Matthew 13:45-46 – YOU ARE SO WORTH IT ALL! – Part 17

Posted: April 15, 2011 in Matthew, Matthew 13, The Parables
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Matthew 13:45-46 – YOU ARE SO WORTH IT ALL! – Part 17

Pearl of Great Price

You are So Worth It All – Image created by Ross Cochrane with

“Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant on the lookout for choice pearls. When he discovered a pearl of great value, he sold everything he owned and bought it!” (Matthew 13:45-46 NLT)

Simple parable. Or is it? I find myself wanting to ask Jesus some questions like “Who or What is the PEARL OF GREAT VALUE?” Are WE the pearl of great price and is it Christ who gives up everything to purchase us?

In his world renowned book Juan Carlos Ortiz takes a different approach. He says “CHRIST is the Pearl of Great Value and WE are the merchant seeking for happiness , for security, for fame, for eternity. And when we find Jesus it costs us everything. He has happiness, joy, peace, healing, security, eternity, everything.

So we say, “I want this pearl. How much is it?”

He goes on to say that the seller says that it will cost me everything. Not only does all my money become the property of Christ, but my house, my cars, my family, and even myself. The seller and the pearl seem to be Christ in this story. Perhaps he means that the seller is God the Father. He wants EVERYTHING! All I have and am comes under the ownership of Christ. And then Christ gives it back to me on the understanding that He is the owner and that it must be available for His use as needed. That’s the Kingdom of God – the authority of Christ to rule over my life.

I love the idea of the story – of everything coming under the authority and ownership of Christ, including ourselves. Afterall in Matthew 10:39 (NLT) Jesus says “If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for Me, you will find it.” 

What bothers me about Ortiz’s story is that the parable says that the merchant BUYS the Pearl of Great Price by selling everything He has. Last time I looked the Bible makes it clear that Salvation in Christ is NOT FOR SALE. I can’t buy what Christ has to offer from God. It is a GIFT (Romans 6:23) that comes to us as we respond to Christ in faith. It is given because of God’s GRACE. We can’t work for it, earn it or buy it, and we don’t deserve it in any way (Ephesians 2:8-9).


Everytime I hear a message on this parable I hear how a pearl is born in great suffering and pain, when a foreign speck of sand enters the environment of the shell and causes the pearl to be formed as the oyster builds up layers of nacre to protect itself. This is used as a picture of SIN coming into the environment of our world and like an annoying, irritating foreign substance causes harm.

God deals with our sin. He becomes a man and also enters our environment and although He lives a perfect life, He experiences the SUFFERING AND PAIN that our sin has caused and He is crucified. Christ dies on the Cross for us. Like that layer of nacre that forms around the speck of sand that threatens to cause harm to the oyster, He took man’s sin and bore it in His own body (1 Peter 2:24).

Our sin was an intrusion upon Him -foreign matter. 2 Corinthians 5:21 (NIV) says “God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” He turns cursing into blessing. 1 Peter 2:24 (NLT) says “He personally CARRIED OUR SINS in His body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. By His wounds you are healed.” Galatians 3:13 (NLT) says that when Christ “was hung on the cross, He TOOK UPON HIMSELF the curse for our wrongdoing.”

Christ adorns us with the beautiful layer of His righteousness forming a pearl of great value. Isaiah 61:10 (NLT) says “He has DRESSED me with the clothing of salvation and DRAPED me in a robe of righteousness.” Ephesians 4:24 (NLT) says “PUT ON your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.” Colossians 2:10 (NLT) says “So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority.”

I like the analogy but I’m not so sure it was intended when Jesus told this parable. It gets a little muddled if I take the analogy too far, but I think it illustrates what Christ came to do in us and that HIS LIFE BECOMES MINE.

I don’t even like pearls but nevertheless, like the pearl of great value, Christ came to purchase me and “There is salvation in no one else!” (Acts 4:12 NLT).

God bless you as you realise how valuable you are to God and in turn how valuable Christ is for your life today. Lord, YOU ARE SO WORTH IT!

Pastor Ross

PS If this post has helped you apply the lifechanging truths of the Bible, you are invited to subscribe by clicking the follow button, to make comments and to share these thoughts with your friends. It would be a privilege to share these conversations with people like you and others all around the world.

  1. jenrobson says:

    Hello Pastor Ross, I found your blog while searching for pictures of pearls. I am co-founder of a brand new ministry that shares the message of Hope that we have in Jesus Christ through the story of the pearl with women across the country and victims of human trafficking. Our ministry is based on Matthew 13:45-46 with the same interpretation as your blog. Finding this post while searching for pictures…felt quite DIVINE! We would love to ask your permission to post this blog entry on our website and also use the beautiful picture of the pearl on our messages that go to the girls on the streets and in restoration houses. Please email me at your earliest convenience at


  2. Thank you Ross. What a value we have in Jesus. I wish everybody gets connected to Him.


  3. Martin Britt says:

    My beliefs on this passage: Several great points made in this blog but the key phrase to understanding what the pearl is is the first thing Jesus says, “The Kingdom of Heaven.” This isn’t salvation at all, And it’s not Jesus nor is it us. It is an actual prize however and one that Jesus talks about often. And that prize is only obtained through sacrifice and labor. it is an actual Kingdom that has begun spiritually and will manifest physically on Christ’s return. All who are born again will enter the Kingdom of Heaven but according to what they sold of their lives and bought shares in it some will have more than others. Same thing Paul talks about in 1 Cor. 3 and Jesus constantly talks about. For the Kingdom period some believers who sacrificed now will enjoy more than those who didn’t but at the end of it He will put an end to all rule and begin the eternal kingdom so the lazy believing folks from this age will get their chance later. However, Jesus constantly encouraged believers to get busy now so they don’t miss out on the prizes of that time. Anyway, I got drawn to this blog because I was looking for a picture of The Pearl of Great Price and boy did you have a beautiful one. Keep up the great work!


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