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Monday, February 24, 2020

Pearl of Great Price -- Part 2

The Seeking Savior in the Pearl of Great Price

Jesus is the One who seeks, not the opposite. John 15:16: “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My Name He may give you.”  Jesus seeks the sea of humanity long and faithfully for His precious pearl. Jesus is the Seeker (merchant), but He cannot be bought. He must be received willingly from the heart out of love. Jesus bought our salvation willingly through His precious blood out of His and the Father’s love for mankind who were originally created in their image and likeness. We are not our own. “For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” 1 Corinthians 6:20  Because God’s Pearl of Great Price – Jesus – paid the price of our salvation, we are to become His precious pearl of great price by glorifying Him in our body and spirit.

Once having sought and found us, Jesus wants us to “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.” Matthew 6:33  Jesus said that if you search for Him, you will find Him. As Jesus seeks us, we must also seek Him and His truth, so we truly know Him. Man can’t do anything to a pearl to make it more beautiful as we can add nothing to the work of Jesus’ salvation. First, we must recognize the value of the price Jesus paid. Jesus gave His all to purchase us. He covers us with His beauty as we allow His transforming power to put on His righteousness and glory. We become more spiritually beautiful every day. (Eph. 5:25b) We are to seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness. We have nothing of value as sinners, but Jesus will begin to shape and form us into a valuable precious pearl if we are willing to listen and obey.

Jesus gave His all to purchase us. He covers us with His beauty as we allow His transforming power to put on His righteousness and glory. We become more spiritually beautiful every day. Eph. 5:25b God’s kingdom cannot be bought. Having purchased the Kingdom of God for us, He wants us to value and seek His already purchased kingdom. (see Isaiah 55:1) We are to store up treasures not on earth but in heaven. Where our treasure is our heart will be also! (see Matthew 6:19-21)

This precious pearl not only represents Jesus, but also His Bride who is like Him. There were other “goodly” pearls the merchant had gathered and sold, but the most valuable pearl was far more glorious than the others, just as an earthly bride is more glorious in her white garment than the bridesmaids.

This pearl of great price was “one” pearl indicating the unity of the Bride of Christ with Jesus and other believers. Jesus wants to cover us with His beauty by allowing His transforming power to put His righteousness and glory in us and out of us to others through our actions, words and deeds, “that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.” Ephesians 5:27 In transforming us, we become more valuable and precious to Him every day. We also become more valuable to the kingdom of God when we seek Him with our whole heart. The original disciples left all to follow Jesus. Christ wants us to give our all to Him.

When the merchant found this pearl of great price, he stopped seeking. The merchant surrendered all to receive this glorious pearl. He had need of nothing more as we have need of nothing except Jesus. As Christ surrendered all for us, we are to surrender all to Christ. I can’t help but think of the hymn “I Surrender all, all to thee my precious Savior, I surrender all” as I write this. Jesus will stop seeking when He marries His Bride. Their union will be celebrated at the wedding supper of the Lamb. (Revelation 19:7)

The treasure and the pearl of great value were the objects and greatest desire of the Man and the Merchant (Jesus). Lost humanity is the object of Jesus’ greatest desire. He gave up everything to suffer, save, make us righteous and bring humanity back to an eternal relationship with the Godhead, just as Adam and the Woman had before sin entered.

How is a pearl developed?

Understanding how a pearl is created also has spiritual lessons for us. An oyster or clam is without fins or scales and found in the sand of the sea. According to the Law of the Older Testament, the pearl would be considered unclean because they would come from a shellfish which God considered unclean according to the Law. (see Deuteronomy 14:10) The word pearl is not found in the Older Testament. Why? Jesus had not come to do His redeeming work yet. Before we believe in Christ, we too are stuck in the muck and mire of sin encased with our hardness of heart. If we are willing, Jesus will slowly transform us into a beautiful, glorious pearl of great value to His kingdom. The pearl is the only gem formed in a living organism. Jesus is God’s pearl of great price. He lived to pay the price of our redemption through His suffering and death on the cross and to reveal God and Truth. After Jesus’ death, resurrection and ascension, He give us the Holy Spirit to reveal Truth and help us live His Truth and defeat the enemy of God and mankind.

Sometimes a piece of sand or foreign matter slips in between the outer, protective shell of the mollusk. This becomes an irritant to the oyster or clam. In order to relieve the irritation, the oyster emits a white substance that forms a covering around the sand to ease its suffering slowly forming a thing of beauty – a pearl. Spiritually, we are an irritant – sinful.  Jesus wants to take humans who are made of the dust of the earth mixed with water, and shape and form us into a thing of beauty and glory so we radiate the beauty and glory of our Savior. The sand represents our earthly being and sinfulness. Sin is an irritant to our spirit. Jesus secretes His glory covering and righteousness around the irritant to take away our sin until we become a pearl of great value to His kingdom.

In the sea of humanity, there is a pearl of great price that Jesus is shaping and forming into His Bride. As I said previously, not every oyster or clam has a pearl. The Bride of Christ is something more than a nominal believer. Christ’s Bride has allowed His cleansing and transformation making her beautiful in His eyes. Sinfulness is not beautiful in the eyes of the Lord. Holiness is! Christ’s Bride is to be connected to her Husband heart to heart.  The merchant in Jesus’ parable was searching for a rich pearl which is hard to find, not just an ordinary one. As the pearl is hidden in the mollusk, Christ’s Bride is hidden in Him. They are One in heart, spirit and mind.

Jesus wants a pure, glorious (holy)  Bride “that He might present to Himself the Church with all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle, or any such thing, but that She would be holy and blameless.” Ephesians 5:27 (see also Revelation 19:7) As the pearl must be found and raised up out of the water, then the outer hardened shell must be opened in order to find the pearl, Jesus finds sinners in the muck and mire of sin, and takes them through the water of His Anointed Word to cleanse us of our sin so we become a thing of beauty and value to Him. We are buried with Jesus in the waters of baptism and risen with Him in the water of the Word of God and the power of the Holy Spirit. As we are moving through the Word with the power of the Holy Spirit, our sins are being taken away and we reflect the glory and beauty of Christ more and more. This is not a quick process, as the formation of a pearl takes time. Jesus wants His Body to become One Bride who loves and serves Him and His Kingdom with their whole heart. This can only happen with love and pure Truth. It will also take sacrifice. Truth that is not rightly divided will cause division, not unity. Jesus sacrificed His all for us; He wants us to sacrifice our all for Him. 

(To be continued)  If you would like to see Part 1, go to my website: sandrakingministries.com.

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