Christ's Object Lessons
by Ellen G. White
Chapter 9: The Pearl
Based on Matt. 13:45, 46
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The blessings of redeeming love our Savior compared
to a precious pearl. He illustrated His lesson by
the parable of the merchantman seeking goodly pearls
"who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went
and sold all that he had, and bought it." Christ Himself
is the pearl of great price. In Him is gathered all the
glory of the Father, the fullness of the Godhead. He
is the brightness of the Father's glory and the express
image of His person. The glory of the attributes of God
is expressed in His character. Every page of the Holy
Scriptures shines with His light. The righteousness of
Christ, as a pure, white pearl, has no defect, no stain. No
work of man can improve the great and precious gift of
God. It is without a flaw. In Christ are "hid all the
treasures of wisdom and knowledge." Col. 2:3. He is
"made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification,
and redemption." 1 Cor. 1:30. All that can satisfy
the needs and longings of the human soul, for this world
and for the world to come, is found in Christ. Our Redeemer
is the pearl so precious that in comparison all things
else may be accounted loss. [p. 116]
|The Pearl of Great Price.—Davis Collection.|
Christ "came unto His own, and His own received
Him not." John 1:11. The light of God shone into the
darkness of the world, and "the darkness comprehended it
not." John 1:5. But not all were found indifferent to the
gift of heaven. The merchantman in the parable represents
a class who were sincerely desiring truth. In different
nations there were earnest and thoughtful men who had
sought in literature and science and the religions of the
heathen world for that which they could receive as the
soul's treasure. Among the Jews there were those who
were seeking for that which they had not. Dissatisfied
with a formal religion, they longed for that which was
spiritual and uplifting. Christ's chosen disciples belonged
to the latter class, Cornelius and the Ethiopian eunuch to
the former. They had been longing and praying for light
from heaven; and when Christ was revealed to them, they
received Him with gladness.
In the parable the pearl is not represented as a gift.
The merchantman bought it at the price of all that he had.
Many question the meaning of this, since Christ is represented
in the Scriptures as a gift. He is a gift, but only to
those who give themselves, soul, body, and spirit, to Him
without reserve. We are to give ourselves to Christ, to live
a life of willing obedience to all His requirements. All that
we are, all the talents and capabilities we possess, are the
Lord's, to be consecrated to His service. When we thus
give ourselves wholly to Him, Christ, with all the treasures
of heaven, gives Himself to us. We obtain the pearl of
Salvation is a free gift, and yet it is to be bought and
sold. In the market of which divine mercy has the
management, the precious pearl is represented as being bought
without money and without price. In this market all may [p. 117] obtain the goods of heaven. The treasury of the jewels of
truth is open to all. "Behold, I have set before thee an
open door," the Lord declares, "and no man can shut it."
No sword guards the way through this door. Voices from
within and at the door say, Come. The Saviour's voice
earnestly and lovingly invites us: "I counsel thee to buy of
Me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich."
Rev. 3:8, 18.
The gospel of Christ is a blessing that all may possess.
The poorest are as well able as the richest to purchase
salvation; for no amount of worldly wealth can secure it.
It is obtained by willing obedience, by giving ourselves to
Christ as His own purchased possession. Education, even
of the highest class, cannot of itself bring a man nearer to
God. The Pharisees were favored with every temporal and
every spiritual advantage, and they said with boastful pride,
We are "rich, and increased with goods, and have need of
nothing"; yet they were "wretched, and miserable, and
poor, and blind, and naked." Rev. 3:17. Christ offered
them the pearl of great price; but they disdained to accept
it, and He said to them, "The publicans and the harlots
go into the kingdom of God before you." Matt. 21:31.
We cannot earn salvation, but we are to seek for it
with as much interest and perseverance as though we
would abandon everything in the world for it.
We are to seek for the pearl of great price, but not in
worldly marts or in worldly ways. The price we are
required to pay is not gold or silver, for this belongs to
God. Abandon the idea that temporal or spiritual advantages
will win for you salvation. God calls for your willing
obedience. He asks you to give up your sins. "To
him that overcometh," Christ declares, "will I grant to sit
with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and am set
down with My Father in His throne." Rev. 3:21. [p. 118]
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