A merchant has a quest, he lives his life searching... will he find what he is looking for?
Once there was a merchant, who was seeking goodly pearls. Not just any pearls, he wanted them to be beautiful and worth a great price. He looked and looked throughout his whole life, striving to find really and truly good pearls. He found pearls of all shapes, sizes, and colors. There were some very beautiful pearls among them, but still, in his heart, he was not content. You see, he had a dream, and his dream was to find a perfect pearl.
He didn't know what kind of pearl it would be, he just knew that when he had it in his possession, he would be able to live in perfect peace, knowing he had the best there was. However, as the years went by, he gradually grew weary in his quest and in time learned to ignore that longing to find the true, perfect pearl. Instead he would try to fulfill his emptiness by indulging in flashy jewels from well-dressed, cool mannered men and beautiful women with flattering eyes. He would tell himself he was perfectly happy with these jewels and the company that came with them.
Alas for the merchant, such happiness never lasts, and he soon found himself more miserable than ever. The flashy jewels were now worthless, and the company he kept seemed to drain his very soul.
In his darkest hour, there came springing up in him again that longing for the perfect pearl. He began his search once more, doubtful that he would ever find such a thing, but still holding on to a faint thread of hope. He knew that, even if he died in his search, he would be satisfied, knowing he had tried.
One day, while walking through his home town, he noticed a small shop in the back corner of a small shopping center. He had seen it many times before, for it was right next to his own house.
He couldn't understand, but whenever he stood there looking at it, he always felt a pulling - an urge to go inside. He started to shrug off the feeling and walk away as he always had before, but something made him stop, and he allowed himself to be drawn to its doors.
As he got closer, he felt his longing for the perfect pearl grow and throb though his whole being. On entering the store, he was greeted by a small child, asking if she could help him in any way. He dimly heard his own voice telling her that he would just look around. He walked, as though drawn, to the back of the store where an old man was standing behind the counter. His wrinkled face creased into a smile, but his kind grey eyes looked as if he knew exactly what was wanted.
The poor merchant looked once into the gentle face of the old man, then down to the display case. There in a beautiful, black velvet box lay a perfectly round pearl, it's creamy white color seeming to shine as the moon.
When the old man asked the merchant if he would like to look at it, he simply nodded, unable to speak. He grabbed hold of the counter to steady his shaking frame. As the pearl was placed into his hand, the longing in his heart grew until he felt as if he might die. Turning it over and over in his hand, he looked for blemishes that he knew were not there. This, he knew was the perfect pearl - the one for which he had searched for so long.
At last he asked hoarsely, "How much?"
The old man leaned back and smiled.
"Oh, it's a great price, I've had it for a very long time, and it is the only one like it."
When the merchant heard the great price, his heart sank. It would cost everything he had to secure the pearl. However, he knew he must have it, whatever the cost.
Handing the precious pearl back to the man, he asked him to hold it for him and quickly strode out the door.
The merchant went home and sold everything he owned - his house, his belongings, everything but the clothes on his back. He sold all, and returning to the little store, he purchased the pearl. Now for the rest of his life, he would have peace, for he had found his pearl, that perfect pearl of great price.
The merchant spent many years and much grief trying to find his "Pearl of great price." He thought it could only be gained by constant searching and hard work. It never occurred to him that his prize was always right at hand. It was there for the taking, if only he would have been willing to look.
We, like the merchant, were born with a longing for a pearl pf great price.
Instilled in every human being is a longing for satisfaction and fulfillment. So in a sense, we are all seeking goodly pearl. We may try many things in an attempt to fulfill this longing. Hobbies, better jobs, college degrees, money, friends, travel entertainment, etc. may ease the longing temporarily, but these are simply counterfeit pearls or jewels. We may search endlessly and work diligently towards fulfillment, but until we have that Pearl of Great Price, we will continue to have that constant longing in our hearts.
"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it."
Jesus Christ is the Pearl of Great Price, a Jewel of undefined and inestimable value. All those who possess this Pearl are truly rich. The longing in their soul is satisfied, and ther is no need to search further for peace and fulfillment.
Just as the pearl, in our story, this Pearl of Great Price is readily available to all who are willing to look in the right place and to those who are willing to pay the right price.
"All have sinned and come short of the glory of God."
"The wages of sin is death..."
Becouse of our sin, we are separated from God. This creates a longing in our hearts that can only be satisfied when this relationship is restored.
"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved."
"Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;"
- Acts 3:19
We must be willing to repent of our sins and turn to Jesus Christ for forgiveness. He is the ONLY way -
"I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man cometh unto the Father but by me."
"But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:"
- John 1:12
"Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:"
- Romans 5:1