“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.” (Matt. 13:45, 46)
Sin wounds us and destroys the soul by keeping us from finding God. Yet in this parable, we learn that God is making something precious out of our sin and sorrows. Jesus Christ has given all in order to gain a precious treasure from among the Gentiles. In response, we desire to give up all that we are to Him.
We also learn in this parable that Christ is forming a citizens of a Kingdom that are as precious to the King as it is to the citizens of the Kingdom. Each are willing to give all in order to gain it.
The King gives all to gain a citizen,
The citizen gives all to gain the King.
The Kingdom of heaven and its King are:
A source of great joy
Some people stumble on to it and some are actively seeking it.
A personal transaction of giving up all that we have as the Lord Jesus has given up all that He has.
How the Pearl is Made
By wounding the inner mantle of an oyster, creating an inflammatory response, expending precious bodily fluids (Calcium Carbonate) the oyster or mollusk forms a hard, iridescent ball that when exposed to the sun, reflects its light like a rainbow.
Sin wounds the heart of God and destroys the souls of men. The souls of men are mired in the depths.
God responds by pronouncing judgment against sin and then by offering Himself as the payment for sin. By the shedding of the precious blood of the Lord Jesus, God has plumbed the depths of man’s experience and created something beautiful in His blood-bought bride. She reveals the various hues of the light of heaven as does a rainbow.
The rainbow is a reminder of God’s promise to Noah of something new on the earth and that particular judgment of a world wide deluge will never again be repeated.
In the same way, the cross of Christ is a one-time, never to be repeated form of judgment against sin. It is God’s promise to mankind that sin is judged in the person of Christ. “And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament;” (Daniel 12:3)
In other words, the wise are those that claim God’s promise and like the iridescent pearl, will reveal the precious and varied beauty of the light of heaven who is come into the world. In that character, the Kingdom of Heaven is made precious to the Father.
This preciousness is expressed first in the giving of Himself.
For our Souls
Who gave himself a ransom for all, … (Titus 2:6)
For our salvation
He gave Himself for our sins that He might deliver us from this present evil world (Galatians 1:4)
For our sanctification
He gave Himself for us that He Might purify us and make us a peculiar people zealous of good works. (Titus 2:14)
For our Satisfaction
He gave Himself for me, because He loved me. (Galatians 2:20)
The preciousness of the Kingdom is also expressed in the letting go of ourselves.
How the Pearl is Mined
By sacrifice, at great personal expense.
In the time that the Lord was on the earth, the means of harvesting pearls was very primitive and very dangerous. Whether in the Red Sea, the Persian Gulf or the Indian Ocean oyster beds, a seeker of pearls could only get to them by weighting themselves down.
This would be done by either tying rocks to his body or holding bags of rocks, filling his lungs with air and plunging off a small boat to the bottom. Amidst all of the unknown monsters of the deep, the diver would scour the muddy bottom and scoop up as many oysters as possible before dropping the stones and returning to the surface with his prized catch and his lungs bursting.
Any number of things could go wrong resulting in drowning or being attacked by vicious animals. Yet the risk was deemed to be worth it as he would search each booty of oysters. When he found one of unusual perfection and beauty, it would be worth an unnameable price.
God has determined that a restored relationship between men and Himself to be a thing of great beauty and preciousness. He has held nothing back in acquiring it.
Likewise, in man’s search for meaning whether we know it or not, we are seeking a restored relationship to God. When we find the answer in Christ, there is nothing on earth that can compare to the preciousness of a right relationship to God. However, in order to acquire this new relationship each of us must be born again…we must first die to ourselves.
How the Pearl is Made Mine
When a person receives Christ, that person is trusting Christ with all that they are and gains for them all that He is in the giving of Himself.
“Yea doubtless, and I count all things [but] loss
for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord:
for whom I have suffered the loss of all things,
and do count them [but] dung, that I may win Christ,”