A Question Of Worth.

Matthew 13:45-46
45…”the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, 46 who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.

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This wonderful verse from Matthew 13 is part of a series of parables.  It is the chapter where Jesus first started to teach by telling stories.  When He began His ministry, though, He didn’t teach this way.  He spoke plainly and openly about Who He is.

(To read more about why He switched to teaching in parables, you may follow the link below.  Believe me, He had a very compelling reason:

https://emmausroadministries.international/2016/05/07/a-fundamental-change-in-jesus-ministry-part-5-of-16-rightly-dividing-the-word-of-god/)

Count The Cost?

Many of you have heard a sermon or two featuring this passage.  What you were taught, however, may not quite be the message Jesus intended to convey.  Some preachers, sadly, have used this verse to give you the impression that following Jesus requires you to give up everything, as if you and I somehow need to prove our faithfulness to God.  

Heard that before?  Me, too.  Then you’re informed, “You’ve gotta love God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind,” right?  Now, don’t think it means our faithfulness is unimportant.  Certainly not!  God honors faith. But let’s put our faith in the right context.

Well, inevitably, the next thing you hear is that same person asking you, “Are you willing to give up everything to follow Jesus?  Are you willing to count the cost? You must be like the merchant in the parable who sold ALL that he had to buy that pearl of great price!  Do you love Jesus that much?” 

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Implication, Implication, Implication!

Any of that sound familiar?  You know what they’re implying, right?  That you don’t measure up and that God is angry with you, as if you must prove yourself worthy of His love.  Implication, implication, implication. 😠  Yes, those things are written in the Bible and, yes, Jesus actually said them.  Why?  Because that’s what the Law required.  

The truth is, you and I can’t love Him like that.  Try as we may, inevitably we fall flat on our faces! 😓
 
It’s All About Jesus!
Let’s face it, Church.  You and I are poor, blind, and naked.  We are bankrupt.  We don’t have anything of value to trade for that pearl or anything else of any value, for that matter.  But that’s what you get when self-righteous man puts “man” in the center of the picture, making it all about man. 🙄
This parable isn’t about you and I AT ALL.  It isn’t about us who are bankrupt selling all that we have to buy it.  
The key word here is BANKRUPT!  THE REAL HERO IN THIS STORY, THE REAL MERCHANT, IS JESUS!  We are the pearl:  Yep, you and I!  He gave up everything He had to buy us back.
It’s all about JESUS! 💖
That’s how much we are worth to God. That’s how precious we are in His sight! Our Father isn’t looking at you to see how much you love Jesus. He isn’t insisting that we prove how loving and devoted we are.  He loved us while we were yet sinners, totally UN-LOVABLE. 💖

You see, Church; it’s not a question of worthiness:  IT’S A QUESTION OF WORTH.

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