We all know about the parable Jesus told of a merchant who found a valuable pearl and sold all he had to purchase it. But did you know that not only does God see you as this valuable pearl worth giving up everything for—a pearl of great price—but that the very creation of pearls connects to our relationship with God?
Join us as we explore the truth of the love God has for His children and learn how the growth of pearls is a parallel to our own development in God!
What It Means to be God’s “Pearl of Great Price”
“…the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.”—Matthew 13:45-46
We, through no effort of our own, are God’s “pearl of great price.” Our God and Messiah paid the ultimate price; giving all for us through His sacrifice on the cross—the precious life of the King of all the universe: Jesus. He chose to essentially sell the most precious thing for each and every one of us… because to Him, we are gorgeous, we are lovely, we are of great value and beautifully shining in His hands.
It is time for us to start behaving like it is true.
“I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.”—2 Corinthians 6:18
Through the eyes of the Father, Yeshua sees our value and cares for each and every one of us. The level and nature of the care and love that God gives us may be beyond what we fully understand, however, to some degree we know. After all, we innately tend to take immense care of those things dear to us in healthy and unhealthy ways; ranging from our possessions, to our accomplishments, and especially to those people we love and see as being of “great price” to us.
Consider the first days and weeks during which someone has a new vehicle (even if it is only new to them). During that time a person is unlikely to mistreat it—picking up trash wherever it falls, cleaning dirty windows, etc. In fact, many people treat new vehicles almost as if they were a new baby! However, it is a lifeless thing. Yes, it is something we can appreciate and be thankful for, but it cannot hold us in loving arms. It cannot grieve or laugh with us. It is a body of parts with no heart or soul to beat and sing.
“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!”—Matthew 7:11
Do we realize that even though we, mere flesh and blood beings who are here today and are gone tomorrow, can care for and take pride in objects, accomplishments, and people in our lives—polishing each to show them off to the world—we have a God who loves us so much more! He takes care of us. He finds joy in us!
“Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go…”—Genesis 28:15
God desires to care for the “pearl of great price” that He bought. He works to see us safe, but also desires to show us off to the world. However, before the season where we are to shine in the light of God’s presence can come to pass, a few things have to happen—almost as if we were actual pearls.
How the Growth of a Pearl Relates
In a way, you might say that pearls in the natural start out life much as Adam did in the Garden... from the earth.
A piece of sand or organism slips into an oyster—or other mollusk—harmless and without purpose. But it quickly becomes an irritant to the very one who would soon shape it.
The intruder hurts the oyster and therefore the oyster takes action. It decides that, despite the smallness of the issue, it cares. It cares enough to stop the pain, but to also create something new from the old. And so, the oyster begins a process. A process of adding layer upon layer until the creation becomes smooth—molding it into a new substance, readying it for a new season of being.
Over and over again the oyster layers smooth brilliance. With each step the irritant grows in size, and yet, because it is being remade and reshaped, its only issue is that it is quickly outgrowing the old nature.
It is growing daily into its ultimate design, and because of that, what had once been a roomy, grand place where the creation—while not always welcome—could remain, now feels quite small. Yes, the irritant, now redesigned into a shining pearl, could stay in the oyster perhaps to the end of the oyster's natural days… but that is not the desired destiny.
Because the oyster took an irritant and reworked it until it was smoother, rounder—ideally—and almost iridescent, now, what was once uselessly insignificant has value. It has gone from worthlessness to potentially being the world’s most valuable pearl—which can reach into the millions of dollars.
But how does this connect to us? How does the creation of a pearl impact our understanding of being God’s “pearl of great price?”
In our own lives a process very similar to that of pearl happens. We begin as a piece of sand or an organism seemingly without purpose… an “irritant” due to our sin nature. For we hurt God, provoking the very one who gives us a dwelling place. Yet God, in His infinite mercy, desires us to be like Him and begins to reshape us. To make us the creation we were born to be…
First, if we allow it, our God cleanses us by His Blood through our acceptance of Him. Then—though He began from our first breath—He starts to layer His glory, His goodness, and His nature onto us. As we accept each new layer, we grow “bigger” in Him. We begin to shine. We become a light to those around us by reflecting the Light of our Father God…
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”—Matthew 5:16
We become God’s “pearl of great price!”
Each of us as God’s “pearl of great price” shine with great clarity even while on Earth, even as we go through the process. Yet, when we reach Heaven, we, as God’s “pearl of great price,” will glow with a fullness of the layers of His glory. We will have gone through the process of a speck made into a pearl.
We, choosing to accept the layers, will hear, “well done, GOOD and FAITHFUL servant.” We will share in our Master’s happiness and shine brighter than the sun.
“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’”—Matthew 25:21 (NIV)
Accepting the Layers of God
While there are many similarities between our shaping by God and the shaping of the pearl, there are also a few dissimilarities…
One of which is a matter of choice. The “irritant” in the mollusk does not have a heart or soul—mind, will, and emotions. It enters the oyster unwittingly and ultimately becomes a pearl merely because it happened to be there. It cannot say to the oyster, “stop this, I do not desire to be a pearl.” The shaping happens because it was created to be so.
We, however, are given a choice. Yes, God puts skills, passions, and more within everyone—almost like the first layers of a pearl. But it is only in accepting God and His shaping that we can truly shine. It is only in God’s redeeming love that we can become TRUE “pearls of great price.”
We have the option to refuse and sadly, some do. The pressure and newness of another layer can scare us or make us so uncomfortable that we wiggle and rebel until God eases up. Sometimes we do reject a layer unwittingly—perhaps thinking it an attack of the enemy instead of a period of molding from our Father. Yet, God gives us free choice.
In following Him we automatically accept a base “number” of layers…
However, it is only in asking God, seeking Him, and knocking upon the door of Heaven that we will be able to receive every layer God has for us.
There will be times that the molding, the shaping and layering WILL be uncomfortable; other times it will be like a second skin. Yet, it is only through both—each coming in the appropriate season—that we can fulfill our true Kingdom purpose; that we can become the pearl we were born to be.
Therefore, let us allow God to shape us. Let us not always assume that every time of difficulty is from the enemy. Instead, ask God about it. And keep on asking, seeking, and knocking.
Let us throw our heads back and enjoy the journey. Because the end of the journey—becoming all that God saw we could be as He hung upon that cross, is worth all the joy and pain the process entails.
God is worth it all. He is worth becoming a “pearl of great price” for.
Let us expect Matthew 7:7-8 and live as if Matthew 25:21…
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.”—Matthew 7:7-8
“…‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’”—Matthew 25:21