One summer I set out a honeycomb to feed the bees in our hives which were located just a short distance away. It was quite fascinating to see how soon a “scout bee” found the treasure and then how quickly the message got conveyed back to the hives and soon dozens and then hundreds of bees came to visit the honey comb until all the honey was transported to their hives. The “good news” traveled rapidly and benefited the whole bee community.
Obviously there is quite a lesson there for those of us who know Christ as Savior and have eternal life as well as a new life here on earth. Are we telling others about the “treasure” we have found? Christ committed to us the proclamation of the Gospel (“good news”). It is not something, once discovered, we are to hoard and keep to ourselves. Shall we who have found “honey” in the Rock—Jesus Christ—be less considerate of others than the bees are? In writing to the Corinthian Church, the Apostle Paul said: “For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; and He died for all, that they who live should no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf. Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold new things have come. Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ, and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself…and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were entreating through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God” (II Cor. 5:14,15,17-20).
In the Old Testament book of II Kings, we have recorded the story of four lepers who sat just outside the gate of Samaria. Lepers were not allowed to live within the city (Lev. 13:46). Ben-hadad, king of Aram, had gathered all his army and besieged Samaria, resulting in a great famine in the city (II Kgs. 6:24-33). Residents were dying for lack of food. The four lepers reasoned that if they were to go into Samaria, they would die from the famine, and if they stayed where they were they would also die, so they decided to go into the Aramaean’s camp, reasoning that they might have mercy on them and give them food, and if they killed them, they were going to die anyway, so why not give it a try? Well, they were in for quite a surprise, for when they came to the Aramaean’s camp, it had been vacated suddenly, the soldiers leaving everything, including their food, behind. God had caused the Aramaeans to hear the sound of chariots and horses as of a great army, and they had fled for their lives (II Kgs. 7:3-7). The lepers began gorging themselves with food and taking valuables from the camp and hiding them (v. 8). But… “Then they said to one another, ‘We are not doing right. This day is a day of good news, but we are keeping silent…let us go and tell the king’s household’” (v. 9).
Those of us who have discovered the good news of new life in Christ, of forgiveness of sin, and of eternal life in heaven, have a responsibility to communicate that news to others and direct them to the treasure that we discovered. If we don’t, like the lepers in the story, “We are not doing right.” The Apostle Paul said to the Corinthians: “For I delivered to you, as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures” (I Cor. 15:3,4). Paul shared the good news which had changed his life. If you have responded to the Gospel and found new life in Christ, don’t keep it to yourself—share it with others. Tell a hungry soul today about the life available in Jesus Christ. Once you’ve tasted the Bread of Life, you’ll want to share it with as many as you can. You don’t really appreciate what you have in Christ if you aren’t sharing with others, and you won’t really fully enjoy what you have in Christ unless you let others in on it. Learn a lesson from the bees!