"THE PARABLES OF JESUS"
The Pearl Of Great Price (Mt 13:45-46)
1. In "The Parable Of The Hidden Treasure", it was suggested...
a. That Jesus was depicting the "value" of the kingdom to one who
accidentally finds it
b. That Paul's conversion was an example of how one is willing to
give up all in order to lay hold of the "treasure" of the kingdom
c. That the value of the kingdom can be seen when we consider that
1) A refuge from the powers of darkness - Co 1:13
2) A domain of righteousness, peace, and joy - Ro 14:17
3) An unshakable kingdom - He 12:25-29
4) Destined for eternal glory - Mt 13:41-43
2. Jesus followed His parable with another short parable...
a. Commonly called "The Parable Of The Pearl Of Great Price" - Mt 13:45-46
b. Its similarity to the previous parable is obvious, and yet there
is a difference
[The difference and some related thoughts will serve as the basis for
our study as we take a closer look at "The Parable Of The Pearl Of
Great Price". We begin with...]
I. THE PARABLE EXPLAINED
A. THE DETAILS OF THE PARABLE...
1. A merchant is seeking beautiful pearls
2. He finds one pearl of great price
3. Undeterred by its price, he sells all that he has and buys it!
B. THE MEANING OF THE PARABLE...
1. The use of the word "Again" ties this parable to the preceding
a. Where the value and preciousness of the kingdom was being
b. Where we saw the value to one who accidentally finds it
2. But in this parable, the person is on a mission to find that
which is of great value
a. He believes there is something out there worth looking for,
or he would not be seeking it
b. When he finds it, he immediately recognizes its value and
is willing to sell all to obtain it
3. Neither this parable (nor the previous one) is suggesting we
can "buy" or otherwise "earn" our salvation
a. For salvation is a gift - cf. Ro 6:23
b. We can "buy" salvation only in the sense of gaining
rightful possession of it
1) Which we do by grace through faith - cf. Ep 2:8-9
2) When we submit to the working of God and the renewing
the Holy Spirit which takes place as we are baptized
into Christ - cf. Co 2:11-13; Ti 3:4-7
4. This parable, then, describes how some people react to the
kingdom of heaven, when they know there must be something out
there worthy of great value and have been searching for it
C. SOME BIBLICAL EXAMPLES...
1. The Ethiopian eunuch - Acts 8:26-38
a. His journey to Jerusalem to worship, his reading of
Scripture while returning, indicate he was spiritually
b. His immediate desire to be baptized shows his estimation of
the value of the salvation offered through Christ
2. Cornelius - Acts 10:1-8; Acts 10:30-33
a. His prayers and alms were indicative of his search for
b. As promised by Jesus (cf. Mt 5:6), God took note of his
spiritual hunger and thirst, and sent Peter to tell him the
gospel of Christ
3. Lydia - Acts 16:11-15
a. Her meeting with other women to pray illustrates her
b. Upon hearing the things spoken by Paul, she and her
household were baptized
[Each of these examples should remind us that there are many people who
know there is some "thing", some "purpose", some "meaning", that is
worthy of diligent search, and who spend their lives trying to find it.
When by the grace and providence of God they come to learn of Christ
and His kingdom, they are willing to give up all to obtain it!
These examples, and the parable itself, confirm the truthfulness of
Jesus' teaching about those "who hunger and thirst for righteousness".
That those who "hunger", those who "search", will indeed find what God
has for them!
It might be that we may "stumble" across the blessings God has in
Christ and His kingdom (as in "The Parable Of The Hidden Treasure").
But do we want to risk our salvation on possibly "stumbling" across it?
What can we do to ensure that we will find what God has for us? Well,
we need to be like that merchant, "searching" for that "pearl of great
price". How does one do that in regards to spiritual matters...?]
II. SEARCHING FOR "THE PEARL OF GREAT PRICE"
A. FOLLOW THE EXAMPLE OF THE ETHIOPIAN EUNUCH - Acts 8:27-28
1. Be a student of the Scriptures
2. Apply the Scriptures to the best of your understanding
3. Be open to what others may have to share concerning the
B. FOLLOW THE EXAMPLE OF THE BEREANS - Acts 17:10-11
1. Again, be open to what others have to share
2. But apply diligence (i.e., "readiness of mind") to grasp
what others are saying
3. And in the end, let the Scriptures be your final authority
4. Demonstrate it by "searching the Scriptures daily"
1. Like the Ethiopian eunuch, the Bereans, Cornelius, Lydia, and many
other religious people...
a. We may be lost in our present state of understanding of God's will
b. But if we will search like that "merchant" did, and have the
desire to understand and please God like these people did...
c. ...then we can trust in God's Providence to lead us to the truth,
and to that "pearl of great price"!
2. Is the "pearl of great price" worth it?
a. What would those who have passed on have to say?
b. Who though they may have suffered greatly in this life, have come
to experience the ultimate blessings of the "kingdom of heaven"
-- I am confident they would say "It was surely worth it all!"
3. And the blessings of the kingdom are not limited to the life
hereafter; as Jesus reassured Peter, there are hundredfold blessings
even "in this time" - cf. Mk 10:28-30
Dear friend, do you not desire this "pearl of great price"? Are you
even searching? Can we help you in your search?
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