You’re Right, Abigail Disney, Why Jesus Is Not Worth Millions
John Piper

John Piper

Earlier today heiress Abigail Disney, the granddaughter of Roy Disney, co-founder of The Walt Disney Company, said she thinks CEOs in general are paid far too much:

If your CEO salary is at the 700, 600, 500 times your median workers’ pay, there is nobody on Earth — Jesus Christ himself isn’t worth 500 times his median workers’ pay.

So Jesus is not worth 500 x $45,000 = $22.5 million annual salary.

I just had to jump on this opportunity to say how right Ms. Disney is. But perhaps for reasons different than she intends.

Immeasurable Value

Jesus is not worth a $22.5 million annual salary, first, because the skill set he brings is worth infinitely more. Infinitely, literally. Paying Jesus $22.5 million annually would be an insult. Like paying Churchill a dollar for his part in defeating Hitler. Or paying Martin Luther King a quarter for his part leading to the Civil Rights Act. Or paying Alexander Fleming a nickel for discovering the existence of antibiotics. Paying Jesus only $22.5 million annually would be worse. Infinitely worse.

Jesus’s value for the human race, and his particular skill set, are immeasurable. For example, in Jesus God did what no other human — or even any divine law — could do: “God did what the law . . . could not do. By sending [Jesus] his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh” (Romans 8:3).

In other words, all the billions of sins of history deserve divine condemnation. God is just. Nothing is swept under the rug. There were two just options: All humans bear their own condemnation (hell). Or Christ bears the condemnation of all who trust him. That’s what he did. It’s worth more than $22.5 million annually. To put it mildly.

The Only One

Another example of his immeasurable worth to the corporation called “the human race” is this: Jesus is the only human who obeyed God perfectly. And he did it so that his perfection could be counted as ours at the last judgment. “As by Adam’s disobedience the many were appointed sinners, so by Jesus’s obedience the many will be appointed righteous” (Romans 5:19). This is called justification. And anyone who has faith in Jesus receives it: “Because a person is justified by faith apart from works of the law” (Romans 3:28).

How could Jesus do this? Because, unlike every other corporate head, he is both God and man. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. . . . And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:1, 14).

Which means that his value is infinite. He is God. And his skill set is unique: he is the God-man. He can die. Which he did. But not for his own sins. And he can rise from the dead. Which he did.

Which also means that, unlike every other CEO, he holds his office forever. And he knows everything about everything. And he rules the universe. He brings competencies to his office that are infinite.

Works for Free

One last reason (among many more) that Jesus is not worth $22.5 million annually: he can’t be bought. For any amount. If you try to put a payable value on his worth, you insult him. He works for free, or not at all. He doesn’t need a salary. He owns everything. So he has no needs.

Here’s what he said about himself:

The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. (Mark 10:45)

He is not for sale. You can’t get his service as CEO by agreeing to work around the clock for him or by offering him $22.5 million annually. His infinite value and his unique skill set are free. He calls it grace. Either you see it and treasure it above everything (faith). Or you don’t (unbelief).

So, yes, Ms. Disney: “Jesus Christ himself isn’t worth 500 times his median workers’ pay.” First, because his value as the God-man, and the uniqueness of his skill set, are worth infinitely more than $22.5 million. And second, because his services are free. Free for everyone who will have him as their greatest treasure.

You got that right. I hope.

John Piper (@JohnPiper) is founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. For 33 years, he served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is author of more than 50 books, including A Peculiar Glory. this article first appeared on desiringgod.org.

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