Recognizing the Pearl


“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid, and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.  Matthew 13: 44-46

Have you ever wondered who would bother to dig for treasure in a field unless he knew ahead of time it was there?  What an arduous process that would be!  However, the implication in this snippet of a story is that the purchaser of the field knew for a fact the treasure was there, as he had already found it prior to the purchase.  Similarly, the pearl merchant recognized the value of what he was buying.  In fact, he knew the pearl was so highly prized that he was willing to give all that he had to buy it.   These stories both describe how Jesus set His heart upon me and gave His all to purchase me for Himself.  He recognizes my value, regardless of how hidden or dirty or lost I am.  He regards me as the treasure hidden in the field, as His pearl of great price.

In fact, we love Him because He FIRST loved us (1 John 4:19)!  Only His unlimited and whole-hearted purchasing power can give me the ability to recognize Him in return as the treasure, as my Pearl of Greatest Price.  He set His love on me, and He empowers me to set my love upon Him and give Him all that I have and all that I am, however paltry that may be by comparison to what He gave for me.  Paul explains this treasure hunt in Philippians 3:12:  “I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.” Jesus has acknowledged me as His pearl, sought me out, and laid hold of me.  He then prompts me to acknowledge Him, seek Him, and lay hold of Him as the quintessential Treasure!

Sometimes we don’t recognize treasure when we see it.  Its value may be hidden under layers of dirt, or it may be that we simply lack the understanding of and appreciation for the value of something.  I remember throwing out a piece of dried-out, old cheese when cleaning up a work area at my place of employment  Unfortunately, in my ignorance, I had tossed a piece of real Italian aged parmesan cheese in the trash!  My co-workers were not happy when they discovered I had tossed out their treasure when I cleaned out the refrigerator.   I had failed to recognize a treasure!

God recognizes our value when no one else does, and He has already paid all He had for you and for me.  May He fill me with His overwhelmingly powerful love in return, so that I can fix my eyes on the Pearl of Great Price and give my all for Him!

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