The Value of the Gift
Is there anything for Christmas that you can think of, whichÂ you would want, for which you would give up everything that you possess?Â Clear the bottom of the Christmas tree, because underneath is just this one present.Â And not just the tree, get rid of the house, the garage, and everything in it; clean out the bank accounts of all savings, leaving this one thing.Â This scenario is essentially what Jesus described in His kingdom parable in Matthew 13:44, 45:
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.
Most good investors, if not all, say the proverbial, “don’t put all your eggs in one basket.”Â But that’s what this merchant man did—shucked the whole basket for the one egg.Â He sold all his goods for one pearl.Â He ridded himself of his entire inventory forÂ a miniature treasure.
Pearls in Jesus’ day were the most valuable of commodities, more expensive than diamonds.Â Then, pearls were a girl’s best friend.Â Nobody owned scuba equipment, so the only way to get the pearl was for a manÂ to tie rocks to himself, throw himself overboard, and sink down to the bottom of deep water without the aid of a breathing apparatus.Â Â After digging out the shell, he exploded to the surface of the water if his lungs didn’t explode first.Â Lots of pearl divers died in the process.Â The sheer difficulty of obtaining a pearl made them in short supply but in great demand.
The great value of the pearl is seen in the regular mention of it in Scripture as an expensive item.Â Jesus said not to cast a pearl before swine.Â Pigs couldn’t appreciate the extraordinary sacrifice of a diver, the excessive cost, and the amazing beauty of a pearl.Â The gates of the heavenly Jerusalem will be made from these very valuable objects.
The kingdom of heaven exceeds everything in value and any one of us should gladly trade everything we have to obtain it.Â This doesn’t mean that we could possibly buy our way into heaven.Â However, it does say that nothing is more important and that we should give everything up to get it.Â Â So we’ll alsoÂ get that kingdom by giving up our own.Â Without losing one’s own temporalÂ life,Â a manÂ won’t get life that is eternal.
No greater gift exists than the kingdom God provided by the Father’s giving His dear Son.Â No greater offense to God exists than the rejection of the free gift that He gave.Â While everyone around is seeking for this world’s goodly pearls this Christmas time, let’s remind them of the pearl of greatest price, the one without which they’ll never enter God’s eternal kingdom.Â It’s a transaction that will make all the difference.