(Mat 13:45) Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: (46) Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it. To arrive at the full impact of this small one verse parable, we will look at the words used to convey God’s desire for each of us to fully experience the Kingdom of Heaven . . . the full relationship with the King.
THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN realm is where the King of kings expresses Himself and His purposes without any limitations put on by man. It is so very different from man-controlled Church activities. Every aspect of the Kingdom of Heaven shows God’s sovereign control in all things and leads towards the reconciliation of mankind to God and then the restoration of all creation. The ‘AGAIN’ emphasizes that this parable has a similar challenge for change and separation as the preceding one. It includes a willingness to give up on what has been precious in order to fully enjoy and appreciate what we have now received. This parable has a challenging depth, for most of us have a hard time giving up or disposing of ‘goodly pearls’ which have become an integral part of our belief-system and the effect of which has changed our lives and touched our relationships. Even though you ‘sell all’, it does not mean that you forsake the truth in our pearls (providing it is truth by the Spirit), it means rather that you no longer place the same emphasis on them, for the pearl of greatest value, that of the relationship with Christ Jesus who is the epitome of truth, has literally consumed you.
The MERCHANT MAN is us! The Greek word here means ‘tradesman’ and emphasizes our keenness to grasp new revelations and truths that will enhance our walk with the King in His kingdom. Every new pearl labeled ‘goodly’ because of its superb quality will come into our collection even at the cost of letting previous understandings go because the new supercedes them. A SEEKING merchantman has a ‘24/7’ alertness for new and better pearls, new and better insights and understandings. We have a consuming desire to be filled completely and experientially with Christ’s thinking and be His full expression in the earth. There are wonderful PEARLS of wisdom and understanding within mature ‘Oysters’ who are willing to lay down their lives so that we can receive. There are pearls of fellowship and communion, there are pearls of ‘truth’ whose quality quite often requires that we lay down previous aspects of our lives to receive and walk in them. I believe that the ‘pearl’ represents precious truths that affect our relationship with Christ. Every new expression and understanding of our life in Christ can be labeled ‘a goodly pearl’ and each revelation is marvelous. Note that there is many more ‘pearls’ than just our first one denoting our salvation experience.
PEARL OF GREAT PRICE: This is the direct relationship with our Father in Heaven. This develops into an intimacy with Him wherein His love for us becomes even more real and precious. Communion of hearts and minds, a sharing of my hopes and fears, of all that produces companionship and a discovery that only in HIM we are to move and have our being. We progress from the realm of just gaining knowledge, further revelation, knowing more scripture . . . all these are pearls not to be despised for they truly can affect our walk with the Lord. But these pearls really have not satisfied us, for we have found this one superb pearl and our new relationship with Him who is Truth, puts all the other goodly pearls in the shadow. We have looked for and have FOUND. The search has been burning within our hearts for a long time. We’ve been where ‘pearls of wisdom’, revelation and understanding are being offered. It was not a one-time search but a lifestyle of always looking for Him, His Life in all of creation especially people. God places a hunger in each of His people so that they have a loving desire to be very close with the Lord. If we yield to that desire in an intimate way, we shall be able to hear His still small voice within. We shall be close enough to feel as He feels, see what He sees, hear what He speaks even to the point of having conversation with Him, Who is the Living Word. Having found this superb pearl of tremendous value worth everything that we have and are, it just has to become our very own.
Have we truly SOLD ALL? The Greek word translated here as ‘sold’ means to sell one into slavery leaving them in a lesser state. Being willing to let traditional teachings centered around the letter-word and self go, for now we see that they were good in their time in our lives, but now could be a hindrance for the life of Christ to be fully seen in my earth. We BOUGHT IT, it truly is ours! This superb new relationship could possibly cost you some of your previous precious relationships that don’t seek the same fulfillment with the Father . . . but having tasted of such a flow and relationship with Father-God, we know we cannot go back and lower our vision. The Kingdom of Heaven is shown here clearly as consisting of this type of relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ Who is the highest ‘truth’ personified.
ILLUSTRATION: You most likely started off your Christian experience in a fundamental evangelical fellowship and enjoyed many ‘goodly pearl’ teachings and friendships Then by the drawing of the Holy Spirit, you had a desire for more of the Lord. He led you to experience the baptism in the Holy Spirit and you then found your fellowship and close friendships were with Charismatics or Pentecostal folks who would move in the gifts of the spirit etc. Your ‘old’ pearls that were against such have gone. Now you have experienced two of the three Feasts of the Lord – Passover and Pentecost. However the hunger within was still there and the Lord led you to embrace the vision of the Feast of Tabernacles and the Kingdom of Heaven. Your spiritual environment has changed yet again and the pearls that you so thoroughly enjoyed with your earlier ‘spirit-filled’ friends, no longer take ‘first-place’ in your life. The ones who are happy where they are at, just cannot fathom why you are now different and they don’t seem to be able to move in the revelation that God has unveiled to us. They still want a ‘letter-word’ chapter and verse for everything that you have experienced by the Spirit. They are still trying to understand spiritual things with the natural mind . . . they seem to hang around the ‘tree of the knowledge of good and evil’ and cannot forsake knowledge to embrace life . . . God’s Life in fullness. The giving up of what have been precious is not worthy to be compared with the life being unveiled in us. I must emphasize that it is not a matter of doctrine, of believing in exactly the same way, for the Lord has brought us to the right priorities of seeing others through His eyes. It is knowing Him, and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings (Philippians 3:10). God bless you.