Matthew 13:44–46 ‘When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.’ (vv46)
Oscar Wilde wrote, ‘Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.’ People are too materialistic to recognise something’s true value.*
Writing at the height of ‘The Age of Materialism’, Wilde challenged the belief that nothing can exist beyond matter, something tangible rather than spiritual.
Disciples living in the aftershock of a material age sustained through consumerism are in danger of placing meaning and confidence in material reality alone.
What cannot be handled, measured, or empirically demonstrated is non-existent. Yet, Jesus commended the merchant for going in search of the unseen.
We might argue that the pearl is material once found, and worth a lot of money providing the merchant with expensive material comforts in return for his risk.
But the pearl is a metaphor for Christ, reminding us that the intangible has a reality worthy of the seeker’s endeavours.
The inner yearning we have for a greater encounter with God faces powerful pressures from a world constructed on the foundations of materialism and quantifying success, even significance, in the accumulation of wealth.
Scripture reminds us we leave this world as we entered it, empty handed (Eccl. 5:15). As Martin Luther King Jr. suggests, ‘The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.
Nothing worthwhile is easy. Your ability to overcome unfavourable situations will provide you with time to demonstrate your true strength and determination for success.’**
A Prayer To Make:
‘Lord, I choose to go in search of fresh encounters with You every day. Give me eyes to see and ears to hear in my pressured life. Amen.’
An Action To Take:
Like the merchant, are you prepared to forsake all else and go in pursuit of Jesus, the Pearl of great price? What first steps will you take?
Scripture To Consider:
Deut. 4:21–31; Jer. 29:4–14; Matt. 6:25–34; Jas 4:1–10