“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly 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.
The goodly pearl represents both Jesus and the Christian.
“The parable of the merchantman seeking goodly pearls has a double significance: it applies not only to men as seeking the kingdom of heaven, but to Christ as seeking His lost inheritance. Christ, the heavenly merchantman seeking goodly pearls, saw in lost humanity the pearl of price. In man, defiled and ruined by sin, He saw the possibilities of redemption. Hearts that have been the battleground of the conflict with Satan, and that have been rescued by the power of love, are more precious to the Redeemer than are those who have never fallen. God looked upon humanity, not as vile and worthless; He looked upon it in Christ, saw it as it might become through redeeming love. He collected all the riches of the universe, and laid them down in order to buy the pearl. And Jesus, having found it, resets it in His own diadem. ‘For they shall be as the stones of a crown, lifted up as an ensign upon His land’ (Zechariah 9:16). ‘They shall be Mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up My jewels’ (Malachi 3:17).
“But Christ as the precious pearl, and our privilege of possessing this heavenly treasure, is the theme on which we most need to dwell.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 118.
“Christ Himself is the pearl of great price. In Him is gathered all the glory of the Father, the fullness of the Godhead. …
“The merchantman in the parable represents a class who were sincerely desiring truth. …
“The merchantman bought it at the price of all that he had. Many question the meaning of this, since Christ is represented in the Scriptures as a gift. He is a gift, but only to those who give themselves, soul, body, and spirit, to Him without reserve. We are to give ourselves to Christ, to live a life of willing obedience to all His requirements. All that we are, all the talents and capabilities we possess, are the Lord’s, to be consecrated to His service. When we thus give ourselves wholly to Him, Christ, with all the treasures of heaven, gives Himself to us. We obtain the pearl of great price.” Ibid., 115, 116.