Summary: IS THIS FOR YOU He had it all, at least on the surface. He had good business, a fine family, status in the community, he had everything it would appear, but not quite enough. Some men craved after gold or silver or jewels not this man those things were a
PEARL OF GREAT PRICE—Matt 13:45-46
"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. 46 When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.
In The Parable Of The Hidden Treasure, I suggested that Jesus was depicting the value of the kingdom to one who accidentally finds it and that Pauls conversion was an example of how one is willing to give up all in order to lay hold of the treasure of the kingdom. Jesus followed that parable with another short parable commonly called ’The Parable Of The Pearl Of Great Price’ –Mat 13:45-46 and in many ways is similar to the previous parable, yet there is a difference.
THE PARABLE EXPLAINED
A merchant is seeking beautiful pearls and finds one pearl of great price. He is undeterred by its price and sells all that he has in order to buy it
THE MEANING OF THE PARABLE
The use of the word ’Again’ ties this parable to the preceding one and where the value and preciousness of the kingdom was being described. We also see here the value to one who accidentally finds it. But in this parable, the person is on a mission to find that which is of great value, the believes there is something out there worth looking for, or he would not be seeking it and when he finds it, he immediately recognizes its value and is willing to sell all to obtain it. I am not suggesting we can ’buy’ or otherwise ’earn’ our salvation because salvation is a gift -Rom 6:23. We can only ’buy’ salvation in the sense of gaining rightful possession of it by grace through faith - Eph 2:8-9 and submitting to the working of God and the renewing of the Holy Spirit which takes place as we are baptized into Christ -Col 2:11-13; Ti 3:4-7
This parable, then, describes how some people react to the kingdom of heaven, when they know there must be something out there of great value and are busy searching for it.
SOME BIBLICAL EXAMPLES
The Ethiopian eunuch - Acts 8:26-38 on his journey to Jerusalem to worship and his reading of Scripture while returning, indicate he was spiritually searching and his immediate desire to be baptized shows his estimation of the value of the salvation offered through Christ. Cornelius – Acts 10: 1-8,30-33 His prayers and alms were indicative of his search for righteousness and as promised by Jesus Matt 5:6, God took note of his spiritual hunger and thirst, and sent Peter to tell him the gospel of Christ.
Lydia – Acts 16:/11-16 Her meeting with other women to pray illustrates her spiritual searching, hearing the things spoken by Paul, she and her household were baptized.
Each of these examples should remind us that there are many people who know there is some ’thing’, some ’purpose’, some ’meaning’, that is worthy of diligent search, and who spend their lives trying to find it. When they come to learn of Christ and His kingdom, they are willing to give up all to obtain it!
Jesus’ teaches us that those who hunger and thirst for righteousness will indeed find what God has for them! It might be that we may "stumble" across the blessings God has in Christ and His kingdom as in The Parable Of The Hidden Treasure. But do we want to risk our salvation on the possibly of stumbling across it?
What can we do to ensure that we will find what God has for us? Well, we need to be that ’merchant’ who is, searching for that ’pearl’ of great price. How does one do that in regards to spiritual matters?
SEARCHING FOR “THE PEARL OF GREAT PRICE”
We need to follow the example of the Ethiopian Eunuch and be a student of the Scriptures, we need to apply the Scriptures to the best of our understanding and be open to what others may have to share concerning the Scriptures. We could also follow the example of the Bereans Acts 17: 10-11l Again, be open to what others may to share but apply diligence (i.e., "readiness of mind") to understand what others are saying and in the end, let the Scriptures be your final authority and demonstrate it by "searching the Scriptures daily"
Like the Ethiopian eunuch, the Bereans, Cornelius, Lydia, and many other religious people we may be lost in our present state of understanding of God’s will but if we will search like that ’merchant’ did, and have the desire to understand and please God like these people did then we can trust in God’s Providence to lead us to the truth, and to that ’pearl of great price’! The blessings of the kingdom are not limited to the life hereafter; as Jesus reassured Peter, there are hundredfold blessings even in this time- Mark 10:28-30