What is so valuable that you’d sell everything for it?

What do you collect? Some collect cars, dolls, coins or toys, and I have even heard of someone who is collecting yarn to make the world’s largest yarn ball.
In Matthew 13:45-46, Jesus tells of a merchant who searched after fine pearls. This merchant found a pearl of great value. Do you know what he did? He went and sold all that he had and bought that pearl.
Some might put themselves into Jesus’ parable and ask themselves: What treasure would cause me to sell everything I have and buy it? Would I sell everything for a rare collectible car, a signed rookie Mickey Mantle baseball card, a Stradivarius violin, a painting by Michelangelo?
Perhaps there is a sin in your past that has been weighing on your heart, and you would like to know that it is forgiven. Would you sell everything for forgiveness? Would you sell everything for eternal life?
Instead of seeing yourself as the merchant, try seeing yourself as the pearl. We, too, were found by a merchant. And we were of such great value that he sold all that he had and bought us. Who is this merchant? It is Jesus.
Jesus came for us. He seeks us. Jesus knew we could not save ourselves. He came to save us from an eternal death. He gave up his place in heaven. He put on our human flesh. He lived a perfect life, without sin, and was condemned to death on the cross to pay for all the sins we have committed. Jesus gave up everything to buy us back from sin, death and the devil.
We are valuable to Jesus. While on the cross, Jesus suffered for all of humankind’s sin. Jesus gave up his life for EVERYONE. Then, in three days, Jesus rose in victory to offer the forgiveness he earned for the entire world.
Jesus is the merchant. We are the pearl. Jesus seeks us out. He buys us, not with gold or silver, but with his holy and precious blood (1 Peter 1:18-19).
In Matthew 13:45-46, Jesus tells us that this is what the kingdom of heaven is like. The very Son of God would come into our world as the long-awaited Messiah, and would give up everything, even his own life, to give us life eternal.
Since Jesus is the merchant who does the buying, we do not need to worry about what price we need to pay. The forgiveness that Jesus earned means eternal life; and it is free. There is nothing for us to do; Jesus has done it all.
My prayer is that everyone will hear of Jesus’ forgiveness in church every Sunday.
For where Jesus is, there is forgiveness of sins; and where sins are forgiven, there is life and salvation.

Rev. Peter C. Kolb • Holy Cross Lutheran Church

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