I grew up in a Godly home. When I was a kid, my parents had pretty strict media standards for our family. I’m grateful now, but that means while you were watching Saturday cartoons on network television, I was watching Bible cartoons on the Christian channel. You had Transformers, I had Superbook.
The one story I never understood was the parable in Matthew 13:45-46 about a merchant who sold everything to get a pearl. I still remember watching this cartoon of a wealthy man who had it all. He a nice robe, really fancy turban and a beautiful home filled with nice furniture. One day he went out and found a man selling a pearl, which to me just looked like a small, shiny rock.
But the man’s eyes lit up when he saw the pearl, and he went and sold everything – I mean everything. The cartoon showed the man’s possessions being sold off in detail until all he had left were some cheap old clothes. The man grabbed the money and exchanged it for this little rock. And then the story was over.
This story just did not make sense to my five year old mind. Why would someone give up all of that just to get a dumb rock? Aren’t the clothes, the furniture, the home and everything else better? It felt like a story of a poor man getting scammed, not something to celebrate.
The problem was my perspective. I did not understand the value of the pearl so I did not understand the purpose of the sacrifice.
Pearls in the first century were the most valuable jewels in the world. There are historic accounts of Roman emperors spending the equivalent of over ten million dollars on just one pearl. One general financed an entire war by selling just one of his mother’s pearl earrings. To understand the sacrifice in this parable you must first understand the value of the pearl. I’ve found the same is true for our relationship with God.
Following God is costly, but the treasure gained is far greater than any price we will ever pay. When we see what He is worth, the cost starts to seem insignificant, and like the merchant, we will gladly pay whatever it takes.
If you want to live wholeheartedly for Jesus it will be costly, but if you keep your eyes on the treasure, I believe the cost will start to seem rather small compared to what is gained. Do whatever it takes today to find the Treasure, and when you find it, do whatever it takes to keep It.
Director of Strategic Development
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