The Parables of Jesus Series | Parable of the Pearl Merchant

“Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant on the lookout for choice pearls. When he discovered a pearl of great value, he sold everything he owned and bought it! Matthew 13:45-46

I was very tempted to skip this parable or to combine with the previous parable because at a glance, they both looked like the same. However i reminded myself that the Holy Spirit does not waste words, time and space. So if He prompted the writers to add this to the scriptures, then there is a lesson there. And certainly there is! And both parables are not the same.

To begin with, the parable starts with the word “Again”. Most translations uses the word “again and also”. This re-emphasises the fact that Jesus was giving all of these parables to drive home a message. At the heart of this parable is the kingdom of God. And like i mentioned on previous posts, it is very important that we understand the key message in every parable and ensure that we put the message at the forefront to help us interpret them well.

In contrast to the previous parable, Jesus is now displaying another aspect of the kingdom. In this parable, the kingdom of heaven is not the precious pearl, but the merchant. This is clearly shown in the transaction – where the kingdom pays the ultimate price to possess the pearl.

But why is pearl used as an illustration? A pearl is formed in response to pain. An irritating substance gets into the shell of the oyster and with the oyster having no hand to remove this annoying substance, it transforms that substance into something that no longer irritates her. Pearls are formed inside the shell of an oyster.

The disciples knew how precious pearls were. In that time, merchants often came to buy pearls at expensive amount for their king.

This is the picture of God and the church. God is the merchant, Jesus is the price that was paid for the pearl, the pearl is the church. You’ve got to love something for you to pay an expensive price for it. There is nothing else that was worth God giving up His only begotten son for. The cross is a receipt of that price. Jesus gave up everything! Philippians 2:7 says “.., he gave up his divine privileges”. He gave up His comfort, His crown, His wealth, everything, so He could purchase that treasure. Wow!

Now i am going to digress a little bit from this parable and just zoom in into the treasure itself. The oyster does not understand the value of what it produces out of pain. Neither does the pearl itself even recognises that it is valuable. Before Christ, we didn’t know our worth. Despite being in Christ, some believers still don’t know the value of who they are.

Oh may our eyes will be opened so we can see ourselves just as He sees us!

Oh that our understanding will be enlightened to know the cost of the cross!

Oh that our hearts will be receptive to the truth that He loved and placed a high value on us even when we were still in the pit!

Oh that we may know the love of Abba and what it cost Him to save us!

Oh that we may know that there is nothing else He could have done that He hasn’t done.

Oh that we may know! Because when we do, our response will be worship!

See other posts in this series here.

21 thoughts on “The Parables of Jesus Series | Parable of the Pearl Merchant

  1. Efua, I see this more in the sense of us dying to sin and to self in order to gain Christ and his righteousness in our lives. His Word, His Wisdom, His eternal blessings, His joy, His peace, His love, His pardon, His strength, His comfort, His empowerment in our lives – all these and more are pearls to us. But, to gain Christ and his righteousness and his pardon for sin we must die to sin and self – we must lay our lives down on the altar and now become God’s possession for his honor, glory and praise. We are crucified with Christ so that we (our flesh) no longer lives (thrives) but now Christ lives in us and through us and we now live by faith in him and in his strength and power. We have to surrender our lives over to the Lord Jesus if we want to gain Christ and his salvation from sin, which are of great worth to us, of greater worth by far than anything this world has to offer us. And, our worth is found only in him and in his life being now lived out through us.

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  2. A pearl comes from pain. True!

    I had heard that when words are repeated that was the way in the Jewish language to show importance/warning so Truly, truly or the many times we see “woe”. So powerful!

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  3. Pingback: The Parables of Jesus Series | Parable of the Fishing Net – Grace Over Pain

  4. Thank you for sharing this parable and expounding it. There’s so much I need to learn from the Scripture and I feel so grateful for coming across this post. Indeed, we are precious just like a pearl and I pray that every human being feels that way, especially those who feel otherwise. God bless you!

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