Parable of the Great Pearl


“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.

Matthew 13:44–46

In Matthew 13, Jesus compares the Kingdom of God to a merchant seeking beautiful pearls.

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.”

It is one of Jesus’s shortest parables, but also one of his most well-known.

In the story, we are confronted with a simple premise: the Kingdom of God is worth forsaking all to attain.

To fully appreciate the actions of the merchant, I imagine a man selling houses, land, and businesses to purchase the great pearl. All that he had.

For this to happen in our own lives, there are two things that must happen:

1. An ever-increasing appreciation for the Kingdom of God.

The things of this world are visible, and the people of this world will continually pursue them. Also, the default state of our culture is to value the world and undervalue the Kingdom of God.

Because of that, to appreciate more and more the Kingdom of God, we are required to intentionally swim upstream in a culture pursuing the world.

There are many ways to accomplish this: Church, Worship, Scripture, Remembrance, Prayer, Surrender. All are required.

But recognizing the great value of the Kingdom is not enough, we must also have…

2. An ever-increasing understanding of how worthless the things of this world truly are in comparison to the great prize.

The story of the merchant is not both-and, it is either-or.

The story of the Great Pearl is not keep the world and gain the pearl.

The story of the Great Pearl is forsake the entire world in order to fully take grasp and experience God’s great Kingdom.

We must all be quicker to give up the things of this world. Too many of us are trying to have both, and missing the Kingdom because of it. Understand this world is worthless and only a distraction.

Perhaps, indeed, we would be wiser to sell all that we have, and throw off all hindrances, for the sake of God’s kingdom in our lives and world.

It’s a trade worth making for all of eternity.


Heavenly Father, thank you for your grace. Help me to give up the things of this world in exchange for your heavenly Kingdom. May I constantly recognize the value of your great Kingdom compared to the worthless things of this world. Amen.