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3/20/2020 – The Parable of the Pearl of Great Price

Passage: Matthew 13:45-46

Written By: Hayden Lenderman – U of A Wesley Alumnus and Former Intern

Imagine you are in the market for something you enjoy. Maybe it’s a rare coin for your collection. Maybe it’s an antique instrument. Or maybe it’s a unique piece of artwork. You continue searching, not knowing exactly what it is you are looking for, but knowing that when you find it, it will be obvious that “this is it”. After much searching, you finally find it and you know its worth. You count your money and realize what you have brought is not enough, but you know if you sell all you have, then you will have enough for this precious item. Jesus says the kingdom of heaven is like this.

There are other important points to notice in these two verses that I don’t have the time to unpack: Jesus starts the parable with the word “again”, Jesus says the merchant was SEEKING fine pearls. But I want to focus on how Jesus says we should respond to finding the pearl.

In verse 46, Jesus tells us that the merchant found one pearl of great value, and that he went and sold all he had and bought it. Is Jesus saying that, in order to be a true believer, you must sell everything you have to follow Him? Not necessarily, though this is exactly what he said to the rich young ruler (Mark 10:17-27). Jesus is saying that this is how we should respond to His offer of eternity with Him. Heaven is of infinite worth, and all the things we could accumulate for ourselves on earth don’t come close in value. It would be better for us to sell everything we have in order to buy this pearl of great price. Our view of the worth of things can often be distorted by many factors. If you think of the worth of heaven as described by Jesus and you find that you don’t value it the same, don’t sit in condemnation. Ask the Lord to reorient your values to line up with His. Jesus says to us, “Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.” (John 14:13-14, NASB)

So how do we turn this into a practical next step? If you are still looking for the pearl, then I would encourage you to talk to your pastor, or to a trusted friend about what following Jesus means and about the gift that He promises. Ask them what the “pearl”, heaven, is worth. For most of us, we have already accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior. Maybe your practical step isn’t to look for the pearl, but, having found the pearl, to respond to it as Jesus showed in this parable. The merchant recognized its worth, knew that he must have it, and stopped at nothing to obtain it. How do you respond to Jesus’ offer of eternity in heaven with Him? Do you know that it is good and believe it is something that comes with being a follower of Christ? Or do you see the pearl, and, knowing the value of it, stop at nothing to receive the gift He offers?

Prayer: Jesus, so often our values of things are warped. We don’t always appreciate the gift You have given us as we should, but praise You that you don’t leave us in that state. We know that anything we ask in Your name, You will grant to us, so this is our prayer. Give us eyes to see the pearl in its infinite worth. Help us to share with others who desire to know You, the true worth of heaven. We know we will fall short, but though our sins are many, Your mercy is more. Thank You, Jesus. Help us to become more like You every day of our lives. In Your name, Amen.

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