In the book of Matthew, Jesus describes what the Kingdom of Heaven is like. One of the descriptions was, “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant on the lookout for choice pearls. 46 When he discovered a pearl of great value, he sold everything he owned and bought it” (Matthew 13:45 and 46 NLT). On the outside, it looks like the merchant is the individual and the “pearl” is the good news of the Kingdom; yet, when I re-read this passage, it is the reverse; The merchant is God, and the mankind is the pearl. To sell all that one possesses for one single pearl, would have to mean that the pearl was worth the cost. Jesus’ death on the cross cost the Father all he had, and he was willing to do so to purchase our lives.
I have always wondered why Jesus would compare the Kingdom of God to that of a Pearl. That is until I read how they are formed. There are three different types of pearls: natural, cultured, and synthetic. Natural pearls are started by an irritant such as an infection, the irritant is covered by a defense mechanism called “nacre” which coats the infection. After a while, the infection and the nacre form an illustrious pearl. Cultured pearls are started by the inception of a seed called, “Mother of Pearl” and the nacre forms around it; this usually takes about 3 years. It is not uncommon for the company harvesting the pearl to take it out too soon resulting in a lower quality pearl. Synthetic pearls are simply glass beads made to look like the real gem.
After reading the above, I came to understand that the message had two purposes: warning and encouragement. The disciples were being warned that not all pearls are the same; that there are those in our midst who mean to destroy fellowship. Unfortunately, we will not know who these people are until the fruit comes out (Matthew 7:15-20). The encouraging part of this parable is that we can see how valuable we really are no matter how bad or how rough our start in life might have been.
When we witness to others using the seed of our faith and the power of our testimony, it is planted in others and it comes across as an irritant. It is an irritant because the answer to their questions is 180 degrees out of sync with the world’s way of operation just as it was for us when the irritant was planted. Once the seed is planted, the nacre of the mind’s processing will form around the seed to bring it to fruition; this process takes an undetermined amount of time something we have no control over. When people get irritated with us and seek to find what is wrong with us, bare this in mind that it is the irritant within them fighting against their processes causing confusion. For the Sanhedrin just as it was for Judas, it was how Jesus handled them no matter how badly they treated him.
My prayer for you today is that you will consider who you are in Christ Jesus, the price that was paid for you, and how can you share that seed with others. Be encouraged, my friend.
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