Matthew tells us Jesus spoke to the crowds in parables: “All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world” (Matthew 13:34–35).
To many Christians today, the parables sound very simple. Yet, according to Christ, each parable holds an incredible secret. There’s a hidden, kingdom truth in every parable Jesus told. And that truth is discovered only by those who diligently seek for it.
Many believers skim over the parables quickly. They think they see an obvious lesson and quickly move on. Or, they dismiss a parable’s meaning as not applying to them
The Bible states clearly there are secrets of the Lord: “His secret is with the righteous” (Proverbs 3:32). These secrets have been unknown from the foundation of the world, but Matthew tells us they’re buried in Jesus’ parables. These hidden truths have power to truly set Christians free. Yet few are willing to pay the high cost of discovering them.
Consider with me one of the Lord’s parables.
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it” (Matthew 13:45–46). Who is the merchant in this parable? The Greek root here explains him as a traveling wholesale trader. This merchant was also an assayer, or tester. In other words, he made his living by evaluating costly pearls for their quality and worth.
We know that Jesus is the pearl of great price that the merchant finds. He’s very costly, of incalculable value, because the merchant sells all his other possessions to gain him. I believe we find the meaning of the pearl in God’s eternal purposes. Obviously, the pearl belonged to the Father. He possessed Christ just as any father possesses his own son. Indeed, Jesus is the Father’s most valued and treasured possession. Only one thing would cause the Father to give up this priceless pearl. He did it out of love.
Christ is the treasure chest in the field. And in him, I’ve found all that I’ll ever need. No more trying to find purpose in ministry. No more looking for fulfillment in family or friends. No more needing to build something for God, or to be a success, or to feel useful. No more keeping up with the crowd, or trying to prove something. No more searching for ways to please people. No more trying to think or reason my way out of difficulties.
I’ve found what I’m looking for. My treasure, my pearl, is Christ. And all that the Owner asks of me is, “David, I love you. Let me adopt you. I’ve already signed the papers with my own Son’s blood. You’re now a joint heir with him of everything I possess.”
What a bargain. I give up my filthy rags of self-reliance and good works. I lay aside my worn-out shoes of striving. I leave behind my sleepless nights on the streets of doubt and fear. And in return, I get adopted by a King. This is what happens when you seek the pearl, the treasure, till you find him. Jesus offers you everything he is. He brings you joy, peace, purpose, holiness. And he becomes your everything—your waking, your sleeping, your morning, afternoon and evening.