Matt 13:45-46 The Parable of the Pearl CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
This parable of the pearl concerns the church.
The merchantman is Jesus. A merchant is one who traffics on a large scale, especially with foreign countries. Often, references to merchants and merchandise in the Bible are negative references [Is 23:11; Hos 12:7; Zeph 1:11]. However, applying the analogy of a merchant to Jesus makes sense, in this case. Jesus left his country (heaven) to come to the world, which to him was a foreign country (Jn 3:13; 6:38). He didn’t just come as an ambassador representing heaven; rather he came as a merchant to pay a price to buy something that he could take with him to his country.
The one pearl of great price is the church. He came to buy pearls and found one that he wanted to buy. This pearl is the church for several reasons.
· The church is one – SOS 6:9; Eph 5:25-32 [notice “the” church; “a” glorious church; “one” flesh]
· The church is made up of people who are likened to stones – 1 Pet 2:5; 1 Cor 3:12; Zech 9:16; Matt 7:6
· The stones of the church are living stones – 1 Pet 2:4-5; 1 Cor 12:12-27
· The only stones that are living organisms are pearls; the rest are minerals – Rev 18:12 and 16 list precious stones and pearls separately, for instance
· Pearls are found in the sea
· The sea is where men fish; Jesus trained fishers of men; the “fish” enter heaven through the “pearly” gates (Mk 1:17; Lk 5:10; Rev 21:21)
The great price [he sold all that he had 2 Cor 8:9] was his life – Jesus gave it all, he held nothing back, there was nothing more that he could have given; the last five possessions on earth were his five garments and they took those right before he died – Jn 15:13; Eph 5:25
He bought the pearl – 1 Cor 6:20; 2 Pet 2:1 [notice that the price he paid was enough to pay for ALL of the lost – 1 Tim 2:4-6]
Two thoughts about this parable – we need to be telling those who haven’t become a part of the pearl how they can be saved; each new “lively stone” is added to the pearl so that it grows just like a natural pearl does until it is harvested.