The Parable Of The Pearl


“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.” Matthew 13:45-46

Historians tell us that in the ancient world pearls had a very special place in men’s hearts. People from all over the world desired to possess a lovely pearl, not only for its monetary value but also because of its beauty.

Unlike many people today, back then people would take time and find pleasure simply by handling it and thinking about it. They found a certain joy in simply possessing and looking at a pearl.

And the historian writers tell us that the main sources of these pearls were found around the shores of the Red Sea and the coast of Britain. But they said that these merchants who went looking for these pearls would travel all over the world to find one pearl which was more beautiful than all the others they had seen.

But why would Jesus say that the kingdom of heaven is like a pearl? There are only a few things more important than our families in this life and our salvation is one of them.

Just like the man who found the hidden treasure, Matthew 13:44, they both found something that was beyond value. They both found the means to eternal life and just like the other guy, he too sold everything he had just to get it.

After all what price can you put on your salvation? How much is your soul worth to God? Paul says, “Listen, your soul is so precious to Jesus Christ that He was willing to die for you.”

Even when you were powerless, even when you didn’t want to know anything about God, Christ died for you anyway, Romans 5:6-8. It cost God the price of His precious One and only Son, to make your salvation possible. That’s how much your soul is worth to God.

A lot of people when they find something precious, the first thing they want to do is sell it. But the question is how much do you value your soul? Is it worth selling on?

Judas Iscariot turned his back on Jesus and sold his soul to Jewish authorities for 30 pieces of silver. And sometimes we look at Judas and wonder how he could ever do that.

But the truth of the matter is, each and every one of us turns our backs on Jesus and sells our souls out to Satan for less than 30 pieces of silver sometimes.

Every time you turn on the TV and watch pornography because you think nobody knows, you’ve just turned your back on Jesus and sold your soul out to the devil.

Every time you talk gossip to someone about a fellow Christian, you’ve just turned your back on Jesus and sold your soul out to Satan.

Every time you use foul language when you’re watching a football game, you’ve just turned your back on Jesus and sold out your soul to Satan.

Your soul means everything to God, and your salvation should mean everything to you. Jesus also tells us that the pearl is like the kingdom of heaven because ‘it’s the most beautiful thing you could ever posses’.

Jesus is telling us here, that a soul saved is the most precious and beautiful thing we will ever see and witness, Luke 15:8-10.

And it’s through being obedient to the Gospel and continuing to do God’s will, that we see the beauty of a godly life, John 14:21. It’s not enough to know that something is valuable and beautiful.

You need to know and then take hold of it and then live your life by it, and then you will discover how precious your salvation is to you.

Too many people talk about the five steps to salvation, hearing, believing, repenting, confession and baptism. Well, there is a sixth step and Jesus tells us in Matthew 25:23 that it’s faithfulness.

The sixth step isn’t just a step, it’s a continuous walk. It’s using the talents that God has given us and staying faithful until Jesus returns.

Do you want to show your appreciation to God for the Gospel? Find out what God wants you to do and then do what God wants you to do, James 2:26.

We need to understand that there are other pearls we can find in life. There are many other things that people can find such as a good job and a nice home.

People can find pearls in knowledge and art or even in serving other people. It can be found in friendships and relationships. These are all lovely and beautiful pearls of life but the supreme and most precious pearl lies in seeking to do God’s will, Matthew 6:33.

Doing God’s will doesn’t belittle these other pearls but living your life in accordance with the will of God is the most precious and valuable thing you can possess.

The man who found the hidden treasure in a field stumbled upon God’s will, while he was working, Matthew 13:44. But these sea merchants would deliberately travel all over the world to find a special pearl. He found his deliberately, he spent his whole life looking and searching for this gem of a pearl.

He searched everywhere until he found what he was looking for and he did that because he knew exactly what he was looking for. And no doubt he saw many pearls on his travels and he would have stopped and admired some of them because of their beauty.

But how did he know which pearl was the most precious pearl? I’m sure there are some pearls to be found within most religious groups but how do you know that the pearl you possess is the right pearl?

Well, a good start would be to be like the people that Paul talked to about Christ in Acts 17.

We should never go to any church and just sit there and accept what the preacher or teacher is telling us is truth. Go home with that same great eagerness and examine the Scriptures for yourself to see if what the preacher has told you was true or not, Acts 17:11.

We can’t blame the preacher on Judgement Day for ending up in the wrong place because we found the wrong pearl, we can only blame ourselves, 2 Timothy 2:15.

Let me finish by saying this, one of the reasons Jesus talked to people in parables was because He wanted to search people’s hearts. He wanted to know who was interested in the truth and who wasn’t. If you’re not a Christian today, you need to ask yourself a serious question.

When you see or hear the Gospel according to Christ being preached, whether it’s from a pulpit or in your neighbour’s lives. What are you going to do with it?

Are you going to look for a treasure that suits your own needs or are you going to do what God asks of you?

Are you going to settle for a pearl, which is a watered-down version of the truth, or are you going to dig deep and continue your search for the real truth?

Jesus is the only way, John 14:6, and the Bible is our authority and the Bible has the last word in our lives. Everything we do and say, preach and teach should always be Bible-based.

And if the Bible doesn’t have the last say, then be careful you’re not among a group of people who just want to please men, Galatians 1:10.

Maybe this morning you’ve lost your joy as a Christian in serving the Lord.

Today would be a good day to tell someone that you’re struggling as a Christian and they can pray with you. If you’re not a Christian this morning, then today would be a good day to step out in faith and grab that treasure.

And make that pearl your own and start your walk as a child of God, holding onto the salvation that is promised to all who are faithful to Him.

The question you need to ask yourself is simply this, what value do you put on your soul?