How much does a human being cost? The question is indeed ridiculous; but sadly some people have an answer for it. According to the global movement “Stop the Traffic”, there are children sold to slavery for as little as $20.00 each. According to the UN, human trafficking is one of the fastest growing criminal industries in the world – $9.5 billion is made through human trafficking each year.
Our natural human tendency is to value those we know and love; whereas we accredit less value than we should to those not close to us. Isn’t that true? Most of us can forget the number of deaths caused by a natural disaster in a few seconds, as the news presenter carries on talking about sports.
The Scriptures, on the other hand, discloses a radical perspective on the issue. They affirm that the essence of human value is our likeness to God. In the first chapter of its first book we read:
“So God created humankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.”
Dr. Krish Kandiah, a former tutor at Oxford University, suggests there are three elements that make an image valuable: who made the image, what the image depicts and the price someone will pay for that image. His observations are helpful to a better comprehension of the Christian view on the worth of human life.
First, the fact that every human being has been created by God gives us intrinsic value and identity. One of the reasons why “La Mona Lisa” is so appreciated is the fact that Leonardo da Vinci painted it. The value of our life is not dependent on what we have made of it, but on the reality that God made us.
Secondly, an image’s value depends on what it portrays. Magazines would pay a huge amount for a good picture of a Hollywood star. They wouldn’t pay a cent for a picture of, let’s say, me! As Dr. Kandiah puts it: “the Christian world view argues that we are made in the image of the most significant and valuable being in the universe and this makes human life worth a fortune.” Every person on the planet is no less than a reflection of God himself.
What someone will pay for an image also determines its value. For example, some of Picasso’s paintings are worth more than $100 million because people have been willing to pay this amount. According to Scriptures, God was willing to pay a price to reconcile and reconnect humanity to himself: his own Son’s life – the highest price He could have paid.
When such a high view of human life is embraced, extraordinary things happen in the world – It’s therefore no surprise that the world’s largest humanitarian organizations were founded by people holding these convictions.
How much are we worth? Unfortunately for some it may be 20.00. What do you think? In my opinion, God has the best answer.
 Genesis 1:27
 Krish Kandiah, Destiny: What’s Life All About?, 24.
 ibid. 24.