Here’s a sermon illustration that I used last Sunday morning to help show the difference between knowing about the cost of mercy and knowing about the value of mercy. I’m sure you could make it fit other topics. I don’t remember where I found it (I’ve had it several years) or I would give credit.
THE DIAMOND MERCHANT
A rich Dutch merchant was seeking to buy a diamond of a certain kind to add to his collection. A famous dealer in New York found such a stone and called him to come and see it.
The merchant flew immediately to New York, where the seller had assigned his best diamond expert to close the transaction. After hearing the assistant describe in perfect technical detail the diamond’s worth and beauty, the Dutchman decided not to buy it. Before he left, however, the owner of the store stepped forward and asked, “Do you mind if I show you that stone once more?” The customer agreed.
The store-owner didn’t repeat one thing that the salesman had said. He simply took the stone in his hand, stared at it, and described the beauty of the stone in a way that revealed why this stone stood out from all the others he had seen in his life. The customer bought it immediately.
Tucking his new purchase into shirt pocket, the customer commented to the owner, “Sir, how were you able to sell me this stone when your salesman could not?”
The owner replied, “That salesman is the best salesman in the business. He knows more about diamonds than anyone, including myself, and I pay him a large salary for his knowledge and expertise. But I would gladly pay him twice as much if I could put into him something I have which he lacks. You see, he knows diamonds, but I love them.”