The “Pearl of Great Price” is the parable of Matthew 13:45-46, one of seven Kingdom parables of Matthew 13. Jesus said, “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.”
The traditional interpretation of this parable states the sinner is the merchant and pearl of great price is Christ. I'm convinced that this interpretation cannot be true because you can’t buy salvation. When a sinner sells all he has, he can’t expect anything from Jesus Christ because “he is dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1).
Salvation is a gift from God, and the Jews. Consider, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). You cannot pay for salvation, but it will cost you everything by turning your life over to Him completely, just as He gave His life for you (Ephesians 5:25).
Romans 8:32 states, “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” It is out of pure reverence and awe for what Jesus Christ accomplished for each of us unselfishly on that cross.
Now back to the Pearl. The pearl is the church. Pearls, unlike stones, are formed by a living organism. A grain of sand or other foreign matter intrudes into the shell. It hurts and harms. The response of the organism to that is to secret a substance that coats the foreign object.
The fluid continues to build up until a beautiful white pearl is formed. A pearl is unlike any other gem. It cannot be cut to enhance its beauty. I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but, this pearl was never considered very valuable by the Israelites. (Job 28:18) It is now only valued by Gentiles.
Christ took man’s sin and covered it with His blood. Our sin was foreign, an intrusion to His nature. Christ was made sin for us. Someone once said, “I got into the heart of Christ by a spear wound.” Christ was “wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities..” (Isaiah 53:5).
He covers us with His righteousness, “we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:10). Christ sees us not as we are now but as the beautiful pearl we are becoming, presented to Him as “a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.” (Ephesians 5:27)
Christ sold his all on that cross. “Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.”
Jesus paid the ultimate price for your and my sin. He also spoke some truly radical things about the commitment He wants you and I to make.
• “He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad.” (Matthew 12:30)
• “I came to send fire on the earth … Do you suppose that I came to give peace on earth? I tell you, not at all, but rather division.” (Luke 12:49)
• “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.’ And ‘a man’s foes will be those of his own household. He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.” (Matthew 10:34)
• “… whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.”
What we are discussing here is commitment and a positive chose for eternity. Eternity is guaranteed either way. Giving your life to someone who has given His all for you makes sense. Please read the comments of Joshua who made the right choice.
"If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD." (Joshua 24:15)