PRICELESS!

pearls

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).

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).

You may have seen some of those awesome credit card commercials where the receiver’s reaction to that something special is considered to be more “priceless” than anything money can buy. Their memorable slogan, “There are some things money can’t buy, but for everything else there is . . .”

One of my favorites includes a toddler who considers a cardboard box more fun to play with than the costly gifts therein. And yet it is from this child’s simple but imaginative perspective that I wish to examine the parable Jesus told about the pearl of great price, quoted above in Matthew 13.

Most biblical scholars agree that the essence to understanding this parable is when we seek and find Jesus, that priceless pearl, we realize the Lord is all that we will ever need. While I support that interpretation of the texts by such exegetical scholars, I cannot help feeling there is so much more to this seemingly passing mention.

Taking a page from the world of sales, we find an all-important concept. Sales guru and author Kelley Robertson of the Robertson Training Group states that “the value of a product or service is determined not by the seller but by the buyer.”

So it is when it comes to Jesus and our salvation. What does Jesus, the Pearl of Great Price, really think of us? The writer of Hebrews 12:2 gives us a clue. “Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Did He not forsake everything that even money couldn’t buy to purchase our salvation? Did He not become our Buyer, our Sacrifice, and our Redeemer? And now we in turn have become His own coveted pearl of great price. Are we willing to sell or give up everything we have to possess Jesus and while in so doing experience exactly how He feels and demonstrates His love toward us?

When I think of the love of the Father and the ministry of the Son and the Holy Spirit, I must agree: “There are things that money can’t buy, but for everything else we have Jesus, and He is simply priceless.”

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KINGSLEY O. PALMER serves as the assistant to the president and director for African American Ministries for several churches in Phoenix, Arizona, and Reno, Nevada.

Day 1 -Read Luke 14:25-30

While reading Not a Fan, by Kyle Idleman, I was struck by an observation he made in the preface of his book. He said that whenever Jesus attracted a large crowd, He would find something to say to make them go away. What does this mean personally? How could this have worked evangelistically? Look at some of what He says in some other situations (Mark 5:18-20; 10:21, 22) and share some of your thoughts with us here at Message via roundedinstagram Instagram, roundedfacebook Facebook, 

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Day 2

Sometimes you can be in church and around the things of God so much that you get desensitized to how holy, great, and exceptional He is. He is a radical, nearly unpredictable, spontaneous God who is consistently loving, compassionate, and gracious at the same time. Can you talk about Him? Tell us about the “radical” Jesus you have experienced. Tell us about how He’s pushed you to the limit and beyond. Let us know via roundedinstagram Instagram, roundedfacebook Facebook,
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Day 3 -Read Matthew 18:18-22

If you would allow me, I would like to push our understanding of what it can cost to follow Jesus. When Jesus asserts that “the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head” (verse 20), do you realize He was telling someone who was looking to join Him that He was homeless? Do you see how He was telling the next person that following Me puts your family affairs on the back burner? Do you see Jesus as One that is ready to turn you away from following rather than fully inviting? Let me ask what He did: are you ready to be homeless for Him? We’d love to hear from you and converse with you concerning these things. Talk to us via roundedinstagram Instagram, roundedfacebook Facebook, 

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Day 4 -Read Matthew 13:44-46

Just a heads up that I am setting you up for the next portion of the study. Can you tell us how you searched for the invaluable treasure of Jesus Christ? Can you list all you “sold” to enter into the kingdom of heaven?

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Please tell us via roundedinstagram Instagram,  roundedfacebook Facebook,
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Day 5 -Read Revelation 3:21

Would you consider this quote?

“There are some who seem to be always seeking for the heavenly pearl. But they do not make an entire surrender of their wrong habits. They do not die to self that Christ may live in them. Therefore they do not find the precious pearl. . . . Almost but not wholly saved means to be not almost but wholly lost” (Ellen G. White, Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 118).

What keeps you from getting the pearl?

Day 6 -Read Zechariah 9:16 and Malachi 3:17

“The parable of the merchantman seeking goodly pearls has a double significance: it applies not only to men as seeking the kingdom of heaven, but to Christ as seeking His lost inheritance. . . . He collected all the riches of the universe, and laid them down in order to buy the pearl. And Jesus, having found it, resets it in His own diadem,” (Ellen G. White, Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 118).

Tell us, what comes to mind when you realize that, to God, you are a pearl of great price?

I’ll never forget hearing Pastor David Asscherick preach that the kingdom of heaven is not about what you gave up for God but what He gave up for you. In fact, listen yourself. You can listen to it all or skip to minute marker 50:00: http://hopevideo.com/streams/David_Asscherick-Friend_of_God-4-What_Wondrous_Love_is_This.htm

Day 7 -Read Philippians 2:5-11

Jesus came for you and me and did not think His life was too much to pay because we are treasure to Him.

 

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RASHAD BURDEN is a youth and young adult pastor for the Buckhead Fellowship in Atlanta, Georgia.

 

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