If you truly believe in the value of life, you care about all of the weakest and most vulnerable members of society. — Joni Eareckson Tada
The disciples who walked with Jesus along the roads of Galilee and Judea saw firsthand that He valued every human life. They witnessed that He cared deeply for the weakest members of society. They watched Him act with compassion to help the vulnerable. Jesus’ view concerning the value of every human life was never in question, because He openly and boldly displayed it through His actions.
Jesus healed a man with leprosy, daring even to touch someone whom others avoided like a plague (Matt. 8:3). He restored a desperate mother and father’s young daughter from death to life (Mark 5:35-42) and freed a Gentile mother’s little girl from an evil spirit (Mark 7:25-30). He took time to bless infant children (Luke 18:15-17) and gave wayward women hope through forgiveness and new life (John 4:21-26; 8:3-11). In the waning moments before His own death on the cross, Jesus assured a dying, but repentant, criminal hanging beside Him of an eternal place in paradise with Him (Luke 23:41-43).
Followers of Christ today do well to consider this question: If people watched our actions over time, would they conclude that we, like Jesus, value every human life? Acts 16:16-19 and Psalm 139:13-16 reveal four ways that we can demonstrate that we do indeed value every life.
Never use other people for selfish gain. In Acts 16:16, we’re introduced to “a slave girl who had a spirit by which she predicted the future.” This one verse reveals how hopeless and vulnerable the woman was. She was a slave; someone physically owned her as a piece of property. Moreover, the devil controlled her mind and spirit. Her owners used her to make money for themselves. They cared nothing about her as a person. They only cared about what she could produce for them. While we might not use others in such a barbaric way, there are other, more subtle ways that we can be tempted to dehumanize or use people for selfish gain. As believers, may we always show by our relationships that we value every human life.
Help those who are trapped by sin. The apostle Paul recognized that the slave woman was ultimately under the devil’s control. She was in bondage not only socially and economically but also spiritually. So Paul took the bold step of casting out the controlling spirit from the woman. Can you imagine her sense of release and freedom when she realized her bondage was broken? It was the same sense of freedom every believer experiences at the moment of salvation. The shackles of sin are broken; the reality of new life washes over us. When we help others reach out to Jesus for deliverance, we show that we value every human life.
See every person as a precious creation made in God’s image. When King David wrote Psalm 139, he was thinking primarily (and thankfully) about what God had done for him. His words, however, are true for every human being who has ever been conceived. We are “remarkably and wondrously made” (Ps. 139:14). This means that every person, regardless of ethnicity, social status, background, and ability—born or preborn, young or old—bears the image of the same God who made us and thus deserves our respect and concern. When we act to protect the most vulnerable among us, we demonstrate that we believe in the value of life.
Help others find their God-given purpose. David acknowledged in Psalm 139:16 that God had a plan for his life even before he was born. One of parents’ greatest joys is helping their children discover and embrace God’s design for their lives. In contrast, one of the cruel realities of abortion is that a precious creation of God is robbed of the opportunity to enter life, grow, discover, and fulfill God’s plan for his or her life. May we as Christians always and actively be known as protectors of the unborn.
David Briscoe is a content editor at Lifeway for Explore the Bible resources.