“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.”
45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls.
46 When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.”
What a find!..
‘In pearl trade?’
‘Ah, then you come right place, only best quality here.’
Each pearl in the display case was encased in its own box, grouped according to size, colour, shape and lustre. The trader watched as his customer was drawn in by the top of the range specimens.
‘These ones are good.’
‘Mmm, Tahitian blacks, very expensive, very beautiful. Ladies like.’
‘What’s with this one?’
On a bed of white velvet sat a perfect black orb, its metallic lustre so mesmerizing it outshone the rest.
‘No one buy.’
‘How much you have?’
‘I don’t suppose five hundred cash would do it?’
‘Hah, you insult me.’
‘Well, you name your price and I’ll tell you if I can cover it.’
‘Big price. How much credit you have?’
The pearl beckoned, and the jeweller audibly sighed.
‘Couple of grand.’
‘That’s one expensive pearl.’
‘You want best quality or not?’
‘The only thing of value I have here is the car.’
‘Very good. BMW.’
‘What? After the car the only asset I have is the house.’
‘Cost you that too.’
‘Now come on. If I give you the house we’ll have to live in the Winnebago.’
‘Ooh, you have Winnebago? Cost you that too.’
‘Get a grip. Can you imagine what the wife and kids would do if I turned up with a single pearl in exchange for what we’ve worked all our lives for?’
‘Ah, you have family, cost them too.’
‘No ridiculous, they mine, work for me, I look after them.’
The trader held the box tantalisingly close.
‘You still want pearl?’
‘Yes…. but I think we both know the price is too high.’
‘But you want pearl.’
‘Yes, very much.’
‘Enough to take the risk?’
The idea of sacrificing all our worldly possessions and all that is dear to us for one single purchase may sound ridiculous, but that is what Jesus invites us to do to be part of his kingdom.
Are we willing to put aside all we are and all we have to follow him? The price might seem too high, but one of the delightful things we discover along the way is that what is important to us is not necessarily taken away. Rather, it is left with us to use, not for ourselves, but to serve others as we follow his example and bring light, life and hope to the many dark corners of the world.
He offers us the gift of himself and the life that entails. All we have to do is choose it.