The Kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it. -Matthew 13:45-46 KJV
Looking for happiness and fulfillment, we were roaming through the vast and empty fields of this world. We did not yet know the Lord, so in order to quench our insatiable thirst for meaning and success we drank from every source and fountain we could find.
All these springs promised us the world. But after we drank we fell ill. We got sick, for the waters weren’t pure and crystal clear. Those waters were contaminated and left us empty and dry, still searching for the truth and real meaning.
And then we stumbled upon the pearl of great price. We came face to face with the Kingdom of God. Jesus was standing before us and the door was open. But in order to receive that pearl and walk through that open door we had to pay a price. We had to give up on ourselves and surrender our lives to God. But we considered it a fair price and so we walked through that door with our heads bowed and our hearts full of gratitude.
After all, the world had promised us so much but could never deliver. The Kingdom of God could and why should we continue to live for something that had no true and everlasting value?
And yet, there is another way of looking at this parable. What if Jesus Himself was that rich merchant, who was looking for great pearls to put in his heavenly treasure chest? He was searching for such pearls the world over and then one day he found one; a beautiful pearl, half hidden in the mud and stepped upon.
In His eyes, we are that pearl of great price.
We are worth so much to Him that he wanted to pay a great price for us. When He saw us He immediately wanted to buy us. And what was the price?
“Your life,” the Evil One spoke. “If you want that pearl, you will have to pay full price. Nothing else will do. These pearls are never on sale.”
“It’s a deal,” Jesus said immediately. He didn’t even need to think about it.
“I’ll gladly pay the price. I will die on a cross so I can buy that pearl.”
This is the Gospel story. This is why Jesus died because He is that rich merchant.
Maybe you object, “What; me, a pearl? No way.”
Maybe we don’t see ourselves or each other as beautiful pearls. We are well aware of our faults and shortcomings, our fears and our insecurities.
Still it’s true. God’s love is higher than the highest mountain and when He looks at us He is looking through a set of glasses. Those glasses are Jesus. God looks at us through Jesus. He doesn’t see the caked-on dirt on our pearl. All He sees is the beauty of His creation and what we will be when He’s done with us.
God is a rich merchant and He is not about to make a bad investment, and with a rich merchant like God you don’t have to worry whether or not He is going to survive the economic crisis.