One Pearl of Great Price

Gary Henry

“Again, 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).

IF WE HAVE ANY UNDERSTANDING OF GOD’S GOODNESS, WE WILL BE GLAD TO SEEK HIM DILIGENTLY. The passion with which we seek God comes from our appreciation of His worthiness. And so Jesus said that the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant who found “one pearl of great price” and was willing to sell everything he had in order to buy that pearl. With respect to God, we will do what this merchant did if we appreciate the value of the “pearl.”

Since so much depends on our recognizing the value of what can be found in God, it is important that we grow in our “appraisal” skills. If our ability to evaluate things is limited to the physical things of this world, we probably won’t see what spiritual things are worth even when their value is obvious. We need better “eyes” with which to see the worth of treasures like the forgiveness of sins and the hope of eternal life. Thus Paul said that he prayed for the Ephesians that “the eyes of [their] understanding” might be enlightened. They needed better vision so that they could see more of “the hope of His calling” and “the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints” (Ephesians 1:18).

The truth of the matter is that the least of the treasures that we seek in God are of much more value than the greatest of the trinkets that occupy our attention in the here and now. And this happens to be true even of the KNOWLEDGE of God. When we seek to know Him, we are seeking something that is better to know than every other kind of knowledge combined. Paul was correct in his evaluation when he said that “the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord” was so great that he had been willing to “count all things loss” for it (Philippians 3:8). Before our lives are done, we will have had the opportunity to “buy” many things, some of great value and some of much less. But there has always been “one pearl of great price,” a treasure of such magnitude that it defies comparison. If we have the eyes to see even a little of its worth, we’ll not complain about the diligence required to seek it. Simply said, nothing else matters more than knowing God.