45 -- Again, the kingdom of Heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls:
46 -- Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it. ([KJV])
Some preachers and commentators approach this parable by saying that the pearl represents salvation and that the buyer pictures the lost sinner. The sinner does all that he can to obtain salvation. He works and he pays any price to get his soul saved. Of course, that would be salvation by works, which we all know is not the way it is at all. Ephesians 2:8-9:
8 -- For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 -- Not of works, lest any man should boast. ([KJV])
The real interpretation of the parable is this: The merchant is Jesus, the pearl is the church, His body, and the great price is His Own death on the cross of Calvary. It is God who was willing to pay any price to save lost people from a certain death in Hell.
THE PEARL IS THE PRODUCT OF SUFFERING A pearl is formed when an oyster gets a grain of sand trapped in the soft flesh, called the mantle within its shell. This piece of sand irritates the tender oyster and it responds by coating the grain of sand with layer upon layer of a substance called nacre, which is basically saliva and calcium.
It is the same substance that coats the inside of the oyster’s shell. The pearl is the product of pain.
The church was also born out of suffering! Jesus was beaten, and crucified for our sins. His blood covers our sins.
THE PEARL IS FORMED FROM SOMETHING WORTHLESS:
The pearl is formed from all types of junk. Pieces of sand, bone fragments from dead fish, etc.
The church of Jesus is formed of old hell-bound sinners! The kind of junk we were -- Ephesians 2:3-6:
3 -- Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
4 -- But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
5 -- Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
6 -- And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: ([KJV]).
THE PEARL IS A THING OF IMMENSE BEAUTY:
Pearls have been used for centuries as a thing to adorn the wealthy, powerful and the ruling class.
They serve as objects of great beauty. The church is a beautiful thing! Here we are, a collection of sinners saved by the great grace of God and headed to a city called Heaven.
Right now, our true beauty might not shine as it ought to, but one day it will Revelation 21:9-11:
9 -- And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife. 10 -- And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,\
11 -- Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal; ([KJV])