How a pearl and perfume have challenged me
Since 2014 started, I’ve been reading through a new One Year Bible. Every day, it goes chronologically through a passage from the Old Testament, a passage from the New Testament, a passage from Psalms, and one from Proverbs. It has been rocking my world. Seeing the whole narrative of the Bible woven together throughout different books and passages that usually aren’t read in sequence like that has been opening my eyes to the most beautiful, powerful truths of Scripture.
So– A pearl. Perfume. Beautiful things, and things I never thought would challenge me in my life today.
In Matthew 13, Jesus tells a few parables about the worth of heaven and the kingdom of God. Here’s a few verses to give you context.
“The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure that a man discovered hidden in a field. In his excitement, he hid it again and sold everything he owned to get enough money to buy the field. Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant on the lookout for choice pearls. When he discovered a pearl of great value, he sold everything he owned and bought it!”
In Matthew 25, another story is told.
While he (Jesus) was eating, a woman came in with a beautiful alabaster jar of expensive perfume and poured it over his head. The disciples were indignant when they saw this. “What a waste!” they said. “It could have been sold for a high price and the money could have been given to the poor.” But Jesus, aware of this, replied, “Why criticize this woman for doing such a good thing to me?”
So it’s been a few months now since graduation, and let me just let you know, I haven’t accumulated any great amount of wealth in that time. I’m really making not a lot of money at all. But my life has become so deeply rich, because I’m spending my days living out my passions and my calling. After graduating and entering the real world, so much of life becomes about who you are and what you have to offer the world and what you’re going to do about it.
In both of these passages, the man and the woman found and had something of incredible worth. In these stories, they gave up everything they had and owned for the sake of the Kingdom and the Lord. The man sold everything he owned to have that pearl of great value. The woman poured out this incredible jar of expensive perfume onto the head of Jesus just to show her adoration and her worship of him as he was preparing to die and be buried.
As a post-grad twentysomething, the only real thing of worth I possessed was my talents and abilities. And after reading these two stories, I’m reminded and challenged to be more like those two people. I want to be ready and willing to sacrifice everything I own and everything I have and everything I am to gain the Kingdom of Heaven like the man did for the pearl of great value and worth.
I want to pour out everything beautiful that I have just to show my love for my Savior.
That woman knew that the Lord was about to do an incredible thing, and she beautifully and wholly and even literally poured out all she had just to give him her very best. What an act of love and worship and selflessness. She could have sold that perfume for great riches like the disciples said. The man searching in that field had possessions and things that belonged to him that I’m sure he liked having, but he sold them all just to get that pearl.
For both of them, there was something worth giving everything up for. There was the Kingdom of Heaven. There was Jesus.
I want to be more like them. I want to pour out my talents, my passions, my possessions, my time, my energy, my love, all that I have and am for the glory of the Lord and the Kingdom here on earth and in heaven. I want to give everything up for Him in response to how He gave all He was for me first.