In Matthew 13:45-46, Jesus told the following parable of the precious pearl:
“Also the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls, who having found a precious pearl, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.
Reading these words, many people think that Jesus Christ wanted to exemplify the priceless value of the kingdom of heaven and following a Christian life for those who seek the truth and serve God.
However, the truth is that Jesus did not refer to the gospel as a precious pearl. If we carefully read the verses before and after, we will better understand the meaning of the parable.
A precious pearl
At that time it was very common to find merchants who dedicated themselves to looking for good pearls to buy and then sell them at a much higher price.
Surely, in that search, the merchants found many people who offered them fake pearls or pearls of little value, which is why they were quite careful to search, select and buy only the best.
When the merchant in the story that Jesus told found that pearl, he immediately knew that it was worth much more than everything he owned and decided to buy it.
Many people think that when Jesus told this parable he meant that the Kingdom of Heaven or the gospel was so valuable that it could be compared to a precious pearl, which should be highly valued by whoever had the privilege of finding it.
Actually, Jesus did not compare the kingdom of heaven to a precious pearl. The merchant he referred to in his parable was not just any merchant; Just as in other parables he used Lords and owners of the land as an example, Jesus used the analogy of the merchant to speak of God and compared righteous men to a precious pearl.
We can determine this if we read the verses in context, since in Matthew 13, from verses 40 to 50, Jesus referred with parables to the discrimination and separation that God will make of the just and the unjust on Judgment Day.
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The merchant sold everything he had to buy the pearl
In this part of the parable, Jesus tells us that the merchant needed to sell everything he had at that time in order to buy that precious pearl.
Being a man who was dedicated to business, it is easy to imagine that the merchant had many possessions and handled a lot of money, but still, the pearl he found was of such great value that the money he had was not enough to buy it and he had to get rid of absolutely all his material possessions in order to be the owner of such a precious pearl.
The man in the story, despite being very rich, did not have enough to buy the pearl.
The merchant referred to in the story is God himself. Who paid the highest price, the blood of his beloved only-begotten Son, for the salvation of the righteous (the precious pearl) With this parable Jesus referred to the value that we ourselves have for God.
A value was so high that he was able to pay the highest price for our salvation.
In addition, it reminds us that one day “the end of this century” will come and although God loves us all equally, he does not consider all of us equally valuable; Therefore, we must strive in this life to be considered righteous in the eyes of God and to be like that precious pearl.