Pearl of Great Price

Matthew 13:45-46
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant searching for fine pearls. When he found a very valuable pearl, he went and sold everything he had and bought it.”
Possible Points of Jesus
  1. THE PARABLE EXPLAINED
    1. THE DETAILS OF THE PARABLE…
      1. A merchant is seeking beautiful pearls
      2. He finds one pearl of great price
      3. Undeterred by its price, he sells all that he has and buys it!
    2. THE MEANING OF THE PARABLE…
      1. The use of the word “Again” ties this parable to the preceding one
        1. Where the value and preciousness of the kingdom was being described
        2. Where we saw the value to one who accidentally finds it
      2. But in this parable, the person is on a mission to find that which is of great value
        1. He believes there is something out there worth looking for, or he would not be seeking it
        2. When he finds it, he immediately recognizes its value and is willing to sell all to obtain it
      3. Neither this parable (nor the previous one) is suggesting we can “buy” or otherwise “earn” our salvation
        1. For salvation is a gift – cf. Ro 6:23
        2. We can “buy” salvation only in the sense of gaining rightful possession of it
          1. Which we do by grace through faith – cf. Ep 2:8-9
          2. When we submit to the working of God and the renewing the Holy Spirit which takes place as we are baptized into Christ – cf. Col 2:11-13; Tit 3:4-7
      4. This parable, then, describes how some people react to the kingdom of heaven, when they know there must be something out there worthy of great value and have been searching for it
    3. SOME BIBLICAL EXAMPLES…
      1. The Ethiopian eunuch – Ac 8:26-38
        1. His journey to Jerusalem to worship, his reading of Scripture while returning, indicate he was spiritually searching
        2. His immediate desire to be baptized shows his estimation of the value of the salvation offered through Christ
      2. Cornelius – Ac 10:1-8,30-33
        1. His prayers and alms were indicative of his search for “righteousness”
        2. As promised by Jesus (cf. Mt 5:6), God took note of his spiritual hunger and thirst, and sent Peter to tell him the gospel of Christ
      3. Lydia – Ac 16:11-15
        1. Her meeting with other women to pray illustrates her spiritual searching
        2. Upon hearing the things spoken by Paul, she and her household were baptized
  2. SEARCHING FOR “THE PEARL OF GREAT PRICE”
    1. FOLLOW THE EXAMPLE OF THE ETHIOPIAN EUNUCH – Ac 8:27-28
      1. Be a student of the Scriptures
      2. Apply the Scriptures to the best of your understanding
      3. Be open to what others may have to share concerning the Scriptures
    2. FOLLOW THE EXAMPLE OF THE BEREANS – Ac 17:10-11
      1. Again, be open to what others may to share
      2. But apply diligence (i.e., “readiness of mind”) to understand what others are saying
      3. And in the end, let the Scriptures be your final authority
      4. Demonstrate it by “searching the Scriptures daily”
  3. CONCLUSION
    1. Like the Ethiopian eunuch, the Bereans, Cornelius, Lydia, and many other religious people…
      1. We may be lost in our present state of understanding of God’s will
      2. But if we will search like that “merchant” did, and have the desire to understand and please God like these people did…
      3. …then we can trust in God’s Providence to lead us to the truth, and to that “pearl of great price”!
    2. Is the “pearl of great price” worth it?
      1. Again, I wish I could invite those who have passed on to give us their perspective
      2. Who though they may have suffered greatly in this life, have come to experience the ultimate blessings of the “kingdom of heaven”
        — I am confident they would say “It is surely worth it all!”
    3. And the blessings of the kingdom are not limited to the life hereafter; as Jesus reassured Peter, there are hundredfold blessings even “in this time” – cf. Mk 10:28-30

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