The Parable of the Pearl of Great Value
45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, 46 who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it. Matthew 13:45-46
We’ve been taught that the pearl of great value in Jesus’ parable is actually Jesus, Himself. We’ve been shown that the merchant is a person who discovers the kingdom of heaven (us) and then we sell all we have to go back and purchase this one pearl, which is worth giving everything up for. While this concept is true because, yes, Jesus is the most valuable purchase we can make, this isn’t actually the message that Jesus was trying to communicate to us. Let’s look at the parables surrounding the pearl…
We have: the parable of the sower, the parable of the weeds, the parable of the mustard seed, the parable of the hidden treasure, and the parable of the net.
Within each of these parables we can see a consistent theme, as this was the intent of Jesus. He was trying to paint several pictures with a similar meaning so that everyone could understand. Within each parable, there is the primary subject who represents God (Father and/or Jesus) and who does the initial work… the sower, the merchant (or rich man), the master of the house, and the fisherman. Second, there is a representation of man… seeds, weeds, fish, & pearls.
“5 Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him? ” James 2:5
Jesus is the only one who is truly rich (as represented by the merchant) and we are, inevitably, truly poor and lacking much on our own (representing a pearl that we know is actually formed from a grain of sand/dirt); however, in our poor state, Jesus sold all that He had to purchase us… We are the pearl of great price. He left His power, privilege, and riches of heaven to become a lowly servant on this earth. He became poor for our sake even to the point of suffering and dying for us. He did all of this so that we might become rich in Him, and come to understand that our value is worth more than we might ever know.
Don’t forget from your schooling that a pearl is formed from a single grain of sand. The sand is an irritant to the clam, so the clam excretes chemicals to surround the irritant and change it into something that is no longer an irritant, but is truly beautiful.
“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.” 2 Corinthians 8:9
“26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” Matthew 6:26
Realize then, that you who are week and poor and prone to wander and sin, are more valuable to Him than anything in all of creation. To prove His love to you, He left all that He had and humbled Himself to the point of suffering and death. He gave up everything for you so that you might realize your value in Him. You are the pearl of great value.
And, what can we say to that is…
“Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.”” Revelation 7:12