In Matthew 13.44-46, Jesus said, “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.”
I have always read this parable to mean that the kingdom of God is so valuable that I should be willing to sell everything and give everything up in order to get into the Kingdom. That is the reading that makes the most sense to me and I think it is one thing Jesus meant.
But I was just reading an email from a friend who is a missionary in – well, in a country that doesn’t allow them. Let’s leave it at that. Anyway, she wrote about dealing with this person who was irritating her but was also in need. God spoke to her clearly (I keep telling you this happens) and told my friend, “As irritating as that person is to you, to Me he is a pearl and I am willing to sell everything to get him for Myself.”
My friend thought (and I agree) that the Lord was alluding to these parables of Jesus, infusing them with a different, yet complementary meaning to what we normally make of them. The Kingdom of God is our pearl of great price, but at the same time we are God’s pearl of great price. We are called to give up everything to get the kingdom because this is precisely what God has done to get us into the Kingdom. The incarnation, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ is God selling everything He has – betting the farm – in order to get the pearl of great price, which is each of us.
You are God’s pearl of great price. You are the Lord’s priceless treasure.
This reminds me of the great love stories, where both parties risk everything, endure great hardships, face whatever comes, in order to be together. The love and passion they have for each other trumps every obstacle. They both view the other as the ultimate treasure they are willing to do anything to get.
This is how God thinks of you, this is how God feels about you, this is how God acts toward you.
Is it also how you think of/feel about/act toward God?