THE CHURCH Matthew 13:44-46
How important is the church? Here is a parable that declares to the value and importance of the church.
Here’s a merchant man. A merchant on a journey. He has but one purpose and that is seeking goodly pearls. One day he sees the most glorious, magnificent, beautiful gem that he’s ever seen. It is perfectly formed and beautifully colored pearl. He recognizes that is what he has been looking for all of my life.
He sells everything that he has. He empties his pockets; he takes everything out of the bank to purchase this one pearl.
The parable is about you and I. In the pearl we see the church. The pearl comes out of the sea, and the sea in Scriptures typifies the masses of the world.
The church is composed of precious souls, redeemed out of every nation, kindred, people and tongue. The pearl is one, and the church is one in Christ.
I. The METICULOUS PERSON - “Merchant man”
Here was man who was a connoisseur and know all about pearls. He had discernment and knowledge, as to a pearl’s true worth, and could not be deceived by any sham production.
Wherever this merchant man went, their presence created great interest. They would go from one place to another seeking goodly pearls.
This merchant man was Jesus who left one place to go to another seeking goodly pearls. Jesus departed from Heaven with a purpose in mind just as this merchant man in this parable.
His affection for the pearl can easily be seen.
A. Seen in the place that He abandoned
B. Seen in the price that He accepted
Why did the merchant man seek godly pears, and pay such an infinite price for one pearl? Simply put..He wanted it for Himself.
He sacrifices all that He had for this one pearl.
C. Seen in the purpose that He acknowledged
He wanted the pearl for Himself.
Ephesians 5:25-27 - “present it to himself”
John 14:1-3 - “receive you unto myself”
He purchased us that He might eternally possess us.
II. The MAGNIFICENT PEARL - “one pearl”
He found one beautiful, choice, and precious pearl.
Now a pearl is not mined out or dug out of the ground.
A. A pearl is developed in the midst of suffering.
A small grain of initiating sand creates pain inside the shell of any oyster. An object like a grain of sand gets in an oyster. The oyster by nature responds to the irritation the grain of sand causes and begins to send out a secretion that gradually coats over the foreign object. It continues to do this until a beautiful white pearl is formed. Out of the much suffering, an object of beauty is formed.
How accurate is the fact that the church was formed out of the wounds of Christ.
B. A pearl is dependent on a living organism to be produced, which is not true of any other precious stone.
The offending grain of sand becomes through the work of the injured one, a lovely gem, clothed with a beauty not its own.
The pearl is the only jewel which is the product of a living thing. It is produced by pain, as the church was produced through the agonies of Lord endured on the cross.
C. A pearl is delivered from the deep and darkness of waters to the crown of queens.
It is found in a sate of uselessness. It will remain there unless lifted by another.
A pearl is meant for personal adornment - to focus attention upon the wearer thereof. So the church shall be forever for the display of the race and glory of her Saviour, for whose adornment she was bought and brought up to glory.
D. A pearl is defaced if is cut, divided or improved on in any way.
The value of the pearl is how it comes into existence. It is not carved or cut like a diamond or ruby. Unlike a diamond, a pearl is spoiled if a tool touches it.
So it is with the true church. The Bible says, “We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus,” - Ephesians 2:10.
Other gems are the work of human skill, and the greater the skill the greater the worth. A beautiful diamond is the work of man. This is not so with a pearl; human hands and human design have nothing to do with the pearl.
III. THE MEMORABLE PRICE - “sold all that he hath”
This suggest a great sacrifice. It suggest going from a millionaire to penniless in one transaction. He definitely considered the pearl worth such a sacrifice.
2 Corinthians 8:9 “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.”
1 Peter 1:18 “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers.”
1 Peter 1:19 “But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.”
The seeker after the pearl, the church, literally gave all that he had. He gave His life for the this pearl.
A.. Jesus is the person of salvation
B. Cross is the place of salvation
C.. Blood is the price of salvation
IV. THE MATCHLESS PLEASURE - “found....went...sold...bought ”
No second thoughts......no hesitation at all. It was worth it all for Him.
Hebrews 12:2 “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
“Who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross" Jesus lived with the end in mind. He went to the cross with the end m mind. Jesus could see the redeemed host that would be the result of His redemptive work on the cross. The words "endured" mean "to abide." It meant for Him the agony of the cross as He endured the vicarious sufferings. It meant going to that cross from Gethsemane when He could have called ten thousand angels to save Him from that suffering. It meant staying on that cross when God turned His back on Him and He suffered the hell of eternal loneliness and cried “My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?" He endured the cross for the joy that set before Him.
I don’t know about you, but when I think of how much Jesus loved the church, the pearl of great price, I don’t understand how so many people take church lightly.
How can we be so cold, so callous, so careless about the church that He considered to be of such great value?
I am glad to be a part of the church, the pearl of great price!
Ephesians says, "Unto Him BE GLORY in the Church." Augustine said that man’s chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. The Lord Jesus is be glorified in the Church and by the Church.
A. Jesus is to be the SUBJECT of our gathering
When we assemble together the purpose is not to showcase human talent or abilities. As a Church we have no room for ego’s or self-promotion. The Church is not about me. It is not about you. It is not about whom we are or what we do but it is about HIM.
The Lord Jesus Christ is to be the center of attention and the focus of our assembling.
B. Jesus is to be the OBJECT of our gratitude
There is our purpose, and there is our practice. What is our practice? It is giving Him—the Lord Jesus—the praise and honor that He, and He alone deserves. We have one occupation when we come together and that is to lift up and glorify the name of the Lord Jesus.
The glory that we are to give to Him is the outflow that comes from a heart that overflows.
We have a reason to glorify God and give Him praise. Yes, we have multitude of reasons why we should worship and give Him all the praise and glory. In case you need a reminder of why you ought to praise and glorify God, start with the day God saved you. That’s enough to keep you praising God for sometime.
"Unto Him be glory in the Church" - the pearl of great price.