In the previous “Tangible Truths” post, I talked about going through the motions of Christianity versus true sacrifice. That led me to make this one my next “Tangible Truth”.
This series focusses on some of the radical things Jesus said and how, when inspected more closely, they are both very true and very challenging. Today’s passage is from Matthew 13.45-46. “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls,46 who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.” Two little verses that pack a punch. Let’s imagine the scene like this.
Man: Wow! look at that pearl! I’ve never seen one like it in my life! It is beautiful! I simply must have it. How much?
Merchant: How much do you have?
Man: umm. well, let’s see, I have, uh… $1,000 cash on me.
Merchant: I’ll take everything you’ve got.
Man: Oof! Hefty price, but I’ve got more in the bank account, so I’ll take it! $1,000. It’s a deal.
Merchant: I said, I’ll take everything you’ve got- bank account too!
Man: Empty my account? Wow! ummm, but look at it- I’ve never seen its equal. OK, deal, I’ll drain the bank account. It’s so worth it.
Man: What a deal! Now where did I park my car?
Merchant: Wait! You have a car?
Man: (drawn out) yessss.
Merchant: The deal was for everything you’ve got!
Man: You want my car, too? Sheesh! I mean its a few years old and needs some work, but I need it to get around!
Merchant: The deal was for EVERYTHING.
Man: wow! um… ok, let me think about it… It is a pretty steep price, but it is so perfect, so beautiful, so valuable. You know what, OK, you can have the car, too. Here are the keys, we can take care of the title and all that, I guess. But, uh, can you drive me to my house?
Merchant: You have a house? Our deal was for everything you’ve got!
Man: You want my HOUSE??? Now wait a minute. Let me take another look at that pearl. (looks at it). It sure is flawless though. This is crazy! OK, you can have the house too. I can’t believe I just said that, but I HAVE to have this pearl. When you drive me to my house, can you explain to my family that we are homeless and carless?
Merchant: You have a family? The deal was for everything that you’ve got!
Man: YOU WANT ME TO GIVE YOU MY FAMILY? Are you crazy? I can’t give up my family! But I can’t give this pearl back to you either – Now that I’ve seen it and held it, I have to have it. um…OK, I guess they are yours.
Merchant: Great, now can you do something for me?
Man: What could I do for you?
Merchant: You know the family you just gave me? They are mine – don’t forget that. But I want you to take care of them for me. Treat them great. Tell them about me, share your pearl with them. And the house you gave me. It is my house. But I want you to live in it, take care of it, and use it to show this pearl to others. Tell them about me – I have lots of perfect pearls – I’d love to strike up a deal with them too.
Merchant: And the car you gave me – it is mine now. I own it – but I would like you to use it – for my purposes. Help other people out with it, and the money you gave me. It is my money now, but I am going to entrust it back to you. Use it wisely, use it how I instruct you to. Use it to help others find a pearl of their own that they can enjoy like you will enjoy your pearl.
Man: I understand. Thanks! This is the best deal ever!
Merchant: Tell others about the deal you got.
Now, God is not a swindler or a tricky salesman. He is the source of all that we have in the first place. The cost of this pearl is great, but the value far outweighs that cost. Our challenge is surrendering ALL to Jesus and making him more important than EVERYTHING else in our life. I think that sometimes we lose sight of that, and feel that we have done this on our own. Everything we have is a gift from Him. And giving Him everything makes sense since it is all His to start with. So knowing that, let’s joyfully surrender ALL to Him and share the beauty of the treasure He offers for others to see.