pearl of great price

Almost everyday, I wear a pair of pearl earrings– a gift a couple years ago from my mother.  They are simple, straighforward, classic.

But they are more than that.  They are a reminder of so much more…

Jesus tells a series of parables explaining the immense value of the kingdom of heaven– and one includes the story of a merchant searching for pearls, Matthew 13: 44-46,

“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.

But what does this mean?  I’m not a merchant or a fine jeweler, so what application does this have to my life….or to yours?

This is a parable of total surrender.  The fine pearl is Jesus Christ Himself, and upon knowing Him, the merchant goes and sells everything else.  It comes back to a blog I wrote last week with verses from Philippians 3:7-9.

But as we see this merchant give everything up to go and follow Jesus, there is a different story in Mark 10,

vs.17: As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?

and then vs. 19, Jesus replies, “You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, do not defraud, honor your father and mother.'”

vs. 20, the man replies: “Teacher,” he declared, “all these I have kept since I was a boy.”

vs. 21, Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

…and finally in vs. 22, “At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.”

This man wanted eternal life– he wanted the blessings of Jesus without enduring the process of dying of to  self (Colossians 3:9-10, Ephesians 4: 21-25, Romans 6: 6-8).  As Lon said in a sermon a few weeks ago, “Everyone wants the product, but nobody wants the process.”

How we desire to be like the merchant who sold everything once he found the precious pearl— but we often fall short and we are more like the rich man— clinging to the comforts of this world, clinging to relationships, clinging to materials possessions….clinging to everything else except Jesus Christ.

Yet, we want the final product.  Prayer time is often when the Lord convicts me of falling into this, “Kim, are you trying to fit me into your decisions, asking me to bless them after you’ve made them without my counsel?  Or are you conforming you decisions within the protection of  the precepts of my Word?  Are you seeking my counsel first and with the utmost and highest regard?”

In closing, GotQuestions .org wraps up the meaning of the Pearl of Great Price parable,

Matthew 13:11-17 and 1 Corinthians 2:7-8, 14 make it clear that the mysteries of the kingdom are hidden from some who are unable to hear, see, and comprehend these truths. The disobedient reap the natural consequences of their unbelief—spiritual blindness. Those whose eyes are opened by the Spirit do discern spiritual truth and they, like the men in the parable, understand its great value.

Notice that the merchant stopped seeking pearls when he found the pearl of great price. Eternal life, the incorruptible inheritance, and the love of God through Christ constitute the pearl which, once found, makes further searching unnecessary. Christ fulfills our greatest needs, satisfies our longings, makes us whole and clean before God, calms and quiets our hearts, and gives us hope for the future. The ‘great price’ of course is that which was paid by Christ for our redemption. He emptied Himself of His glory, came to earth in the form of a lowly man and shed His precious blood on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins.

The kingdom of heavenmore valuable than anything this fallen world can give. Don’t just understand it, respond to it. This makes me fall on my knees in surrender…and in thanksgiving for the Precious Pearl.  I pray the same for you.


2 Responses to “pearl of great price”

  1. 1 Ry
    October 22, 2009 at 5:03 am

    Great point about seeking God to make a decision instead of making a decision and asking God to bless it.

  2. 2 piedpatter
    October 22, 2009 at 7:41 pm

    Cotterman I am going to stop reading your blogs unless you stop writing stuff that makes me cry. Truth is causing me to have feelings, which is convicting, and freeing all at the same time. Stop it!

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