More Than One in a Million
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.”
Matthew 13:45-46 (NKJV)
We saw in a previous study that a perfect, natural pearl is a rare find indeed. In fact, for a natural pearl to form, with a perfectly rounded shape, free of any flaws, is actually a real life ‘miracle’. The odds of it happening are one in a million.
Although the above parable is often seen as illustrating the great value of the Kingdom of Heaven (the pearl) to the believer (the merchant), some commentators see the merchant as representing Christ and the pearl as representing the redeemed. This latter interpretation has the effect of bringing the reality of God’s grace into sharp focus, emphasising the enormity of God’s love for us rather than the degree to which we are called to love him.
Perhaps we feel that perfect obedience to God is beyond our reach and Jesus’ command to be perfect (Matthew 5:48) seems unrealistic. Our problem is that we find it impossible to answer and respond to God’s word perfectly precisely because we are weak in the flesh. However, as theologian T.F. Torrance explained, in his book God and Rationality, Christ is not only God’s Word to us but also our human response to that Word. It is our faith in Christ that saves us not our own obedience. It is Jesus who was perfect and it is in him alone that our salvation rests.
Jesus was not merely one in a million he was a totally unique individual. He was not of this world (John 8:23), but came into this world to save sinners (1 Timothy 1:15) like you and me. In taking on human form, he became God’s perfect man and it is in and through him that humanity is re-fashioned and reborn (2 Corinthians 5:17).
It is precisely because Jesus loves us and prizes us so much more than we could ever love him, that he offered himself up, in the greatest act of love this world will ever know, “that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
Loving Father, we thank you for giving us the greatest and most precious gift of all, the gift of your Son, Jesus, in whom we have been granted salvation. Help us daily to rejoice in the amazing grace that we have been given through faith in him.
Study by Richard Dempsey
Worldwide Church of God Peterborough
Farcet Village Hall
Saturday 2 pm
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