Sunday, April 22, 2012

Another Look at the Pearl

Bible expositor G. Campbell Morgan was often known for taking unconventional views on the teachings of Christ. Although I have not always agreed, I have been consistently challenged.

In the parables on the Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 13) he presents an interesting view on the pearl of great price. I have heard it taught that the pearl is salvation, Christ Himself as Elder Brother or the purged conscience which comes from an honest look at Calvary. The merchant prepared to make the unconditional purchase is the anxious inquirer, the believer in the bud.

But in his book "The Parables of the Kingdom" (1907, Fleming H. Revell and Company) Morgan takes another approach. He says that to the Old Covenant Jew a pearl was not a precious item; witness the stones on the breastplate of the High Priest of that economy. No sign of a pearl. Conversely there was ample evidence that gentile kingdoms and their monarchs took a different view.

Unlike all the other gems listed in Exodus 28: 15-21 the pearl came from struggle and injury within a living being, the oyster and every fluid over-coating of the abrasive grain of sand. Pearls appear as the 12 gates in the New Jerusalem in Revelation 21:21.

Morgan suggests that the merchant was Christ acquiring at great sacrifice and injury the Church which would eventually be presented to the Monarch God the Father as trophy of inestimable worth. This would be a different economy. This would give Him and His Plan glory throughout the Ages and before every universe and level of being.

In summary, the Church and not personal salvation is the pearl? Think about it. Again our Western individualistic mind-set is being challenged.

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