Each of us have things of value in our lives. Examples could be, our families, homes, careers, investments and even our friends. Then we have possessions of great value and these are usually items we have searched for patiently and persistently for a long time. Jesus reminds us that He too has possessions of great value. Notice with me Matthew Chapter 13 verses 45 and 46. “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.”
Many if not most of us have heard this parable preached with emphasis on the pearl being an illustration of the Church and or Christian. I too have preached this parable as such and believe it correctly applies. As I prayerfully considered Christ’s parables this month, I kept returning to this one. I believe the Holy Spirit was directing me to write a reminder to the Church. Why do we need a reminder? And, what do we need reminding of? Well keep reading!
In postmodern America the Church has been labeled everything from a bigot to a fake by the media, academic institutions, political leaders and social media influencers. This attack has been carried on for so long and to such a demoralizing degree even the church itself has become affected by it. You may want to disagree with me on that point but take a serious look around, paying attention to the lack boldness coming from many churches today.
The afore mentioned problem seems to answer the why and what question given previously. We have been silenced by the enemy and those under his influence. I’m not suggesting we have turned away from the Lord Jesus Christ. I am suggesting our boldness has been toned down. Let’s consider this as we investigate the verses shared above.
The Lord is looking for something of great value and He compares it to the very best pearls. The very best pearls are the most valuable too. When we consider how a pearl is created, I believe we will rediscover a level boldness that has been squelched for at least some of us. First pearls are created by friction. That’s right there is a continuous grinding within an oyster. A grinding that required time and patience. We are reminded in Rom 5:3-5 KJV “And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; (4) And patience, experience; and experience, hope: (5) And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” The friction or grinding experienced by the oyster is akin to the tribulations that Paul speaks of in the life of the believer. Too often we allow tribulation to be a stumbling block instead of a building block. Tribulation is our steppingstone to hope and we learn that hope makes us bold and through that boldness we share by the Holy Ghost the love of God, which is the hope of salvation through Jesus Christ.
Second, the oyster is immersed in the ocean while it engages in the works of producing a pearl. Likewise, the Christian should find themselves immersed in the Lord Jesus Christ. The act of Baptism has us immersed in water rising from it as Christ was buried and resurrected so are we to new life. Should immersion stop at Baptism? I suggest to you no. We should immerse ourselves daily in the Lord Jesus Christ. How, by prayer we petition Him through the power of the Holy Ghost. By praise we engage Him in worship. By His word our Bible we hear from Him. Just as the oyster is immersed in the ocean to accomplish the task of creating a pearl, we should be immersed in the Lord Jesus Christ to become His pearl of great price. The Church He died for and will be returning for.
So, our boldness comes from the very things we suffer because we have believed in Jesus Christ and called on Him to be our Lord and Savior. Let’s not allow the enemy to come sit beside us and subtly convince us to be silent when the Lords work calls us to stand up and stand out. Sharing the Love of God abroad to those who need the good news of Jesus Christ. The Christian is the body of Christ, the Church. As His Church we are very valuable to the Lord. After all He did die on Calvary’s cross to redeem us from our sin. Such a great price was paid for us and we should let that empower us to live for Him boldly all day every day. Embrace the boldness that comes from being a pearl of great price. Until we meet again, either in print or in person, may God richly bless you.