Verse of the Day Devotion Matthew 13:45
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls,” – Matthew 13:45
Today we will look at the parable of the Pearl of Great Price. Here is this parable as found in Matthew’s gospel.
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls, and upon finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had, and bought it.” Matthew 13:45-46.
This is one of a series of parables Jesus speaks to the crowd; therefore, He uses “Again” as the first word here. This parable is similar to the parable of the Hidden Treasure with one distinct difference. In the parable of the Hidden Treasure, the one who found it was not looking for it but stumbled across it by accident. In the parable of the Pearl of great price, he knows what he is looking for and then finds the best pearl, one of incredible price.
Why is this significant? Because it shows God is reaching out to everyone, both the spiritual seekers and the apathetic atheists. Those who are not looking for truth are like the man who stumbles upon the treasure. He finds it and realizes this is valuable and he needs to possess it. Similar to an atheist who happened to hear the gospel and he becomes open to the truth. He was not looking for it, but when he came across it, he realized this was important as well as a valuable truth that he needs to have. So, he leaves it there and sells everything he has and with this money he buys the property wherein lies the treasure.
On the other side, those who are looking for truth are like today’s verse of the day. He looks and looks and suddenly comes across a pearl that is excellent and of great value. Similar to someone who knows there is more to this life then he has explored, he begins looking for the truth. He looks and looks and finds this amazing pearl that he knows is incredibly valuable. So, he also sells everything he has and buys it.
In these two stories we have two people who have sold everything they have for a significant find. And Jesus, in both parables, is speaking of the Kingdom of God. And specifically, our ability to join Him in His eternal kingdom. He is telling those listening that whether they are looking for God or not, they have the opportunity to enter into His kingdom, for He is presenting the truth to them and it is up to them to, in the words of the parables, buy it or not.
What Jesus was saying in this parable is that if we are seeking for the truth, honestly and deliberately seeking, we will find it. For the man was seeking for a treasure of great price and in his diligence, found it. In the similar parable of the Hidden Treasure, we see that sometimes we are not looking for truth, but when we stumble upon it, we see the value regarding its truth and we accept. But what is most important is in both of these, they valued what they found enough to sell everything they had for it.
God calls would-be disciples to give up everything to obtain the treasure He is offering. Sometimes He calls them to literally sell everything, such as with the rich young ruler. “Jesus said to him, If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” Matthew 19:21. But in all cases we must let go of anything that would stand in the way of wholehearted allegiance to Christ and the priorities of the kingdom. I will close with this question. Have we given all to follow Him?
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.