Matthew 13:46
Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.
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13:44-52 Here are four parables. 1. That of the treasure hid in the field. Many slight the gospel, because they look only upon the surface of the field. But all who search the Scriptures, so as in them to find Christ and eternal life, Joh 5:39, will discover such treasure in this field as makes it unspeakably valuable; they make it their own upon any terms. Though nothing can be given as a price for this salvation, yet much must be given up for the sake of it. 2. All the children of men are busy; one would be rich, another would be honourable, another would be learned; but most are deceived, and take up with counterfeits for pearls. Jesus Christ is a Pearl of great price; in having him, we have enough to make us happy here and for ever. A man may buy gold too dear, but not this Pearl of great price. When the convinced sinner sees Christ as the gracious Saviour, all things else become worthless to his thoughts. 3. The world is a vast sea, and men, in their natural state, are like the fishes. Preaching the gospel is casting a net into this sea, to catch something out of it, for His glory who has the sovereignty of this sea. Hypocrites and true Christians shall be parted: miserable is the condition of those that shall then be cast away. 4. A skilful, faithful minister of the gospel, is a scribe, well versed in the things of the gospel, and able to teach them. Christ compares him to a good householder, who brings forth fruits of last year's growth and this year's gathering, abundance and variety, to entertain his friends. Old experiences and new observations, all have their use. Our place is at Christ's feet, and we must daily learn old lessons over again, and new ones also.The kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchantman - The meaning is, that the proper seeking for salvation, or the proper conduct in reference to religion, is like the conduct of a "merchantman." In his searches he found one pearl of great value, and sold all his possessions to obtain it. So, says the Saviour, people seeking for happiness and finding the gospel - the pearl of great price - should be willing to sacrifice all other things for this. Pearls are precious stones found in the shells of oysters, chiefly in the East Indies. See the notes at Matthew 7:6. They are valuable on account of their beauty and because they are rare. The value of them is greatly increased by their size. The meaning of this parable is nearly the same as the other. It is designed to represent the gospel as of more value than all other things, and to impress on us the duty of sacrificing all that we possess in order to obtain it. 46. Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it—The one pearl of great price, instead of being found by accident, as in the former case, is found by one whose business it is to seek for such, and who finds it just in the way of searching for such treasures. But in both cases the surpassing value of the treasure is alike recognized, and in both all is parted with for it.

The Good and Bad Fish (Mt 13:47-50).

The object of this brief parable is the same as that of the Tares and Wheat. But as its details are fewer, so its teaching is less rich and varied.

Ver. 45,46. The state of the gospel dispensation is such, that men in it having a discovery of more excellent things than before they were aware of, life and immortality being brought to light through the gospel, 2 Timothy 1:10, grace and truth coming by Jesus Christ, John 1:17, men and women are set upon seeking for these spiritual things, as merchants do for goodly pearls; and when God makes a discovery of Christ and his grace to the soul, it appears to them as a pearl of great price, of more value than all they have in the world, and they are ready to part with all to obtain Christ and his grace. Both these parables have the same scope and tendency, viz.

1. To inform us that Christ and his grace are of a great and transcendent value.

2. That under the gospel there is a clear discovery of these things to the world.

3. That where this discovery is effectually and particularly made to any soul, that soul will part with all it hath, or is worth, rather than it will miss of Christ, and his grace and glory.

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man,.... This parable may be understood of Christ's seeking, finding, and purchasing his elect: for, certain it is, that he has sought after them; which implies, that they were lost and going astray; expresses his great love to them, value for them, and desire after them; in doing which, he took much pains, and used much diligence: and certain it also is, that he finds them in redemption, and in effectual calling; and that they are to him a pearl of great price; as very precious to God, so highly esteemed of by Christ, as his portion, his inheritance, and his jewels. He has also parted with all he had for the sake of these persons; he became poor, emptied himself of everything, even gave himself a ransom for them, and so made a purchase of them, with the price of his own blood: though to this sense it may be objected, that it does not seem so agreeable, that Christ should be compared to a merchant man, which better suits with those that deal with him, than as he is concerned with them; nor does he seek after any other than his elect: whereas this merchant man is said to beeking goodly pearls; any pearls that were so: nor is Christ's finding his elect a chance business; nor have they any intrinsic excellency in them, to denominate them pearls, but by his grace. The more common interpretation of it is, that it designs a sensible sinner, seeking after the true way of salvation, and finding Christ, and parting with all for him: such a man is a spiritual merchant, who trades in foreign parts, and in things of worth and value; and such an one seeks after a variety of things, which at first sight seem "goodly", in order to obtain salvation by; as civility, morality, a legal righteousness, fasting, watchings, prayer, a profession of religion, and a submission to external ordinances; but at length finds Christ,

the pearl of great price: who is of an unspeakable brightness and glory, of intrinsic worth and value; who is enriching to those that possess him, and precious to them that believe; and of such a price, that no valuable consideration can be given for him: wherefore such a soul is willing to part with all for him; with sinful self, and righteous self; and with the honours, riches, and profits of this world; and buy him, his grace and righteousness, without money, and without price. Though I rather think, that in connection and agreement with the other parables, this is to be understood of such, who are seeking after knowledge in every branch of it, natural, moral, and spiritual; and so may be compared to a "merchant man, seeking goodly pearls"; and who find the Gospel, and prefer it to everything else,

Who when he had found one pearl of great price: for such who seek after wisdom and knowledge in the use of proper means, are like merchant men, that trade abroad, and for things of value; and these, under divine direction, find in the Scriptures, and through the ministry of the word, and by prayer and study, the truths of the everlasting Gospel, respecting Christ, his person, office, grace and righteousness; which are equal to, yea transcend a pearl of the highest price; for their original, coming from a far country, from heaven; for their brightness, clearness, and perspicuity; for their ornament and glory; for their firmness and solidity; for their virtue and value, to them that know the worth of them; and such will buy, but not sell them; reckon all things but loss and dung, in comparison of them; and will contend for them, and stand fast in them.

Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.
Matthew 13:46. πολύτιμον: precious because exceptionally large, well-shaped, and pure; such rare, but met with now and then.—ἀπελθὼν: he is taken by surprise, has not as much with him as will purchase it on the spot, sees it is worth his whole stock, agrees to buy and promises to return with the price.—πέπρακε, ἠγόρασεν, a perfect with an aorist. Not to be disposed of by saying that the former is an “aoristic” perfect (Burton, § 88).—πέπρακε points to a momentous step, taken once for all and having lasting effects. A great venture, a risky speculation. The treasure in the field was a sure gain for the finder, but it remained to be seen what the pearl merchant would get for his one pearl. After the sale of his stock the purchase of the one pearl was a matter of course. In the former of these two parables the Kingdom of Heaven appears as the object of a glad though accidental finding of a sure possession; in the latter as the object of systematic quest and venturesome faith. The difference between seekers and finders must not be exaggerated. The pearl merchant was also a finder. No one would set out on a journey to seek one unique pearl (Koetsveld). The spiritual class he represents are seekers after God and wisdom, finders of the Kingdom of God, of a good beyond their hope. Such seekers, however, are on the sure way to find.

Matthew 13:46. Ἕνα, one) An incomparable one; that is, the kingdom of heaven itself.[641]

[641] Πέπρακε, sold) This is indeed to renounce all things whatsoever thou mayest possess.—V. g.

Verse 46. - Who, when he had found (and having found, Revised Version? εὑρὼν δέ) one pearl of great price (Job 28:18, Revised Version margin, one); hardly the indefinite article (cf. Matthew 8:19, note). Chrysostom's comment is, Μία γάρ ἐστιν ἡ ἀλήθεια καὶ οὐ πολυσχισής. Went (ἀπελθών); i.e. some distance, for he might well have to go much further than the man in the preceding parable (ὑπάγει). Went (aorist)... sold (perfect) ... bought (aorist). He starts without delay; he sells irrevocably; he purchases at once (cf. ver. 44). And sold all that he had, and bought it. All. Genuine here. It may have been a great deal as worldly wealth is reckoned. Thus Saul of Tarsus acted (Philippians 3:7, 8), and Moses (Hebrews 11:26). Matthew 13:46
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