Jesus told a parable in Matt. 13:45-45.
“The Kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. (v. 45)”. The merchant traded in pearls – fine pearls. He traveled all over from country to country, most likely around the seaside towns and villages looking for the most beautiful and perfect pearls.
Pearls are graded by shape and size – the ideal pearl will be perfectly round, have a very high luster and be at least 95% free from defects
The world’s largest natural pearl weighs 34 kg and is valued at $130 million – 2 ft x 1 ft in the shape of a clam.
The world’s largest and most expensive round pearl is 33 carat, natural saltwater pearl and is valued at $1.4 million.
Matthew 13:46, “When he found one of great value, he went away and sold all he had, and bought it.”
The merchant gave up everything – possibly even his house, to have the pearl.
Who is the Merchant?
I always thought that the merchant was us (Christians), who found the great treasure of salvation and reconciliation to God, through Christ.
I.e. We give up everything to follow Jesus and to serve Him above all else.
I once heard Derek Prince say that the merchant is God – I considered this, but wasn’t really convinced.
However, during worship and prayer this week, the Lord suddenly opened my understanding.
I sensed the Holy Spirit say to me, “The merchant is God and the pearl is people – you and me.”
This actually made perfect sense to me. Jesus said, “The kingdom of heaven is like this…” It is like a pearl merchant who found such value in a single pearl, he sold everything to have it.
God (God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit) saw such value in us, when He looked down and saw the lost state of mankind, in the grip of sin and death – prisoners to the devil, God sold or gave everything he had, in the form of His only Son (John 3:16) to buy us back from the devil.
The Bible tells us that the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life – Romans 6:23.
The cost of our salvation was high and this shows how valuable we are to God. So much so, that there is rejoicing in heaven over one person who repents and turns to God! (Luke 15:7).
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