The storyline is so simple yet the message is extremely powerful. The comments by Jesus are as follows;
“The kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, which, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.” (Matthew 13:45&46).
We can imagine the scene; a trader in pearls searches for years for one special gem he has heard about, but never seen. He dreams about it, he imagines the flawless nature of it, the translucent white with just a touch of pink. He often thinks about it growing in some far-off place. The trader imagines the finding of the pearl by the oyster catchers, the spell it cast over those who saw it, the awe and the wonder in the minds of those who would sell and buy it. He imagines the travellers bringing this beauty to his own land to sell it to someone who will treasure it forever.
But alas, when he finally glimpses the beautiful pearl – he knows that he cannot afford his dream. He examines it, spellbound at its matchless perfection. He sits for a long time thinking deeply as he views this unique pearl which he knows is priceless. He doesn’t even make an offer, he knows that he just does not have enough money. He returns home defeated, demoralised and disenchanted. But he cannot forget his dream, he walks restlessly day after day, pondering the possibilities until he knows that the only way is to sell everything he has. He sells all. Finally, he has sufficient money but all his possessions have gone. He returns to the pearl seller and offers that which he has, knowing that it is not enough, no, not by a long way. But it’s all that he has and the pearl seller smiles, takes the money and gives the man his dream – a priceless pearl for him to keep.
The message is equally simple yet equally significant to all; The merchant is you, dreaming of peace, purity and perfection in life. The pearl is the Good News, The Gospel. It is priceless, given to you, but only if one makes the absolute sacrifice. This requires dedication, commitment and the sacrifice of something valuable. For us, this is possibly ‘time’. Something in short supply for many, but something of great value which we have to creatively use in the Master’s service in order to obtain something of even greater value.
Take my life and let it be consecrated, Lord to thee.