The More You Understand the Great Value of the Rule of God, the More You Will Sacrifice Everything to Gain It

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls” (Matt. 13:45). Note the word, “again.” Jesus is emphasizing the same point, but a different parable. In the parable of the Pearl, the man is a merchant. The Greek word for “merchant” is emporos, where we get our English word, “emporium” (a large store). He is a wholesaler, not a retailer. (Friberg) He is looking for beautiful pearls. It means that this man has money.

In the parable of the hidden treasure, the man is poor. But in the parable of the pearl, the merchant is rich.

When he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it” (Matt. 13:46). This merchant finds the most beautiful pearl. It is a very expensive pearl. The word for, “great price” (palotimos), means, “very precious, valuable.” (Gingrich) Pearls in the ancient world are more valuable than gold.[1] He has been looking for this pearl of great value. But it is very expensive. His money is not enough to pay for it.

What does he do? He goes and sells all that he has and then buys the pearl. In the parable of the treasure, the man sells all that he has and buys the field. In the parable of the pearl, the merchant sells all that he has and buys the pearl.

What do we learn about the Kingdom of God? First, the rule of God is worth more than everything. Second, the more you understand the value of the rule of God, the more you realize that it is worth having. The more you realize it is worth having, the more you will sacrifice everything to gain it.

Since the rule of God is worth everything and worth having and worth sacrificing everything to have it, the more you make it your one priority in life. The more you will seek first the kingdom of God. The rule of God is worth everything so that the only right response is absolute commitment to God.[2]

What makes the rule of God precious and priceless? It is not the benefits of the kingdom. It is not the blessings of the kingdom. Rather, it is the King of the Kingdom. Jesus is the hidden treasure. Jesus is the pearl of great value.

Oftentimes, we are like the child who plays in the mud, since she does not know the joy of playing in a swimming pool. We are like the farmer who sells his land for P1,000, since he does not know its real value, which is P1,000,000.

“The story is told about a miner who struck gold and carried his bag of nuggets with him everywhere. One day he died and went to heaven, still carrying his precious nuggets. When hearrived, an angel asked him why he was carrying asphalt.

“‘This isn’t asphalt,’ he explained, ‘it’s gold.’

“To which the angel replied, ‘On earth it’s called gold, but here in heaven we use it to pave our streets.’”[3]

We value the things that are worthless in heaven. We seek the things that are worthless in eternity. We chase things that do not really matter. We pursue non-eternal things that will not last. We seek temporal things that will just pass away.

We feed the lust of our eyes. We feed our sinful natures. We feed the pride of possessions. We love money. We feel that we need these things to enjoy life. We feel that we need these things to find satisfaction.

Yet in the end, there is no joy in these things. We are no happier with these things. We are never satisfied with these things.

But when you discover the value of the rule of God, you discover the value of God Himself. The value of the kingdom is the value of the King. When you discover the value of God, you become willing to lose everything in order to gain God Himself.

God is worth far more than anything in your life. In other words, to use John Piper’s words, God is the gospel. God is the greatest gift of the gospel. God is the goal of the gospel. God is the gospel.

Why has God forgiven your sins in Christ? So that through God’s forgiveness of your sins, you will know the ultimate value of God in Christ; and worship Him. Why has God given you eternal life in Christ? So that through the gift of eternal life, you will enjoy eternally, God Himself.

God is the goal of the kingdom. God is the goal of the rule of God. The rule of God leads to God. The rule of God gains God.

When you seek the rule of God, you get God. When you seek the rule of God, God is your reward. God is your treasure. God is your priceless pearl. At the end of the day, you discover that God is all you need.


[1] Donald A. Hagner, Matthew 1-13 (WBC 33A; ed. Ralph P. Martin; Dallas: Word, 1993), 397.

[2] Hagner, Matthew 1-13, 397.

[3] Vernon C. Grounds, “Heaven’s Asphalt,” Our Daily Bread (June 11, 2005). Cited June 22, 2013. Online: http://odb.org/ 2005/06/11/heavens-asphalt/.

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