Tuesday, November 3, 2015

How Big Were Those Oysters?

"Again the Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he want away and sold everything he had and bought it." Matt. 13:45.

The parable's name, The Pearl of Great Price, is misleading. Jesus focused on the merchant, not the pearl. The subject of this two line story was on a quest to locate valuable pearls. This individual was willing to give all in order
acquire his heart's desire. Sound familiar?

Even before creation God was on a mission to redeem man. Jesus is, "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world." Rev. 13:8. Man's salvation wasn't some knee jerk reaction to Adam's fall; it was the pre-determined solution to a future problem. Like the merchant, Jesus went away. He left Heaven and came to earth to treasure hunt. While here, He too gave everything He had in order to purchase the object of His affection. Because He did, man was redeemed.

Pearls are fascinating. Found in oysters their luminous exterior disguises their less than glorious origins. The oyster's perfect environment is invaded. A foreign object as small as a grain of sand enters and becomes a source of irritation. Unable to expel the unwanted intruder, the oyster sets out to fix the problem.

Over time layer upon layer of the same substance that lines the oyster's shell is secreted, entombing the irritant. What we consider a valuable gem is simply an oyster's response to a pebble in its shoe. (Ok, I know, oysters don't wear shoes, but you get the idea).

Sounds like our story. Satan entered the garden's perfect environment and man's been working to fix the mess made there ever since. Try as hard as we do, all the good things we use to mask the real source of our condition only covers it up and doesn't solve the root issue.

Like the merchant, God views man as highly valuable, so much so that He paid for our redemption with the life of His Son Jesus. Unlike the pearl, we have free will. We can say, "No!" and remain the object of God's affection...and homeless.

How about you? How does the image of the pearl change your idea of how God views and values you? Looking back, how has God, like the merchant diligently searched for you?

The thought just occurred to me. The book of Revelation describes the gates of the New Jerusalem as twelve single pearls. How big do you think those oysters were?

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