“‘Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.’”- Matthew 13:45-46 (ESV)
As I shared in part 1, I have been speaking and teaching on the parables of Jesus found in Matthew 13:44-46.The first parable focuses on a man who discovers a treasure in the middle of a field, recognizes the value of that treasure, goes and sells everything he has for that treasure, and buys the entire field he found the treasure in.
Jesus compared the Kingdom of Heaven to this treasure. He showed how valuable the Kingdom of Heaven is and should be to those who have found it, or should I say, Him. We also figured out that Jesus defined Himself as the Kingdom of Heaven when He first began preaching. He made sure the people following Him, and those who would hear His message, understood that He was and is the most valuable treasure you can discover.
There must have been some confusion on the faces of the people listening to Jesus so, I think, He felt He had to give another comparison for the people to grasp.
That led Him to share the story of the merchant finding the pearl of greatest value. The merchant must have found many different pearls that were fine and valuable as well, otherwise he wouldn’t have had so much to sell in order to purchase the pearl of greatest value. He was out searching for fine pearls before he found the big one.
When I look at this parable, I think of us today. Our lives might be full of great pearls. We might actually find some great things along the path as we journey through life. We might find friendships, romantic relationships, jobs, money, and much more. We have to see these things as fine pearls. They are worth a lot and really do enhance our lives. They might even be great for us at the time.
However, do we view these “fine pearls” as being worth more than “the pearl of great value” (aka Jesus)? Do we see the things we have as being more important to us than the call of Christ on our lives?
When we look at our job, do we hold firm to it or are willing to follow God’s lead? If He were to call you to quit your job and sell your things to go to Calcutta, India and serve lepers, could you? Would you?
If He were to ask you to end a relationship in order for you to pursue Him on a higher level, would you? Could you? This is not referring to divorcing someone and using this as an excuse. There is clear scripture around that topic.
You see, we have great things, but as the merchant discovered, sometimes when we follow closely to Jesus, He might call us to let go of items in our lives that might be good, but are hindering us from knowing His will.
Jesus shared in the parable that the merchant left and sold everything for the pearl. The pearl represented the Kingdom. He said we have to be willing to give our all for the Kingdom, it might cost us everything, but it is worth everything in the end.
The problem is so many Christians have done the exact opposite of the parable. Instead of selling the fine pearls for the Kingdom, we have decided to sell off the kingdom for the fine pearls.
We stay where we are comfortable. The greatest pearl causes us to move into a place of discomfort. Follow Jesus is not easy nor is it safe, but in the end it is good.
He is the best treasure we can find, but we have to be willing to let go of the things in our lives that, on the surface seem great, but in the end are keeping us from being closer to God.
May we be willing to let go of our selves. May we be willing to let go of the things hindering our relationship with Jesus. May we discover the true value of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Peace and blessings friends.
QUESTION: What fine pearls are you holding on to that need to be released for the greatest pearl to be purchased completely?