of Great Price
By Ronald G. Currell
St. Stephens Episcopal Church,
Jesus said, "The Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant man, who seeks fine pearls. When he finds the Pearl of Great Price, he sells everything he has and buys it." It was the Sabbath day and Jesus was teaching in the synagogue at Capernaum. The rulers and elders of the synagogue challenged Jesus even more openly, as He finished speaking. "Whats all this talk about the Kingdom of God, anyway?" It was already hot in the building, but the emotional temperature was rising fast as others shouted, "What is this Kingdom of Heaven like? If you know!"
Now, some of the Pharisees present were the very ones who had accused Jesus of casting out evil spirits by the power of the ruler of the demons, Beelzebub. And their angry teeth were still grinding disdain, because just last Sabbath He had told them that not only was He the Son of Man, but that He was lord of the Sabbath, also. These religious rulers argued among themselves that a mere man could not be the lord of the Sabbath.
So, Jesus turned His attention toward them and sighed in thin patience. Jesus said, "The Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant man, who seeks fine pearls. When he finds the Pearl of Great Price, he sells everything he has and buys it."
The rulers were unmoved. They werent at all convinced. And really, as far as they were concerned it didnt matter any more what Jesus taught. He did works of power they didnt understand and He claimed to be somebody and they rejected Him for it. But as many of the people considered what Jesus had said, they began to realize that He was not talking about some abstract transaction in some far off future. They began to see that this Kingdom of Heaven that Jesus talked about was the Pearl of Great Price and that the only way to get it is to somehow give up everything for it. Radical.
Still, the Kingdom of Heaven is worth more than all our pearls put together. Its worth more than any other thing. But everyone can afford to buy it. It costs only whatever we have. It costs only all we have. When we have surrendered all we have to Jesus, then it is the Fathers Good Pleasure to give us this Kingdom. The Kingdom is ours. We are born into the Kingdom.
"Whats all this talk about the Kingdom of God, anyway?" Well, when Jesus first began His ministry, His message was "Repent and believe the Gospel of the Kingdom." So, the Pearl of Great Price is the Kingdom and the Kingdom of God is the Gospel. As we commit everything we have to the Kingdom, the Kingdom becomes ours and we become stewards of the Kingdom of Heaven, the Kingdom of God, the Kingdom of Christ.
|Just as the people of Sweetwater need different Christian experiences, the various Christian Churches offer different expressions of the same faith. St. Stephens Episcopal Church offers a quiet, respectful hour dedicated to God every Sunday Morning at 11:00 AM, preceded by a thought-provoking Bible Class at 9:45, where we discuss intriguing passages from the Scriptures. Drop by some time. See us on the Internet and experience our online chapel at www.ststephens.net.|
Please make plans to attend your Church-of-choice this coming Sunday.