“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.”
This is subtly different than the previous parable (verse 44). The central issue seems to be of value. The pearl was magnificent. This merchant had never seen one like this. It gleamed in his hands, and he knew he must have it. It wasn’t an option, he had to buy it. His response–sell everything to the highest bidder (of course) and buy it.
O.K. I’m going to take an entirely different approach than the last entry. It just might be not so much us seeking the treasure in the field–the kingdom of Heaven, rather it’s Jesus seeking us. This different interpretation isn’t as weird as it seems.
We know that Jesus loves the Church.
Rather the people who make up the body. He loves everyone, but he’s crazy about his people. I have a shirt, and I’ll wear it sometimes when I feel like it could touch someone, it says “Jesus Loves You, but I’m His Favorite.” I know it’s funny, but maybe (?) it’s true. I know that he loves me–crazy-like. I love that he loves, even me.
We’re the pearl.
Jesus sees, and he must have us. So he comes, and pays the price, he sells it all just to possess us. Now we certainly don’t feel possessable (I invented a new word). We know that there is nothing remarkable about us, and actually, we know our sinfulness, we’re spiritually evil all of the time. The theologians call it “the depravity of man.” (Ecclesiastes 9:3; Job 15:14-16; Matthew 15:19).
We become the “elect”(2 Timothy 2:10) when we really put our faith in what Jesus did for us and believe me, that’s not what I feel or sense about myself. But it’s what he sees, and he desperately wants me to be his own–and I don’t know why he would do such a thing. It makes no sense to me at all.
“Love has reasons which reason cannot understand.”