I pray all will re-familiarize themselves with Jesus’ parable in Matthew 13: 45&46 — The Pearl of Great Worth.
In eastern cultures, the pearl is a beautiful simile, which affords us an opportunity to discover significant symbolic value in Jesus’ parable. There’s a lot more to this parable of the Kingdom of God, but for now, we pluck up this up one thing that we may elucidate its truth.
Momentarily we set aside the aesthetic and artistic desirability of pearl and instead discover its symbolic worth, by discerning the spiritual truth it represents. By doing so it may aid us in discovering the true interpretation of Jesus’ parable of “The Pearl of Great Worth.” I hope to offer that interpretation more fully in a later post.
The pearl is produced by a living organism. Its manufacture is the result of injury or harm to the life—to the health of the creature. Some foreign thing such as a grain of sand intrudes, and becomes lodged within the oyster or clam. The shellfish then secretes nacre, or mother of pearl, coating the harmful intruder with layer upon layer, until a pearl is formed.
It’s very suggestive that the equivalent word for “pearl” in New Testament Greek is margarites, meaning purity. That word was likely derived from the Sanskrit word for purity. The pearl is a symbol of purity and innocence.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” Matthew 5:8
Purity (pearl) is the response of a living organism to the introduction of something harmful into its being. Think of the introduction of sin into the human heart in the Garden of Eden—certainly a very injurious contamination.
Perhaps it’s a person’s response to the harsh realities of life in a sin cursed world which will determine whether or not the production of purity begins? By response, I’m intimating “faith.”
“For it is by grace you are saved through faith…” Eph. 2:8a
We can see the similarity between a grain of sand entering a clam, which is first an irritant to the shellfish, but later on, if not dealt with, it can actually destroy the life of the clam. God has purposes for allowing evil to temporarily enter into the world, of which, we are woefully incapable of comprehending. Knowing the end from the beginning, God allowed sin to enter every human heart, for a purpose. Remember, He has the cure for sin, paid our penalty for sin, and makes a way for us to be sin-free again, through faith in Christ Jesus.
As a former weight lifter, I can attest to the fact that resistance builds strength. And, “…Suffering produces perseverance…” (Ro. 5: 3), and, “the trying of our faith works patience.” We see this principle demonstrated throughout scripture and in our lives on this big spinning rock called earth.
God uses hardships, difficulties, trials, persecution, etc., as tools in sanctifying us (making us pure, or holy). And all of these bad things result because of sin.
There’s much more I could say, but I wanted to leave you to ponder the simple thought I’ve presented. For though simple, I believe it sublime. Comments welcome.