There's a companion to this sermon: the Parable of the Pearl Sunday School video.


Refer back to last week | Matthew 13:44 | Parable of the hidden treasure

We are the man | we have stumbled across the treasure in the field

The hiding of the treasure is purposeful | discovery was accidental | the revealing was not accidental

I struggle initially | Are we the man or is Christ the man?

  • Because it is a parable & a short scripture it is open to some interpretation | No single consensus in various commentaries

  • If read from both sides, then it makes superficial sense

    • If Jesus is the man | As in parable of the sower
    • He discovers the treasure (us) hidden in the field
  • The problem I had with this:

    • (1) We are not hidden from God

      • Ephesians 1:4 “Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes.”

    • (2) Christ finding us is not accidental

      • Luke 19:10 “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

  • And so last week I argued that it is we that are the man, and Christ the hidden treasure!

    • We are the man going about our everyday lives, it is God that opens up our eyes to see the treasures hidden in the field

    • Our finding find the treasure, as we are concerned, is accidental, the hiding & revealing is purposeful

    • This was then further backed up by the reading of Colossians 2:2-3

      • 2 My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”

  • Points from last week

    • Finding the treasure was accidental

    • The hiding is purposeful

    • We are undeserving in finding the treasure

    • There is GREAT joy in finding the treasure

This morning we are going to look at the next parable | the parable of the Pearl of Great Price

REMINDER: 8 parables in Matthew 13 | 4 to the multitude | 4 to the disciples

Point from last week! Even though we are believers, we need to continually ask God for his supernatural understanding of the Word of God & that through his Holy Spirit that he would open up our eyes


  • These two parables are back-to-back | One heading

  • Her certainly meant them to be a pair | He meant them to be coupled together

  • WHY?

  • Two potential possibilities

    • Reinforce his point | Repeat the same lesson/message | viable possibility

    • Contrast | That is what he meant to do!

      • Two different side of the same coin

      • Two spiritual truths, buried in scripture, that belong together

  • Before we read the scripture

  • Lets deal with a common misreading of the parable

  • Chatting to my mum she too fell into the same trap that I had

  • All the parables are about the Kingdom of heaven…. The kingdom of heaven is like…

    • In this case what is the kingdom of heaven being compared too?

    • The kingdom of heaven is like a Pearl… NO!

READ Matthew 13:45-46

Matthew 13:45-46

The Merchant

  • The man in the previous parable discovers the treasure by accident

  • In this parable, the merchant finds the Pearl on purpose

  • The merchant was seriously & deliberately searching for good pearls

    • It wasn’t just a pastime or a hobby, but this was his business

    • He was an expert, a connoisseur of fine pearls

    • Successful business people are those that are single-minded or laser-focused on a single thing or market

      • Restaurant example

  • Jesus would have known merchants | they passed through as a child

    • Merchants vs Reseller (the shop owner)

    • Merchants travel | going out

    • Prepared to secure them no matter the cost

  • Aimless vs Earnest purpose

    • Seeking | earnestly looking | depart

  • The merchant has discernment & knowledge

  • He was not deceived by a fake or a sham

  • Assessing their value | he paid the price & never regretted his purchase

  • YOU SEE: The “man” who was sowing the seed & the merchant are one and the same, the Lord Jesus Christ

    • In the first parable the treasure was found, but in this parable the pearl is sought!

    • We do not seek God, but it is he that seeks us

    • Romans 3:11 “ there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God.”

    • John 15:16 “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit”

  • What a beautiful picture this is of our Lord Jesus Christ, who left heaven for earth that by His blood He might buy the precious pearl | His Church | His bride

    • Lebola

  • Doesn’t it boggle the mind? Doesn’t it defy logic? That Christ desire was towards us, even while we were still sinner, enemies of God, spiritually ugly & undesirable, He died to possess us!

Psalm 45 which provides us with the beautiful depiction of Christ, the glories of the Messiah and his bride...

Psalm 45:11

"Let the king be enthralled by your beauty;

honor him, for he is your lord."

Really us? A thing of great beauty?

The Pearl

  • Pearls are not mentioned in the Old Testament

  • But they are mentioned several times in the New Testament

  • What we do know from history is that during this period pearls were not a common everyday item of jewelry

  • As you are aware unlike precious stones and gems, pearls are organic & are produced by mollusks like oysters

  • A pearl is a result of an injury or irritation (like a gran of sand) that gets into the soft body of the oyster & in a bid to protect itself the oyster covers the injury with a covering, layer upon layer, until a pearl is formed

  • Today we culture pearls, we plant the irritation inside of the oyster, so that it begins the natural process artificially

  • However, in the wild, not every oyster produces a pearl

    • 1:10,000 oysters will produce a pearl

  • Not all pearls are of the same quality

    • Only under the perfect conditions are pearls of great value formed

  • At this time in history, pearls were highly valued, and the very best were used in the crown jewels

  • How accurate a depiction of how precious we are to Christ, and how the pain our sin has caused Him, covered over us has transformed the thing of injury to the desired thing

  • Ephesians 5:26-27

    • 26 to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word. 27 He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault.”

  • You see where as the treasure was buried in the field, the pearl is sunken to the bottom of the ocean floor.

  • The miracle of Grace is that Jesus descends

The Price

  • What does it cost the merchant to purchase the pearl?

    • Everything!

    • The scripture tells us that the merchant went and sold all that he had, all his wealth, in order to possess the pearl

  • And so it was with Christ, he gave up heaven to come to earth, and he gave up his life so that he might purchase us with his blood

  • The consequence and punishment for our sins is eternal death, separation from the almighty God, and Jesus paid the price so that we, the Church might be lifted up, redeemed

  • The cost to us of claiming the treasure hidden in the field is everything we have, the cost to Christ, everything he had!


  • At the beginning of today's message | outlined

    • Open to interpretation

  • Two possible ways to read this parable

  • I argued that there are none that seek God (Romans 3:11)

  • Jesus could have had two possible reasons for pairing these parables together:

    • Reinforce the message

    • Contrast | different sides of the same coin

  • Passages of scripture need to be understood or interpreted within context

    • What was the writer trying to achieve?

    • What is the message that Christ was trying to convey?

    • What action are we being called too?

  • In order to do this we need to take a step back & look at the 4 parables together

READ Matthew 13:43b-52

Matthew 13:43b-52

  • 43b “He who has ears, let him hear”

  • 51 “Have you understood all these things?”

  • 51 “Yes”

  • 52 “Therefore”

  • The challenge I would like to leave with you this morning is this!...

    • Are you uncovering the treasures buried in scripture?

    • Are you discovering the secrets of knowing Christ?

    • Do they create Joy in your life?

      • Because if they are not then something is wrong… you need to go back to the word… you need to pleased with our almighty God to open up you eyes by his miraculous & supernatural power.. By his Holy Spirit!

      • Joy is an inevitable outcome!

      • And then? Be spurred on to share this with others, because the end of all things too is inevitable.