Matthew 13:45-46 is one of the shortest parables in the Bible, but it contains a great spiritual teaching. “The Pearl of Great Value,” the name sometimes given to this parable, tells us about a businessman who traveled to many places. In a certain location he found an extraordinary pearl and wanted to buy it. However, in order to acquire it, he had to sell everything he had to buy it.
What is the teaching the Lord Jesus expects us to learn from this parable? Just as that merchant sold everything he had because he found such a wonderful pearl, so Jesus sought us out. He loved us first, and gave himself for our ransom. The pearl of great value is the church. Each one of us are children bought by the sacrifice of our Savior on the cross of Calvary.
A pearl is formed inside of the oyster in a process that results from when some impurity or a grain of sand penetrates inside the shell. The oyster tries to expel this uncomfortable intruder and generates a substance called nacre until it is a beautiful and a valuable pearl is formed. Sin is like that intruder that enters the oyster. The Savior leads us on the path of sanctification to cleanse, purify and regenerate us through layers and layers of his blessed blood, to make us clean and without contamination. In this way, the church experiences the regenerating glory of the Lord.
There is no place darker than the inside of an oyster in the depth of the sea. When the pearl is removed from that oyster it not only absorbs the light, but also reflects it. Likewise, the church experiences the glory of the Lord that acts in each believer. The growth of the pearl is slow, gradual, invisible, gradual, and perfect. Like the pearl, each believer in the church is involved in a process of growth, maturity, and spiritual development, resulting in a wonderful work of the Holy Spirit. The church moves in perfect unity and purpose for which it can never be destroyed or divided. The church of Christ is one, shining without spot or wrinkle. Jesus with his passion and his redemptive death, bought this pearl of great price that is his church.
Each one of us has become that pearl by the grace of God. All of us at the beginning were separated from Him by our sin. We lived in impurity, and in spiritual and moral garbage. But Christ touched us with his love and patience, and did his work in us. He covered us with his forgiveness, washed us from our sins and filled us with his abundant love, his justice and his holiness.
Pearls are such exquisite jewels which emanate light, like a rainbow. Each of us is very unique, yet together we make up the body of Christ, as beautiful as the range of colors in the rainbow. The grain of sand, or impurity, that entered the oyster never imagined that it would become a precious pearl. Likewise, the church of Christ must shine and show the world the wonderful process which the Holy Spirit has done in each believer. The beauty of Christ must shine in us, so that the grace of God in each of his children will not remain anonymous.
Patty Barona is the Spanish speaking pastor at Iglesia del Nazareno Nuevo Comienzo in Exeter. She is from Ecuador and has been serving in the Central Valley for the last 20 years and in Exeter currently.
This column is not a news article but the opinion of the writer and does not reflect the views of The Sun-Gazette newspaper.