A Costly Pearl

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls, and upon finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.” (Matthew 13:45-46)

Last week we looked at the Parable of the Hidden Treasure and determined that this Parable demonstrated the great value of finding the Kingdom of Heaven. Paul who was a Pharisee and determined to stop the movement of those who followed the way of Jesus and His teaching was on the way to Damascus to further persecute the followers of Jesus. Along the way he was confronted by Jesus and called into the ministry of the gospel of Jesus. Paul knew that he had found the treasure of God’s Kingdom and gladly give up everything to receive it. Paul was a highly educated man of great position and power but it became meaningless when compared to the value of the Kingdom of God.

The great value of the Kingdom is that there we can find our refuge from the powers of darkness from the ruler of this world the prince of the air. By accepting Jesus as our Savior we can be transferred from the darkness of his power to the Kingdom of His love. “For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son.” (Colossians 1:13)

In this world we will have trials and tribulation but as members of the Kingdom of God we can live in righteousness, joy, and peace. “For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 14:17)

The world and all that is in it is passing away and those who serve the world shall pass with it but the Kingdom of God is eternal and shall never pass away. In the Day of Judgment the Kingdom of God shall be unshakable. “And His voice shook the earth then, but now He has promised, saying, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth, but also the heaven.” This expression, “Yet once more,” denotes the removing of those things which can be shaken, as of created things, so that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.” (Hebrews 12:26-27)

For those who are ambassadors of God’s Kingdom they are destined for eternal glory with God the Creator dwelling with them. “Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.” (Matthew 13:43)

This week we are looking at another Parable that Jesus told to express the Kingdom of God’s great value, the Parable of the Pearl of Great Price. The idea is similar to the Parable of the Hidden Treasure but there is a significant difference.

As we look at the Parable we see a merchant who is seeking for beautiful pearls. He finds an extraordinary pearl of greater value than he had ever found before. The price of the pearl is great but he is determined to have it and sells all that he has to purchase the pearl.

Jesus began the Parable with the word “again” which ties this Parable to the last the Hidden Treasure. The discussion then is related in that the Kingdom of God is of greater value than all else that is found in this world. In the Parable of the Hidden Treasure we saw when a man who stumbled upon the buried treasure by chance but in the Pearl of Great Value the merchant is seeking to find it. When the merchant finds it he, like the man in the Hidden Treasure sells all that he has to acquire it. These two Parables in no way are saying that one can buy or earn their salvation and enter into the Kingdom of God.

As we read in the letter of Romans that salvation is a free gift from God. “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23) If our salvation is to be bought it is done so by gaining a rightful possession of it. Salvation is purchased by our faith in Jesus for who He is, the Son of the Living God. It is not obtained by the price or our works. “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)

Salvation comes at the price of our submission to the will and work of God and the renewing of our hearts by the work of the Hole Spirit. When we are baptized into Christ we receive the Holy Spirit. “He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior.” (Titus 3:5-6)

Last week we see that a man stumbled upon the treasure of the Kingdom and this week we see that one is seeking it with great desire and he will finds it. When we know in our heart that there is something of greater value that can be found in this world, when we realize that the greatest value is that which preserves out spirit, and when we desire a right relationship with God our Creator, then we seek for the narrow path that leads to His Kingdom.

One example of a seeker of the Kingdom would be the eunuch from Ethiopia who had gone to Jerusalem to worship God. On his way back home he was reading Scripture from the Prophet Isaiah when he met Phillip. Once Philip had explained the Scripture to him he immediately wanted to be baptized which shows that he know the value of salvation through Jesus Christ. (Acts 8:26-38)

Cornelius was a centurion of an Italian cohort. He was a devout man of God who gave to the Jewish people constantly. One evening an angel appeared to him and said that his prayers and giving to God’s people had reached up to God. The angel told Cornelius to send some men to Joppa to find Peter and bring him back to Cornelius’s household. When Peter taught the household of Cornelius the Holy Spirit fell upon them and Cornelius and his household received the gospel of Jesus Christ. Cornelius and his household were baptized in Christ. By the prayers and giving of Cornelius it showed that he was searching for righteousness. (Acts 10:1-8, 30-33) Jesus had said that those who hunger for righteousness will be satisfied. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” (Matthew 5:6)

Lydia of Thyatira was a worshipper of God. She and other women were meeting to pray and this shows they were searching spiritually. When Paul the Apostle came to Thyatira Lidia listened to his teaching and she and her household were baptized.

The eunuch from Ethiopia, Cornelius and Lydia were all seeking to find the Kingdom of Great value, the Kingdom of God and they found it, accepted it, and became a part of it. There are many in the world today that are searching for something, some purpose, some meaning that is worthy of a diligent search. They spend their lives seeking and by the grace and providence of God they find Jesus and His Kingdom. They are willing to sacrifice all to obtain it. Those who hunger and thirst for righteousness will find all that God has for them. In the Parable of the Pearl of Great Price we should be as the merchant and seek God while He can be found. “Seek the LORD while He may be found; Call upon Him while He is near.” (Isaiah 55:6)

It could be possible that we are lost in our present understanding of God’s will for our lives. But if we continue to search with the desires of our heart as the merchant did, as the Ethiopian eunuch, as Cornelius, and Lydia, we can trust in the providence of God’s to lead us to His truth. As we ask, seek and knock we will find the Pearl of Great Price the Kingdom of God. “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. “For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” (Matthew 7:7-8)

The blessings of the Kingdom of God are not limited, they are not just for the hereafter, and they are available to us in the present time as well. The value of which is literally out of this world. We have the same assurance that Jesus gave to Peter. “Peter began to say to Him, “Behold, we have left everything and followed You.” Jesus said, “Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or farms, for My sake and for the gospel’s sake, but that he will receive a hundred times as much now in the present age, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and farms, along with persecutions; and in the age to come, eternal life.” (Mark 10:28-30)

Thomas N Kirkpatrick

First Baptist Church of Durant, November 11, 2016

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