The Parable of the Pearl
           (Matthew 13:44-46)
The definition of the word “parable” is to “lay next to or compare”.
A parable is a story with a hidden message that only 
“spiritually opened” ears can hear.
The parables are word pictures into what God is trying to teach us. 

The parables of Jesus are one of the times Jesus teaches lessons 
for future generations. These parables need to be meditated on and 
closely studied. Parables have a “layered” meaning, for example 
the parable of the Prodigal Son. The story is one of going astray 
and coming back. It seems to be the story of an actual son, with 
an older brother, and his in any family. 
We have all read this before and it has given much comfort and 
hope to the families that have had a child gone astray. 

We must realize that the parables have layers...there is a surface
layer and a deeper layer. For example, the surface layer would be
relating to children going astray within your own family and the
deeper meaning is what we are going to present to you in the
following papers.
Remember what the disciples asked Jesus:
(Matthew 13:10-17)
The Purpose of Parables
10 And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to 
   them in parables?” 
11 He answered and said to them, “Because it has been given to 
   you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to 
   them it has not been given. 12 For whoever has, to him more 
   will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does 
   not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. 
13 Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they 
   do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.
14 And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says: 
  ‘Hearing you will hear and shall not understand,
   And seeing you will see and not perceive;
15 For the hearts of this people have grown dull.
   Their ears are hard of hearing,
   And their eyes they have closed,
   Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears,
   Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn,
   So that I should heal them.’
   But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they 
17 for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous 
   men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to 
   hear what you hear, and did not hear it. 

                  The Lesson: 
               Matthew 13:44-47
      (Scripture in BLACK, our comments in BLUE.)
44"The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.

45"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. 46When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.

Now let's break it down:

44"The kingdom of heaven is like treasure"
Heaven is not some high plane of existence or foreign land, it will be a "new heaven and a new earth" (2 Peter 3:13, Revelation 21:1). Heaven is already here but not fulfilled in its entirety. The NEW earth will be Paradise restored as it should have been in the beginning.

Treasure is defined as a precious possession. We strive as believers in Christ to obtain eternal life. Is a precious pearl worth more than eternal life? Absolutely not. But the fact is that pearls are a treasure here on this earth. Jesus is teaching future generations using a pearl symbolically, for mankind treasures pearls. A pearl is precious here on this earth presently but remember that this earth is not the "new heaven" YET. What is precious here is not precious in heaven. YOU are precious in heaven. Precious gold here in today's world is but pavement on the roads in heaven. Eternal life is everlasting and does not become a commodity for other material items (e.g. pearls are sold and traded for other material objects) which will die with the new earth and the new heaven. However, the "new heaven and new earth" has not happened yet, and pearls will always be a treasured item of THIS present world. True treasure is eternal life, and eternal life is a transformation from what is finite into what is infinite... physical life ending and becoming spiritual life everlasting. There is only one way to heaven and that is...

"hidden in a field"
The field is the earth. We are hidden in a finite world. The children of the Kingdom here on the earth are treated no differently than slaves. The present state of this earth is temporary just as the body has a temporary existence. We live in this temporary world as slaves but must fulfill the true meaning of life. The meaning of life is to utilize the time that we are given in these temporary shells of flesh into finding and maintaining a relationship with our Creator. The Creator is the One Who has come down here as the way to heaven and He came here in a tent of flesh with the name Jesus.

"When a man found it"
Jesus is the man here. What Jesus found/finds are His sheep. His sheep are the body of believers who are His treasure.
What is the symbolism used in this parable? A pearl. We now will explain the core of this parable...

Sand is an irritant, all men are sand, and all of mankind is an irritant.
In the words of Paul: "For all men have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God" [Romans 3:23]

Some of the sand found its way into an oyster.
The sand irritated the oyster [ by their sin ] and the oyster coated the sand changing/transforming it into a pearl.
The making of a pearl is done during the grain of sand's "lifetime".
However, pearls do not go to heaven during their lifetime.

"he hid it again",
Upon their death, they are hidden again in the earth [burial].

"and then in his joy went and sold all he had"
Jesus left heaven, came to earth in a tent of flesh and never became an "irritant" because Jesus never committed one sin. Jesus lived a perfect life. He had to live as a grain of sand "in joy" or out of love for us. In doing so He left His Father in heaven.

"and bought that field."
Jesus lived a perfect life and died undeservedly and without justification [for He had no sin]. He paid the price of those grains of sand who irritated the Father with their sin. The earth owes Jesus His life back, but the world cannot pay this debt. Because of this, the world owes and cannot pay. Jesus will take payment in the form of His sheep. For the life the sheep forfeited by sin is paid for by the righteousness of the life of Jesus and the unrighteous death He received.

45"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like"
How are we getting into heaven?

"a merchant looking for fine pearls. "
A merchant buys, sells, or trades. A merchant can buy or sell with money or credit. In this case, Jesus buys the pearls with the credit[s] owed to Him.
What credit[s] is Jesus owed? Anything [any life] He wants. Obviously, this will be the pearls and the pearls represent His sheep/the children of the Kingdom.

46"When he found one of great value,"
The other merchant knew the price would be high.

"he went away and sold everything he had"
Jesus lived a perfect life, never sinned, never owed anybody anything.

"and bought it."
He traded His life for death on the cross as the high cost of the pearls.

Final thought:
Sand is an irritant, all of mankind are irritants.
Some sand [some people] find their way into an oyster.
An oyster has a soft, silky, inside that coats the sand/irritant.
An oyster has a hard shell.
The inside of the oyster is symbolic of the Gospel teaching / teaching of the Holy Spirit. As the sand is exposed to more and more of the Teaching, the layers grow and polish the sand until the sand is encased and becomes a pearl.
The outer shell of the oyster is symbolic of the protection of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit shields the whole process, shields the whole person from the distractions, deviations, and deceptions of the other "merchants" who are Satan, and his followers.

God bless you.
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