This is yet another parable which has many different meanings ascribed to it, but it is generally agreed among Bible scholars that this and the parable of the hidden treasure form a pair; that they both teach the same truth, namely, that the object of the man's desire is of such great value that he sells all to purchase it. The man in both parables is Jesus and the object of His desire is the church. In the parable of the hidden treasure we saw the incomparable worth of the church -represented by the treasure - underlined by the price Jesus paid at Calvary to possess it. He paid the redemption price for every living soul from that day forth to enter into the kingdom through the church, but sadly, most will not enter. We see in the pearl of great price in this parable a flawless pearl without spot or blemish, typifying the ultimate triumph of the kingdom at the consummation of this age when Jesus comes back to present to Himself a glorious church without spot or blemish (CP Eph 1:3-14; 5:25-27). The man's purchase of the pearl in the parable symbolizes Jesus' redemption of His purchased possession in Eph 1:14. This interpretation of the parable also harmonises with the rest of Jesus' parables in Mt 13. In its present earthly aspect the kingdom of heaven is fragmented by apostasy and backsliding (the parable of the sower); by the emissaries of Satan co-existing in the world with the children of the kingdom (the parable of the tares of the field); by counterfeit Christianity and false religious systems (the parable of the mustard seed); by internal corruption in professed Christianity (the parable of the leaven). Jesus then went on to show that the church would be the visible manifestation of the kingdom in the world (the parable of the hidden treasure) and here in the parable of the pearl of great price He foretells the kingdom's ultimate triumph at the end of the age when He returns for a church that is without spot or blemish. It is interesting to note here that pearls are formed as the result of an injury suffered by the living organism - such as oysters and other molluscs - that produces them. Thus it could be said that there is a sense in which the glorified church was formed out of the wounds of Christ. (See also comments on 13:3-9; 13:24-30; 13:31-32; 13:33; 13:44.)
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