In line with the previous parable, the merchant is Jesus. He was not just a tourist or window-shopper but someone who really knew the value of that for which He was looking. When He found this one pearl, He realized it would be a bargain to sell all He had just to buy it.
How many of us would see a stone so precious that we would part with everything we had just to own that one jewel? That is the love of Jesus. It is extravagant!
The cost of the pearl is the same as the cost of the field: all He had. (In the next chapter we will analyze what it meant for Jesus to give all He had.)
What does a pearl suggest? One thing it suggests in Scripture is suffering. A pearl is caused by irritation within the oyster. It is the product of something going wrong inside the shell. Isn't it interesting that all the gateways to the New Jersualem are made of pearls? That tells us there is now way into New Jerusalem except the way of suffering.
Then, in the process of making that pearl marketable, many things must be done. The pearl has to be raised from the depths of the sea, removed from the oyster and subjected to various processes. It is rather like the treasure in the field. It takes a lot of work to make it ready. Just as Jesus bought the field but leaves it to His servants to prepare the treasure for Him, likewise, He leaves it to His servants to ready the pearl for His enjoyment. But finally there comes forth that smooth, beautiful, gleaming pearl.
Picture Jesus holding just one pearl in His hand, looking down at it with inexpressible love. This is not a collective picture, not meant for a group, but something personal and individual. It is. Imagine Jesus with just one pearl gleaming in the palm of His hand, saying to that pearl, "It was for you I paid that price. I gave all I had."
Go one step further. Say to yourself, "I was that pearl. I am that pearl. If there had been nobody else to be redeemed, Jesus would have died just for me." It is important that you see this. Many of us struggle with a sense of unworthiness, inadequacy and rejection. We wonder whether we are really wanted. It is vital to see that each of us is a pearl for which Jesus gave all He had.
Here are four simple but very important facts about God's love:
God's love is individual.
God's love is everlasting.
God's love is from before time.
God's love is irresistible.
Let's look at some Scriptures that illustrate these four points.
God's love is individual and everlasting.
The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee [individually and personally] with an everlasting love: therefore with loving-kindness have I drawn thee. Jeremiah 31:3, KJV