Beyond Priceless

26 Mar

We had received a free diamond from some sales gimmick and had given it little thought. It looked like a fine diamond and large, compared to the one Cindy wore on her finger. We had stuffed it somewhere and forgot about it until finding it became important to us. That happened when we discovered Cindy’s diamond was missing from her engagement ring.

Finding the gift one, we went to a local jeweler to see if he could mount it on Cindy’s now engagement band. He questioned why we would want to use it then had us look under his jeweler’s eyepiece. He then put his ring under the scope to let us see the difference. While the free gem was a real diamond, it was a very low grade one. We knew it didn’t seem to have the sparkle we thought was normal, but we were amazed at what we saw with the magnification. It was filled with bubbles. They made the diamond fragile. It could shatter like glass—which it eventually did a couple of years later. The fine diamonds the jeweler wore were perfectly clear and refracted light into tiny rainbows.

In our case, the old maxim held true: you get what you pay for.

This reminds me of the parable Jesus told regarding the pearl of great price. In it a merchant is seeking good buys in pearls. Finding one of exceptional quality, he sold everything he had in order to buy that one gem. Jesus said that story describes the kingdom of heaven. Most interpretations maintain the pearl represents Jesus and his kingdom. Nothing in this world is worth holding onto if it means not possessing that pearl.

I don’t dispute that understanding; however, story structure in all these parables suggests Jesus is the merchant. He left all that was his in heaven to find and purchase us—with his own blood. Consider what being the pearl means. Jesus surrendered all the glory of heaven to become one of the created beings—and not just any one of them. He became one of questionable birth, raised in a community held in disdain, and the oldest son in a family of humble means. His life ended as the object of his heavenly Father’s greatest judgment. No greater price has ever been paid. He paid it because he values a relationship with you and with me that much.

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