“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.”
Many people probably think that Jesus used these two short parables to repeat an important point for emphasis: the kingdom of heaven should be of such great value to us that nothing we have can compare. That definitely is the lesson of the first parable, but there actually is a subtle shift in the second. If you “blink” you may just miss it.
In the parable of the treasure in the field, Jesus says the kingdom of heaven is like the treasure. Believers are symbolized by the man who finds it. But in the parable of the pearl Jesus does not compare the kingdom of heaven to the pearl (which would be parallel with the treasure in the first story) but rather the merchant! Here, we are the pearl and God is the merchant looking for us! The first parable demonstrates what we must be prepared to give up for God, but the second shows what God was willing to give up for us! The merchant sold everything he had to buy that pearl. God the Father gave up his one and only son in order to “buy” us back from the price of sin.
When you are depressed or feeling unappreciated, remember that God, the great merchant, believes you have unimaginably high value. You are his precious fine pearl and he will always love you.