Matthew 13:45-46 - (Jesus said) "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it."
In Matthew 13:45-46, Jesus told the parable of a merchant whose specialty was the buying and selling of pearls. Over time, the man had learned how to accurately judge the quality and value of a pearl by its luster and luminescence. Although the man made a success of himself and actually became quite wealthy, he was not content.
You see, our merchant believed that somewhere in the world there existed a pearl that overshadowed all the other gemstones he had ever seen. It was the search for that most singular and special of pearls that fueled both his search and his desire.
Finally, a day came when, quite by accident, he stumbled upon the pearl. The only problem was the present owner of the pearl knew what he had. The price the owner set meant our merchant would have to sell off his home and vehicles, get rid of his stocks, and cash in his retirement accounts.
Can I tell you, would you believe me if I said he never looked back. That's the story Jesus told 2,000 years ago. Here's an alternate and true version of the story.
It begins with an out-of-luck Philippine fisherman. Things went from bad to worse when a house fire forced him to move and dispose of his goods and trinkets. He was particularly sad to sell one bit of bric-a-brac. He had picked up the object when he had to make a dive off Palawan Island and was freeing his boat's anchor from some rocks.
The object took his fancy; he brought it home and kept it under his bed. But now it, too, had to be sold. The fisherman tried to get an idea of how much the item was worth so he took it to a learned friend who investigated.
This is what the friend found. The Philippine fisherman had discovered the world's largest pearl which weighed in at 75 pounds. Indeed, it was five times larger than its closest competitor.
And if you are wondering what a 75-pound pearl is worth, I'll tell you. It's $100,000,000.
So there you have it: two stories about pearls which are worth a lot.
As you can see, there are major differences between the tales. One man was knowledgeable; the other ignorant. One man searched for his pearl; the other found it accidentally. One man cherished his find; the other hid his under his bed.
Yes, there are differences, and there is this similarity: both men were made rich by the possession of a pearl. Just as you and I are made rich when we have Jesus as our Savior. Consider for a moment just how spiritually wealthy you are: do you have a sin, it is erased by Jesus' sacrifice; do you feel alone, you have a Friend in the Savior; do you have cares and concerns, Jesus is willing to help you carry them. Do you ever worry about death? You don't need to. Jesus has a place prepared for you after this life is over.
Because of the Christ, we have been made most wealthy indeed.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, without You, Your Son, and Your intervention, we would be spiritually poor and destitute. We give thanks that Jesus has made us rich in blessings which are showered down upon us in this world and the next. In His Name I pray. Amen.
The above devotion was inspired by a number of sources, including one written by McKinley Corbley for Good News on August 24, 2018. Those who wish to reference that article may do so at the following link, which was fully functional at the time this devotion was written: https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/fire-forces-man-sell-good-luck-pearl-turns-worth-76mil/
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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