The gospel of Jesus Christ or the kingdom of heaven is presented as a treasure or a pearl of great price. “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man has found, he hides, and for joy thereof goes and sells all that he hath, and buys that field. 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 (Matt. 13:44-46). The riches of earth, the pleasures of life, and the praise of fellow men are not worthy to be compared with the blessings which God has prepared for man in the gospel. Many who have attained the riches of this earth, personal fame, and political power manifest a dissatisfaction down deep in their soul. The rainbows after which many seek cannot satisfy man’s deepest longings.
In contrast to the lesser treasures which most men seek, the Lord has provided a treasure for us in the gospel. The treasure was expensive from the point of view of the cost to provide it. God the Father had to give up His dear Son to suffer the agonies of death on Calvary. God the Son shed His precious blood in order that mankind could be redeemed from sin. Every saint must suffer trials and persecution for the cause of Christ. As one considers the high price of the gospel, he is impressed that it is a treasure.
The gospel is a treasure when considered on the basis of what it does for its recipient. The gospel of Jesus Christ provides forgiveness of sin for mankind, a peace which passes all understanding, a guide to right living which provides for personal happiness now and eternal life when we die. The realization that there is purpose in life, the means of obtaining inner peace with one’s self, the hope for a bright tomorrow, the hope for justice to triumph, and other such human ideals can only find attainment through what God has provided for us in the gospel. Indeed, the gospel of Jesus Christ is a treasure, a pearl of great price.
In order to obtain the gospel treasure or the pearl of great price, men have had to be willing to pay the price. Moses gave up all of the riches, political power, and fame of Egypt in order to be identified with the Christ (Heb. 11:24-25). Paul had to give up his position in the Jewish religion in order to become a Christian (Phil. 3:4-11). The rich young ruler was called upon to sell all that he had and give it to the poor in order to be Christ’s disciple (Matt. 19:16-22). Some men have had to sacrifice their families in order to be faithful to Jesus (Lk. 14:26). Other men have had to sacrifice life itself for Christ (Acts 7:54-8 ff: 1; Acts 12:1-3; Rev. 2:10; 2 Tim. 4:6-8). Yet, these men gave their lives joyfully because they valued the kingdom of heaven as being of more value than life itself.
The fact remains that, in the minds of most people, the gospel is not worth nearly so much as the treasures of this life. Consequently, when they come into contact with the gospel, they have to be exhorted and pleaded to make them give up anything to obey the gospel. Churches are filled with “Christians” who are unwilling to weather three drops of rain to attend worship services, who would think nothing of missing an evening worship service to watch a ball game or attend a game, who never rind time to read their Bibles, and who pray very little on a day to day basis. The problem is that the gospel or the kingdom of heaven is not considered by them to be a treasure worth much of anything at all. Merchants who go from one end of the earth to the other, and venture everything in search of worldly gain, may well put to shame many Christians who care so little for the Lord, and their own salvation.
Conclusion: To adorn the body with pearls, but to forget the pearl of great price will bring one to shame in the day of judgment. What is your disposition toward the kingdom of heaven? Do you truly consider it to be a treasure or pearl of great price for which you are willing to surrender everything else in the world? Remember, where your treasure is, there will be your heart also (Matt 6:21). “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passes away, and the lust thereof: but he that will do the will of God abides for ever” (1 Jn 2:15-17).