Matthew 13:45–46:  “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls; on finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.” 

Pearls…of high value and highly valued wouldn’t you say?  This parable addresses the idea of sacrifice or necessary sacrifice to obtain something of great value.  In order to obtain the best, the one searching had to abandon the second best.  What are you willing to sacrifice to obtain the best?  For some that may be material possessions or it could be comfort – there are others.

In this parable, I see the adventure of Christianity.  Giving up everything for something of great value has some obvious risk involved.  Do you remember what Jesus said to his followers?  Like me?  Think about me?  No, Jesus said “Follow me.”  There was great danger when you consider the Scribes, Pharisees and rulers who were out to eliminate Jesus.  This parable challenges us to understand the risk of following Jesus…and then, doing just that.

Unfortunately, I see, far too often, individuals and even churches, watering down the journey of Christianity in order to encourage acceptance.  There is nothing biblical about saying to someone that once you believe in Jesus you can sit back and take it easy waiting for your ticket to heaven to be punched.

Devotional Thought:  If you really believe that Christianity is a highly valued pearl, what are you willing to sacrifice to obtain it and, most importantly, follow.  Following the one whom we are to claim as King, Jesus…it is not easy but it is certainly a different way of approaching this life on earth.  Instead of looking backwards, following Jesus offers the challenge and adventure of looking at life in terms of what is yet to be discovered.