OF ALL THE PARABLES JESUS TOLD, this short one has meant more to me than any other: "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" (Matt. 13:45, 46). At the time, pearls were an article of commerce and, therefore, valuable. A merchant might travel as far as the Persian Gulf or India in search of the finest pearls (see The Interpreter's Bible, Vol. 7, p. 420).
Today, how far are we willing to go in order to find and keep a most precious "pearl"? Are we willing to sell everything we have once we find it? And what, exactly, does that pearl typify?
In answer to this last question, many of the people Jesus came across as he preached the gospel appeared to be victims of sickness, debility, sin, and all of the other pitfalls of mortality. Jesus, who perceived thought, understood that each, in his or her own way, had bought into the erroneous concept that man is born into matter, and, ultimately, dies out of it. The Master Christian, who had great compassion for those who were sick, taught them, and all who followed him, that man has an indestructible, spiritual identity, and that God is perfect and we all have the privilege of reflecting and expressing that spiritual perfection. This was a transforming message, directly from God, to those whom Jesus healed and saved. It was the Christ, the "pearl of great price," that Jesus sacrificed everything for on our behalf. He so fully expressed the Christ, his divine nature, that he was able to heal spiritually, drawing entirely on the power and law of God.