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.
I’ve been told Jesus is the “pearl of great price” in this parable but that cannot be because Christ cannot be “bought” even if we, the merchant, sold everything we had. Instead, Jesus is the merchant in this story.
In the previous parable, God the Father finds the Jewish people, his treasure, then hides them in the field (the world) just as the Jews are today scattered across the world “hidden” among the nations. He then pays the price to buy back the entire field (makes salvation available to all the world) so that one day He can come back to call together and claim his treasure – “all Israel” from among the nations.
The pearl however, represents Christ and the church. He is the merchant who finds his pearl, the church, and gives His all to purchase her. Diamonds are nearly valueless until cut but a pearl, like the church, is only of value when it is whole, complete, without division or breaks. A pearl is the only jewel formed through the suffering of a living organism, just like the church came into being through the agony of Christ. A pearl finds its source in what the Jews call unclean, an oyster, much as the church is primarily comprised of unclean Gentiles. Interestingly, though a pearl has an “unclean” source, it can legally be worn as adornment by a Jew. So, the church, taken out of the unclean world, is an adornment that beautifies Christ by displaying His grace, mercy and kindness.
Are you part of this pearl of great price?
1 Timothy 1:16
But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life.