pearl of great price

Matthew 13:46

13:46 pearl of great price. The parables of “treasure hid in a field” (Matthew 13:44) and “one pearl of great price” both teach the same basic truth under two different figures, just as did the parables of the mustard seed and the leaven. The latter two spoke of evil entering the growing kingdom. These two, on the other hand, both speak of the tremendous value of becoming true citizens of the kingdom. In both cases, the one finding the kingdom gave up everything he had to gain it. Just so, Paul said: “I have suffered the loss of all things,…that I may win Christ” (Philippians 3:8). God is pleased with those who—like the men in these two parables—“diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6).

The common opinion that the “man” in each case is Christ, the “treasure” is Israel, and the “pearl” is the Church seems to miss the thrust of the other parables in Matthew 13, all of which have to do with the character and people of the physical aspect of God’s kingdom.

To gain the kingdom, the Lord may not call on us to give up all that we have, but we must, in effect, be willing to do so. We are “dead” in our sins, and dead men do not bargain, hoping to enter the kingdom and yet hold on to the world. Recall the experience of the rich young ruler who, when being told that he must give up all his possessions if he would “inherit eternal life,” refused to follow Jesus (Luke 18:18-24).

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