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.”
This wonderful verse from Matthew 13 is part of a series of parables that have wonderful things to show us. This chapter is where Jesus first began to use parables to teach the people. In the beginning of His ministry, though, that is not the way He taught. He spoke to them plainly and openly about Who He is.
There is a very compelling reason why He did this, another whole topic too lengthy to cover here. Anyone interested in reading more about it may follow the link below:
Count The Cost?
Many of you have heard a sermon or two featuring this passage and taught that in order to be a true follower of Jesus, you first had to count the cost. What you were taught, however, may not quite be the message Jesus intended to convey.
Sadly, many well-meaning preachers 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 get the idea that it means our faithfulness is unimportant. Certainly not! God most assuredly honors faith. But let’s put our faith in the right context. 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?” 😳
NEWS FLASH! Even the one asking you, if they’re honest, would have to admit they don’t meet their own criteria either.
Implication And Accusation!
Does 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, accusation, accusation, accusation. 😡 Yes, those things are written in the Bible and, yes, Jesus actually said them. Why? Because that’s what the Law required.
Beloved brothers and sisters: It’s not a question of worthiness:
IT’S A QUESTION OF WORTH. ♥️