By Pastor John Mateos Ong and Pastora Monique Lopez Ong
Matthew 13;45-46 says, “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.”
-The one looking is a merchant.
-He is looking for pearls.
-He found one of great value.
-He went away after discovering.
-He had many possessions.
-He sold everything.
-Now he has nothing but the pearl.
-But he was happy.
1st view: We are the merchant and the pearl is Jesus.
If you ask people what the most valuable thing in their life is, these are the most popular answers:
1. Fame and popularity
Power and Influence
Love and Relationship
Pleasure and Happiness
At one point in your life, you have run after one or more or most of these things. You have been told that they will make you happy in one way or another. So you run after all these things but you will only get tired. It’s like chasing the wind, King Solomon says. Because no matter how much you get and how much you achieve, they will never fill you. You can only find satisfaction and contentment in Jesus Christ.
No wonder it says in Matthew 6:33 to “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. “These things” are all the things that you run after, but you have to seek first the kingdom of God. Jim Elliot, a missionary once said, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.” The world has nothing to offer you that you can keep. It will always try to trick and entice you. But when you have Jesus in your heart, it will never get lost. In the movie The Lord of the Rings, Gollum wanted the ring so bad that he did everything to have it in his possession. The ring, which promised power and immortality, destroyed and killed him in the end. Because when you finally have the ring on your finger, you think you own it, but it really owns you.
2nd View: Jesus is the Merchant and we are the Pearl.
You never really looked for God. All this time, it is God who is pursuing you. There were days in your life where you lived like there was no God and you are the god of your life. But something happened. God saw you and He was willing to pay everything just to get you. Some might say that they were the ones who searched for God. But because of sin, you are not really capable of finding Him.
3 Things that Counter the Lies of Satan
Satan cannot really do anything to you because you have been redeemed by God. The best thing he can do is to tell you lies. John 8:44 says “You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.” Jesus was not talking about you when He says that “you belong to your father the devil” because your father is God. Jesus was talking to the pharisees. He put it there so that you can be warned that the favorite weapon of Satan against you are lies because he cannot do anything else.
1.We are God’s mission - A MERCHANT SEEKING BEAUTIFUL PEARLS.The merchant is like a mission, as the merchant seeking beautiful pearls. Why is it that Jesus used a merchant? If Jesus was talking to carpenters or farmers, why did he not use them in this analogy? And why did He use beautiful pearls? Why not a lost sheep or something that is more relatable? What is it about the merchant and the pearl that makes this parable unique?
Merchants are wise and wealthy and run their economy. They are dignified and live in comfort. They know their goods and are knowledgeable. You cannot easily fool them.
Pearls are precious. They do not grow on land. You have to dive in deep waters to obtain it. You cannot fabricate pearls and because of that each and every pearl is unique.
In the verse, God is the one searching. In Romans 5:8, it says “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” He did not wait for you to become good and repent. While you were basking in your sins, Christ died for you. This was prophesied in Ezekiel 34:11: “For thus says the Lord, “Behold, I myself will search for my sheep and seek them out.” Even in the New Testament, this was confirmed by Jesus when He told His mission in Luke 19:20: “For the Son of Man came to seek and save the lost.” Jesus specifically came on earth to seek those who are lost.
2. We are the pearl - ONE OF GREAT VALUE. You are one of great value. Many people can say it but do not receive it. You have no idea how valuable you are to God. You have a horizontal view of value in that you equate it with your facebook likes or what your family and friends say. But you also have a vertical view or value which is your view of what you think God thinks of you, which may also be distorted. You cannot see how God sees you because you see something else. The lies of the enemy is at work here. Lies like:
-PAST: God is mad at you because of your past.
-PRESENT:You will not change.
-RELIGION:You need to earn grace.
-HYPER_GRACE:It is ok to sin.
-Your value depreciates.
God values you. God loves you. He cannot love you more because He has loved you so much with a perfect love. Romans 8:38-39 says, “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Receive and claim that nothing can separate you from the love of God which is n Christ Jesus.
If God loves you, why are there so many trials happening in your life?
Do you know how pearls are made? They are naturally made. They are formed when an irritant, usually a parasite and not the proverbial grain of sand, works its way into an oyster, mussel or clam. As a defense mechanism, a fluid coats the irritant, layer upon layer called nacre is deposited, until a lustrous pearl is formed. Just like trials. Consider them as irritants. But God is continuously giving you His grace, which is the nacre or fluid, that surrounds you so you can withstand all the trials. And at the end, something beautiful, YOU, come out of it.
If you are going through so many things, you can rejoice today. God is creating something beautiful and valuable. James 1:2-4 says, “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” God allows trials for our good. To become a pearl, persist! Trials will produce perseverance that will complete you.
3.He paid the price - HE WENT AWAY AND SOLD EVERYTHING HE HAD AND BOUGHT IT. These are all past tense. There was nothing left. God was willing to sacrifice everything to have you. 1 John 4:10 says, “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the atonement for our sins.” Atonement is a payment for something wrong that was done. It is redemption because you did something wrong. Jesus was not supposed to die on the cross. It was supposed to be you. But it had to b e someone who is innocent. You are supposed to be suffering in hell. But God could not take that. So He became man and had a mission of seeking out.
Romans 8:32 says, “He who did not spare His own Son but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him freely give us all things?” God already gave us the best which is Jesus Christ. Can you do the same? Give your one and only son for people who do not deserve it? If you know that God gave you the best heaven can offer, why are you still questioning if God really loves you?
Picture the merchant on a cliff, sitting there with nothing. All he has are the clothes on his back. But he is holding something. The pearl. And you see his face. He is smiling. He is full of joy. That merchant is God. He does not have anything but He is happy. Why? Because he was able to buy the pearl of great price. The pearl is you. God is telling you right now, “I might have lost everything, but I am happy because now I am with you.’
Revelations 21:21 says “The twelve gates were twelve pearls: each individual gate was of one pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.” When you get to heaven, you will see the same majestic early gates. And it will remind you how precious you are. It will also remind you what Jesus paid for. The sacrifice Jesus had to take to obtain those pearls, every scourging, every pain, every drop of blood Jesus had to go through so He could get you back. Jesus is the most precious thing in your life and you are the most precious thing to Him. You are what God was looking for all this time.