“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.” Matthew 13:45, 46
As we consider this “kingdom of heaven” parable about the “pearl of great price”, we must understand that Jesus is the “merchant man” whose mission it was “to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). The one goodly pearl which Jesus “found” by “seeking” is none other than “the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood”.
“Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.” Acts 20:28
Pearls come from oysters (mollusk family), primarily pearl oysters. The finest pearl oysters in the world are found in the Persian Gulf and Red Sea (Palestine). The choice time for fishing for pearls is during March and April. Pearls are formed when a single grain of sand or other small piece of foreign material gets trapped between the mantle and the shell of an oyster. This foreign material is an irritant to the oyster so it isolates it and gradually coats it with layer after layer of lustrous nacre. Formerly known as sand, the pearl grows bigger and bigger, usually taking three years or more to become a pearl of value. Once mature, pearls are harvested and sold for a “great price” and worn as an “ornament”. Since Jesus “sold all that he had” to purchase us, we ought to adorn ourselves with “the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit”.
“But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.” 1 Peter 3:4
Should it seem strange to us that Jesus Christ was crucified the day before Passover, around the March – April time frame, in Palestine, just like pearls? Is it coincidence that Abraham’s descendants are likened unto the “sand which is upon the sea shore” (Genesis 22:17)? Before we come to Christ, we were foreign to God and an irritant to him, i.e. his enemy. Once we get “in him” through salvation, he begins sanctifying / coating us with heavenly nacre. Is it by chance that a single oyster can produce 10 – 12 pearls, not unlike the 12 apostles that Christ produced in his 3 ½ years of ministry, who went out and became the “foundation” of the church (Ephesians. 2:20)? A pearl is the only precious stone formed by a living organism and unlike other precious stones; it is ruined if someone tries to divide it by cutting it. So the church too, is a living organism and great damage occurs when Satan tries to divide it. If you are a Christian and not currently a part of a local church, your need is to be daily “built up” / coated within God’s ordained institution. The Chinese call the moon the great pearl, because of the appearance of a full moon as it reflects the light of the sun / son. If you are not yet a Christian, you are likened unto a moonless night in which the world doesn’t see the Son’s light from you. Your need is to repent for allowing the world to come between you and the son / sun. Friend, won’t you come just as you are to “the light of the world” (Jesus – John 9:5) and become “as lively stones” today, through faith in him? You are “precious” to him and he’s already paid the “great price”, just accept Him…
“To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 2:4, 5
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