I talked last time about treasure, about what you value most, what you won’t do without. And we looked at Jesus’ parable about the treasure in the field (Matt.13:44). If you haven’t read that post yet, I would suggest you do so before reading this.
Today, I want to talk about pearls. So let’s look at the parable that follows what we talked about last time–Matthew 13:45-46 (bold-type added for emphasis).
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like
a merchant seeking beautiful 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 NKJV)
Okay, let’s start by getting the characters straight in this story. Pretend like you’re reading it for the first time.
– Who is the “merchant” seeking precious pearls here? The kingdom of heaven.
– Who is the “he” who bought this “pearl of great price?” The merchant.
– So, what is Jesus getting at? Who is this “pearl of great price?” You are.
You didn’t think you could buy heaven did you?
Back to the parable, who is seeking out who here? Heaven is seeking you.
Do you see it? If not, read it again…slowly…as if for the first time.
I remember when I first heard Tim Cummuta teach about this at our church a while back. He recently started a blog, by the way, and also talked about this here. I don’t why I didn’t see it before; it’s so clear. Then, more recently, I read Tim McNeely’s book, “The Romance of Grace,” where he said the same thing.
God must be trying to tell us something.
I was always taught that Jesus was the Pearl of Great Price…that is, until I actually read what He said through the Father’s eyes of love.
You see, while your treasure is what you won’t do without, what you value most, what God values most, what He doesn’t want to do without is…you. The Kingdom is meant to be your treasure because you are HIS pearl of great price. Let me say it another way.
Imagine there was a most wealthy and powerful king who wanted you above everything else. But even though he could have anything his heart desired, because of love, he would never force his affections on you by his power. So he waits, with indefatigable hope, even for just one glimpse of your reciprocation, so that he could give himself completely to you and pour His love out on you.
Beloved, there is such a One, and He is your heavenly Father. He bankrupted heaven to free you from a wicked prince who held you in his loveless dudgeon–where you were left in the dark, continuously haunted by two questions…
“Am I alone?” and “Do I matter?”
Beloved, do you hear me? You are loved! You will never be alone and you do matter most of all!
You, my precious friend, are a most beautiful and lustrous pearl that God has been seeking out from before the foundation of the world. And I contend that part of the reason we struggle with the treasure in the field–the Kingdom of God–is because we don’t understand that we are His pearl of great price.
After all, your heavenly Father paid very dearly for you by giving what was most valuable and precious to Him–His only begotten Son, Jesus (John 3:16).
So, how much are you worth to this Father if He paid Jesus for you?
When you finally see that you are God’s precious pearl, you will begin to see the hidden treasure of the Kingdom. For this is what you’ve been invited into, and it’s your Father’s good pleasure to give it all to you, if you will receive it (Luke 12:32)
King David understood this–about God’s valuation of him and about His over-the-top affections toward him. And all he could is marvel (bold-type added for emphasis),
“How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
If I should count them,
they would outnumber the sand.” (Psalm 139:17-18 NASB)
“When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers,
The moon and the stars, which You have ordained;
What is man that You take thought of him,
And the son of man that You care for him?
Yet You have made him a little lower than God,
And You crown him with glory and majesty!
You make him to rule over the works of Your hands;
You have put all things under his feet” (Psalm 8:3-6 NASB)
Dearest sought-out one…have you considered? Do you know this?
God cannot stop thinking about you. You are in His thoughts continuously, although you weren’t aware of it. He saw you when you were wounded and how that changed you, when you felt betrayed, abandoned, when you cried out in the night. When you felt alone. When God felt so distant, even though He was not…He waited….
And for all of this, He gave of Himself, in the person of the incarnated Son of His ultimate love…so that you could know this Ultimate Love.
One more thing. Why did Jesus use pearls in this story? Why not use diamonds or some other more precious stone? Because, unlike stones that we may value more in this world, pearls are from living things. And, of all living things, you are most precious to Him.
Next time, I will talk more about why Jesus put these two particular parables together. For now, know that YOU are SO loved!
Wow. I feel so enlightened right now. I think I’ve had this Bible passage backward all these years! He is our treasure and we are His pearl, what a beautiful way to imagine how our relationship with Christ should really be. Thank you for sharing this! I’m looking forward to reading the next post.
I’m so with you on that one, Anna. I’ve had it backwards for years too! I think God is opening our eyes to the real purpose of our salvation. We’re coming alive in Him and beginning to see ourselves in this Divine Romance. And this is where transformation takes place! Thanks for your encouraging comments, as always. Blessings.
LOVE this! I heard this parable turned “right-side-up” several years ago (Mike Bickle, I think?). Anyway, it makes SO much more sense–the JOY set before Him 🙂 . Can’t wait to read your take on the two parables together. Blessings!
Thanks. Yeah, it’s pretty obvious when you actually read it without traditional commentary getting in the way. The real treasure hidden here is the amazing way these two parables speak of this Divine Exchange we’ve been invited into. To me, this is Christianity 101–the first thing we should know. Religion has gotten in the way for so long that we can’t see the proverbial forest for the trees. But Papa is opening our eyes! 🙂 Blessings to you too!
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