Day 19

 

The Scripture

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant searching for fine pearls. Upon finding a pearl of great value, he went out and sold all that he had and bought it.” (Matthew 13:45–46, TLV)

Heart Thoughts

After telling how a peasant discovered a treasure in a field, Yeshua tells of a more prosperous merchant seeking pearls. In contrast to the tenant worker, the protagonist of this story is a merchant, a man with capital, hence a person of greater means. A person who knew who what it was like to invest wisely. A person who knew when a product had passed from “proof of concept” into highly valuable.

Don’t miss something else that is important. Yeshua was using a common Jewish metaphor “a pearl” to talk about piety, sacrifice and genuine faith.

Jewish people from ancient times fished for pearls in the Red Sea. The pearls were highly valuable and sold for wealthy women’s necklaces, and ancient reports tell of pearls worth tens of millions of dollars in modern currency. This merchant, uniquely sensitive to the value of the pearl, wisely invests all he has to purchase it. Other Jewish accounts of finding expensive pearls typically emphasized the finder’s piety. There is a story about a Jewish tailor who paid an outlandish price for a fish because he needed it to keep the Sabbath yet found in it a pearl that supplied his needs the rest of his life (Pesiq. R. 23:6).

Yeshua, probably, was emphasizing the same idea but adds that having this pearl brings great joy. He is alluding to Proverbs 10:22 where it says that the Lord’s blessing creates joy and not pain. What is more, the Jewish sages used the pearl as a parable of Torah teaching and stressed material sacrifices made to study Torah. Yeshua applies these images to the value of the message of the kingdom. One who was unwilling to sacrifice everything else for the kingdom, who did not believe its reality sufficiently to stake all one’s future on it, was unworthy of it (Matthew 19:21).

 

Prayer

May the Lord God of Israel show the surpassing great value in the Kingdom of God.  May he give you the courage and perseverance to hold onto this treasure. May He pour out on you great joy all the days of your life.

 

For the Feed

Jewish people from ancient times fished for pearls in the Red Sea. The pearls were highly valuable and sold for wealthy women’s necklaces, and ancient reports tell of pearls worth tens of millions of dollars in modern currency. This merchant, uniquely sensitive to the value of the pearl, wisely invests all he has to purchase it. Other Jewish accounts of finding expensive pearls typically emphasized the finder’s piety. There is a story about a Jewish tailor who paid an outlandish price for a fish because he needed it to keep the Sabbath yet found in it a pearl that supplied his needs the rest of his life (Pesiq. R. 23:6).