell you their product. They are attempting to tell you why their stuff is the best your money can buy. They argue that it is the best because they know if you come to that conclusion, you will choose their product over their inferior competition.
In Hebrews 7:1-10:18, the author of this book unpacks the longest single section of exposition in the entire book. In this section, the author is arguing for the supremacy of Jesus Christ over the Old Testament system. The reason for this argument is simple . . . if the people remembered that Jesus was better then they would continue to invest their lives in Him. If they ever began to think that Christianity was broken down and overpriced, they might be tempted to float back into Judaism or some other religion.
This is a relevant conversation not just for first century Hebrew Christians, but also for us today. If we fail to remember that Christianity and Christ are the best investment of our lives, we can begin to drift away to other “big box” ideas marketed to us by the world.
This Sunday at Wildwood, we will be looking at this long section in part 7 of our series from the book of Hebrews entitled “Anchored.” We would love to have you join us this week as we see how Jesus is the best and fully worth investing all our lives in Him. Hope to see you Sunday in either our 9:30 or 10:50 services.