What’s the most precious thing you own? When you contrast that item with what you think is most valuable to the world around you, how does it compare? I’m willing to bet that for many of you, what you treasure is not something that is considered precious to others, at least not to society at large. This is because we ascribe unique value to something based on our own experiences, emotions, and perceptions. Sentimental worth does not directly correlate to monetary value. And yet, in describing the Kingdom of God, Jesus minced no words. He chose to compare knowing Him to an item that was absolutely precious and highly treasured to the world as a whole: a pearl.
To give you an example of how valuable a pearl was in the first century Roman Empire, there was a famous general (I think he was even Caesar for a day), and he paid for his entire conquest with one of his mother’s pearl earrings. Then there’s Cleopatra when she hosted Mark Antony. In an attempt to flaunt Egypt’s incomprehensible wealth to him, she threw him a huge party, took a pearl from her stash, dissolved it in vinegar, and drank it. Her extravagance was legendary for centuries thereafter! But why were these little pearls so valuable? Probably because they were forged through years of suffering. When an oyster gets an irritant, such as a grain of sand, in its shell, he tries to get it out of his mouth because it causes him pain. When he can’t, he begins building a hard coating around the source of the irritation, and after years of buildup, it becomes a pearl. This means that one of the world’s most prized possessions comes about because of another creature’s discomfort and irritation.
Friend, your citizenship in the Kingdom of God is your pearl of great price! When you received Jesus Christ as Lord, you walked through His pearly gates and into a life overflowing with the richest of treasure. Because the Savior suffered for you, you have inherited the greatest gift a human heart can know — abundant and joy-filled eternal life. I encourage you to honor and esteem your citizenship in the Lord’s Kingdom and freely share His pearls — wisdom, peace, patience, kindness, love, and grace — with the world around you.