Matthew 13:45-46 – 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. (NIV)
A friend of mine once lost the diamond in her wedding ring. She searched everywhere, but it was never found. Since then, I always check to make sure the prongs on my ring are holding my diamond securely. I do not wear a lot of jewellery, but my wedding rings are special to me, along with a gold cross that was a gift from my mother. I also treasure a gold heart necklace with a diamond cross in the center which has the Lord's Prayer engraved on the side. These items all have priceless sentimental value to me, because they were gifts from persons whom I value.
Considering the pearl in Jesus' parable, I can understand the rich symbolism of this beautiful and valuable gem. To fully appreciate the natural pearl, we must realize how it has been uniquely formed. It is made when a living organism, a mollusc, has been damaged by foreign matter that has intruded into its shell. The mollusc then responds by secreting a substance that covers the material and forms a beautiful white pearl! Hunting for these rare jewels can be dangerous, and their scarcity makes them extremely precious.
The merchant in this story sold everything he had for the pearl. In the same fashion, Jesus gave up everything for the sake of His church. In 2 Corinthians 8:9 we read, "For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich." (NIV) As members of Christ's body, we are made rich through the righteousness of Jesus.
In contrast to the gems that are precious to us, how much more are we precious to the Lord who has given His life for us. The parable in today's Scripture reveals the costly beauty and value of the Gospel to all those who believe and are made righteous through the precious sacrifice of Jesus. It is His gift that makes us so special.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, we thank You for the precious sacrifice of Your Son Jesus, who gave up so much, so that we might inherit the free gift of eternal life. Help us to live our lives in a way that is worthy of Him, that we may lead others to Your heavenly kingdom. Amen.