Pearl of Great Price
Text: Matthew 13:45-46
I’m aware of the interpretation of this parable and the treasure parable being Jesus Christ giving his life for the church as the pearl or Israel as the treasure. There are two inconsistencies with this interpretation. I’ll just deal with one because I’d like to get to the point Jesus Christ is actually making about His kingdom.
Jesus Christ finds sinners, he doesn’t find valuable treasure or pearls. People aren’t lively stones until they’re in Jesus Christ. That interpretation says people are already lively stones outside of Jesus Christ, then he sacrifices himself for them. And that’s not correct. Let’s get one cross reference to get the proper order in 1 Peter 2:3-5, 9-10. Verses 9-10 explain there are no lively stones outside of Jesus Christ.
Though the parable of the treasure is very similar to this one, the kingdom of heaven is likened to the treasure in that parable while the kingdom of heaven is likened to a merchant in this one. This parable is focussed on the merchant while the treasure parable is focussed on the treasure. Kingdom of heaven is like a merchant man seeking goodly pearls.
There are two notable things about the merchant as the parable is related to Jesus Christ’s kingdom. There is a search and a cost.
- Seeking and Finding
- Selling and Buying
Seeking and finding
- He made pearls his business. Just like the pearl merchant made pearls his business, people are commanded to make Christ’s kingdom their business.
- All people are commanded to make Christ’s kingdom their business.
- Zephaniah 2:1-3 – the things that people are being told to seek are things associated with Christ’s kingdom. Make His kingdom your business.
- Matthew 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
- Mark 1:15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.
- Colossians 3:1-3
- Hebrews 11:6, 13-14, 13:14
Must use the tools of the pearl trade to find pearls
- Must use the tools and methods unique to Christ’s kingdom to participate in Christ’s kingdom.
- Romans 2:5-9 But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; 6 Who will render to every man according to his deeds: To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: 8 But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, 9 Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile…
Must look where pearls can be found
- Matthew 6:31-33
- John 5:39-40
- Amos 5:4-14 – Notice the instructions to “seek” in 4, 6, 8, and 14.
- Exclusive search (vss 4-5)
- If you’re still going to Bethel you’re not seeking the Lord. Exclusive in the sense that God says if you seek Bethel while calling on my name, you’re not seeking me. Exclusive in the sense that God says if you continue to enter Gilgal while using my name, you’re not seeking me. Exclusive in the sense that God says if you’re passing by Beersheba you’re not seeking me.
- Quit going to the house of other gods
- Righteous search (vss 6-13)
- …ye turn judgment to wormwood… leave off righteousness in the earth.
- God says if you’re going to leave off righteousness in this earth, you’re not looking for me. You’re looking out for money or you have some other ulterior motive that has caused you to pervert judgment.
- Good search (vss 14-15)
- Notice how this search is carried out, hate the evil, love the good…
- Establish judgment in the gate – Put judgment right in front. Make it clear.
- Do you want to find the Lord? Then establish judgment in the gate and give the Lord an opportunity to work.
Selling and buying
- Revelation 3:14-22 you say you have need of nothing then don’t expect anything from the Lord.
- 1 Timothy 3:12-13
- Luke 18:18-30 (parallel passage in Matthew 19:16-30). Jesus doesn’t argue that this young man has kept the law. So it isn’t about keeping the law for salvation apparently. Because the Lord Jesus Christ then adds something that isn’t law, but has to do with a relationship with the Messiah.