Sunday, June 26, 2022

Not Worth A Plugged Nickel

By Joe Slater


    In early America some coins were made with a small silver disc in the center to give them value. A plugged nickel was one with the silver disc removed and replaced with a less valuable metal – thus to this day an item of little or no value is “not worth a plugged nickel.”

    King David wrote long ago, “The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold” (Psalm 19:9b-10a). Another psalmist agreed: “The law of Your mouth is better to me than thousands of coins of gold and silver” (119:72).

    Tragically, subsequent generations in Israel distorted God’s word with human traditions. At the time Jesus walked this earth, the religious elite viewed those traditions as equal to Scripture or even above it! They sharply criticized Jesus and His disciples for disregarding “the tradition of the elders” (i.e. the ancestors). But Jesus turned the tables on them! “Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition?” (Matthew 15:3). Those traditions weren’t worth a plugged nickel! Jesus laid it on the line, applying Isaiah 29:13 to them: “These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor me with their lips. But their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men” (Matthew 15:8-9).

    Members of Christ’s body in the 21st century are not immune from the temptation to elevate human tradition as being equal to God’s word or even above it. Let us be ever vigilant to view Holy Scripture as of supreme value! “Have it your way” (the Burger King slogan) must never be our approach to spiritual matters. Compared to the precious word of God, nothing else is worth a plugged nickel!
- Joe Slater serves as minister of the Church of Christ in Justin, TX. He may be contacted through the congregation's website:

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