45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. 46 When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it. Mt 13:45,46
The man described in the Tares parable represents Christ Mt 13:24,37. This merchant man, also represents Christ, who is seeking treasured goods. 2 Ti 2:20,21 describes a home that has dinnerware made of silver and gold for special occasions and common wooden bowls for ordinary use. The owner, God, seeks those who desire to be His costly possession. Similarly, Jesus is described in this parable as a merchant looking for fine pearls which symbolizes Him seeking a bride, the Church. The word “seeking” means to depart from one place and arrive at another, which qualifies Jesus, as He left heaven to come to the earth. It cannot be people seeking (looking for) Jesus because the Bible states that no one seeks after God Ro 3:11 and that it is the shepherd that seeks the lost sheep, not the sheep that seek the shepherd Lk 19:10; Lk 15:4. The Bible also teaches that man must be drawn by God before he can come to know Christ Jn 6:44;64,65.
After Israel rejected Jesus, He turned to the Gentiles and gave them the opportunity to bear His fruit Mt 21:43. The “one” Jesus found was the Church, who would become His great valued people, known also the body of Christ. Paul tells us that this organism is “one” body, but has many members 1 Co 12:12; Gal 3:28. Jesus sold all He had Php 2:6,7; 2 Co 8:9; and gave His life to pay for the sins of men and bought His Church 1 Co 6:20.
The pearl was considered unclean to the Jews as it came from the waters and didn’t have fins and scales Lev 11:12. The sea also represented the rebellious nations Rev 17:15; Isa 17:12. Thus the Gentiles were considered unclean but God showed Peter that this had changed Ac 10:15,34,35.
The difference between the treasure (Israel) and the pearl (Church) was that gems were found on land, whereas the pearl was taken from the sea. Israel came from one man, Abraham Gen 15:5 and was one homogeneous nation whereas the Church came from every nation, tribe, people and language Rev 7:9.
Gems could be improved in value by man (the Jews gained God’s favor by their obedience Dt 11:27,28) but the pearl was complete on its own, just as we are complete in Christ Col 2:10 NASB and have gained God’s favor by placing our faith in Christ.
The pearl began by a single grain of sand that was lodged in its shell. The Church began with Jesus, the one stone, living stone, cornerstone and foundation 1 Pe 2:4; Eph 2:20; 1 Co 3:11. To stop the irritation caused by the sand, layers of film were secreted forming the pearl. The church was built by the Holy Spirit placing living stones together 1 Pe 2:5.
Out of the suffering of the oyster came the precious pearl and out of Christ’s suffering came His precious bride Eph 5:25. Adam’s bride was taken from his side and the Church was taken from Jesus’ side Jn 19:34.