Read Time 5 Minutes
One of Jesus’ beloved Parables is known as – “The Pearl of Great Price”. As with all the Words written in Red, there is much to seek and know within the telling.
Matthew 13:45-46 KJV – The Pearl of Great Price
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.
Is there anyone in your life you really wish you never had to see or hear from again? We all have those folks, so the real question is why? Should we assume they’re problem people, misfits and dismiss them from our minds? Or is there a deeper purpose, a point we are missing and a lesson God wants us to learn?
How often we chafe at the difficult people God brings into our life. They are there, sometimes only for a season, for a specific reason. Before you become so infuriated and frustrated with a seemingly intractable person, think about what God might be doing in your life through them or in theirs through you. We really want conformity with our thoughts and understandings. God requires we conform to His Heart!
Who can say to the eye, you should be an ear or, You’re only a toe, you don’t matter, for it’s the great toe which brings balance. Ask someone who has lost one and they will tell you its value. Either in life or in the Body of Christ, there are no coincidences. Who is there to fix whom? Probably, neither. Experience is a great teacher and God is the author of many experiences. God’s vantage point and purpose is what we must seek to see. What is God teaching me in and through this person? Perhaps its patience and perhaps its how to really listen to another opinion, diverse from your own. The purpose is to either change your opinion, modify your understanding or strengthen your position.
In life as in the Body of Christ, we interact with people who hold different views on a wide range of topics. The cry of the rabble – those who have the loudest, but not the wisest voice – scream “Unity”. We must unify as a nation, as a political party or as a church at all costs. The rabble often resorts to scripture to “shame” the Christian, “Be one as we are one.” But, is that what Christ meant? What was the context and about what are we to be unified. Unity at any cost is merely submission to another man’s opinion or to the world system of anti-Christ. We are all beautifully and wonderfully made by the hand of the Father. But, He’s not finished with us yet.
The Pearl of Great Price Parable in Matthew has two equally profound meanings. The one most often thought of is the Believer who discovers the Gospel, the Kingdom of Heaven, and leaves everything behind to obtain this perfect Jewel.
The second and lesser understood message is our point of focus. We, the Believers, are The Pearl of Great Price in the eyes of God. Our value is so great to the Father, He gave up His most precious possession – His Unique Son, Jesus Christ – to redeem us and bring us home to His Kingdom forever. We are, even now, being changed to be more like the one who paid the ultimate price to redeem us. In what way?
Consider the lowly oyster. The invasion into the shell of the oyster by a foreign body, a grain of sand, creates irritation. In an effort to reduce the irritation, the oyster secretes a substance called nacre (NAY-ker) which coats the sand to reduce the irritation and contain the invasion. The nacreous coated sand, over time, with a build up of secretion becomes entirely new and beautiful. It is strong, resilient and iridescent . . . we know it as a Pearl. The interior of the shell itself is now coated with nacre as well. This thin layer of the shell now becomes a gem in its own right . . . we know it as Mother of Pearl. You have seen the beautiful jewelry with the Mother of Pearl layered shell carved to create rings, earrings or necklaces of exquisite beauty. Even the interior of the rough and serviceable shell has been made a thing of astonishing beauty. God has made all the component parts within the process, undergo not only a change in function, but a change in nature.
Believers are the potential Pearl in the oyster right now, but without the grain of sand there will never be a Pearl. The grain of sand in the oyster’s shell, causes the excretion of nacre, there would be no Pearl of Great Price nor the shell which contains it without this seemingly painful process. The grain of sand is no longer . . . it has been transformed into one of God’s peculiar treasures!
The grain of sand was created to be the irritant and its doing its part. The question is what are we excreting? Our human pride wants to cast out the sand, but what we are designed to do, what Father God wants is for us to excrete the nacre – the mother of pearl – to coat the grain of sand, reduce the irritation and become something naturally and incredibly beautiful, strong, resilient and iridescent.
We are not designed to cast out the grain of sand, only to add value, only God can combine the process to create the Pearl. The irritant is doing its job. The question should not be, “How do I get rid of the sand? But, what must I produce within me to lessen the irritation and cooperate with God to produce the Pearl of Great Price?”
It’s easy to say “we must be in unity”, but in unity about what? We must be in “unity” about the gospel. Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God, born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, voluntarily died on a cross to pay the sin debt in His own blood for all who would accept His freely offered gift. The gift wasn’t free by any stretch of the imagination, but it is freely offered to all. This is Salvation, our God ordained point of unity.
Everything else in scripture is important, but not essential to salvation. Discuss with vigor, listen to the Holy Spirit but the gospel is the only hill we need to die on or verbally berate our brothers over. It is absolutely acceptable to agree to disagree on peripheral issues in scripture. But you cannot do so without first really listening and submitting your understanding to Holy Spirit, then doing what He requires. It is this listening, this vigorous discussion which combines the sand and the nacre of our lives to create the Pearl.
Sometimes we’re the grain of sand and sometimes we must be the nacre. We cannot always be sand or nacre, for one without the other produces nothing. The trick and the growth comes from knowing how to be both, effectively, at the right time and in the right way. Then and only then are we about the Father’s business and not focusing on our own self-aggrandizement or succumbing to pride. It’s a fine line and we can only walk that line in the power of the Holy Spirit, for to do so alone is to walk boldly and foolishly in an area where angels fear to tread.
A Grain of Sand without Nacre is simply an irritant, nacre without sand has no foundation upon which to build a beautiful treasure – the Pearl of Great Price.
Thanks for taking time for me . . .
Sherry Driskell Griffin
P. S. If this was a Blessing to you . . . be a Blessing and pass it along!
WHAT IS . . . THE BEST
CHRISTIAN SITE . . . ON THE INTERNET
OH . . . FOR THE LOVE OF BISCUITS . . .
. . . IT’S . . .