Matthew 13:45-46 “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.”
What an amazing picture of redemption. Here we see God’s perspective on the process of redeeming mankind unto Himself. In this scripture, we are likened to a precious pearl of “great price”, a pearl that was seen in the eyes of the merchant as so valuable, that he sold everything he had, just to be able to purchase that pearl. How true this picture is. Jesus looked at what was required to buy mankind back from Satan and slavery to the sinful nature and He willingly agreed to pay that price. In His heart, what He would receive in the end far outweighed any sacrifice He would make or pain He would have to endure. In the eyes of Jesus, we were more valuable than anything in His life. We were even more valuable than His life.
According to Wikipedia, “The finest quality natural pearls have been highly valued as gemstones and objects of beauty for many centuries, and because of this, the word “pearl” has become a metaphor for something very rare, fine, admirable and valuable.”
It’s interesting, that Jesus would liken us to a pearl, something that is viewed as “very rare and valuable”.
The Forerunner Commentary says “The pearl’s value resides not in its own intrinsic worth, but in the immensity of the cost paid for it.”
Often times we look at redemption in light of our own view of ourselves and not in light of the price that was paid to buy us back. We tend to determine our value, and our worth based off of our past mistakes. With that, we take on the view that we don’t deserve forgiveness of sins or the love of a Savior, who would lay down His life in our place. And we’re right.
We don’t deserve to be in a right relationship with our Father God. If we got what we deserved, we would all be on our way to an eternity in hell, because that’s what the punishment for our sins calls for. Thank God that as Christians, we don’t have to receive what we deserve. We may not deserve what Jesus has done for us, but through His death, burial and resurrection, He has made us worthy. We’re now worthy to receive all that He paid for on the cross.
Hebrews 12:2 says it was for the “joy that was set before Him” that Jesus “endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame…”
The joy that was set before Jesus wasn’t the act itself or the pain He would endure, but what He would receive in the end. The “joy” that was set before Him, the reason He willingly laid down His life was you and I! He paid the proper price, the price that God set for us, and He didn’t get ripped off. Jesus didn’t look back on everything and feel cheated in what He received. He wanted you and I, more than life itself. He was happy to do whatever it took to see us restored to a right relationship with God.
I look at this and I am amazed at the degree of love! John 15:13 says, “Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” How great His love for us was and still is. Here’s something to consider. When Jesus died in our place, we weren’t even His friends. We were His enemies.
Romans 5:5-8 (NKJV) Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
The Message version says, “In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary—we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit! Christ arrives right on time to make this happen. He didn’t, and doesn’t, wait for us to get ready. He presented himself for this sacrificial death when we were far too weak and rebellious to do anything to get ourselves ready. And even if we hadn’t been so weak, we wouldn’t have known what to do anyway. We can understand someone dying for a person worth dying for, and we can understand how someone good and noble could inspire us to selfless sacrifice. But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him.”
We were of “no use whatever to Him” and yet He wanted us. He loved us. Even though we had no tangible value, we had nothing to offer of ourselves; still we were of infinite value to God.
Just like the pearl’s value resides not in its own intrinsic worth, but in the immensity of the cost paid for it, so our value doesn’t lie in our own worth, in what we have to offer, but in the price that was paid to buy us back.
Jesus has taken us, as undeserving as we were and made us fully worthy of all that he has to offer. Don’t allow past mistakes to determine your value or to dictate what receive from God. You are worth more. You were made for more.
About Jamie Lynn Sivak: Jamie Lynn graduated RHEMA Bible Training Center in 2006 and has since served as a missionary. She is currently the Director of the Global Ventures Team Trip Department at John Smithwick Ministries International in Tulsa, Ok. There she helps to facilitate teams of anywhere from ten to eighty team members from all across North America, Europe and South America to various unreached nations throughout the World to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Through Street Evangelism and Mass Crusades the Global Ventures teams have literally reached thousands of people across the World. Jamie Lynn has traveled as a missionary to nine different nations and has led teams in seven of those nations.
In 2012 Jamie Lynn, as a part of Global Ventures, will help lead teams to the nations of Nicaragua, Cambodia, Thailand, Peru and Nepal.