Bad scriptural translations often translate two greek words into the same English word “good”: “Kalos” and “agathos” – the former means “beautiful” and the latter meaning “good”. That’s a bad mistake in translation, because although what “appears” good because it is beautiful on the outside may be corrupt on the inside:
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside, but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and every kind of impurity. In the same way, on the outside you appear to be righteous, but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.” [Matthew 23: 27-28].
The “earthy-minded” person seeking pleasure and to serve self is easily deceived by appearance, and politicians are keenly aware of this as they design their promotional materials, “appearance” and perception is regarded as what’s important by many, not necessarily what is true and “good”.
God does not judge by appearance, however, but sees what is in the heart:
“But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” [1 Samuel 16:7].
Because it is not what “goes into” the body that really counts, but what “comes out” of the heart:
“Do you still not understand?” Jesus asked. “Do you not yet realize that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then is eliminated?But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these things defile a man. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, and slander. These are what defile a man, but eating with unwashed hands does not defile him.” [Matthew 15: 16=21].
GOOD PEARLS ARE “INSIDE” PEARLS (one each)- WE ‘TREASURE’ IN THE HEART
The Kingdom of Heaven,” is like a pearl of great price – note the “singular” nature of the price – not lots of pearls, but ONE marvellous pearl representing perfection, without any division within, the unity of life in the Spirit, life in God, that is the Kingdom of peace and joy that Jesus offers us out of his limitless mercy and love.
That’s why Revelations describes the “gates” in the apocalyptic vision as “single pearls”:
And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; each one of the gates was a single pearl. “Revelation 21:21″
That’s why Jesus used “pearl” to represent that single-minded surrender of the heart to God so as to truly be able to do the Father’s Will on earth as it is done in heaven…”perfectly,” not by our will, power and spirit, but by the Will, Power and Spirit of God living and working in us as we submit to and follow the inspirations of the Holy Spirit, who reminds us of all Jesus taught and did, so we can imitate Him and be like Him, offering healing and hope of salvation in Jesus to others.
BAD PEARLS ARE “OUTSIDE PEARLS WE PUBLICLY DISPLAY
Women adorning pearls for their own glory was held up as what “not to do” in the early church:
“Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments.”
So too are “pearls” (plural) referenced as adorning the harlot (Babylon) in revelations:
“The woman was clothed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a gold cup full of abominations and of the unclean things of her immorality.” [Revelation 17:4]
Jesus told us to pray secretly to our Father in heaven, in the silence and solitude of our privacy. Mary, the mother of Jesus exemplifies the mysterious secrecy of a soul full of God’s presence and living in perfect union with God’s Holy Spirit, in complete unison with God’s will. That’s the pearl of great price – Jesus. Sell everything else just to “clear the deck” and make room for Jesus, because he gives himself freely, so…
“If today you hear God’s voice, harden not your heart.”
The Kingdom of Heaven is the great treasure we were created to enjoy, but we buried it, and forgot where, when we sinned and fell away from God.
Jesus is the roadmap that points out the spot in the field where the treasure lies buried – a pearl of great price!
One pearl – because we are to have but one “desire” in our heart – to do the will of God always and at all time as we honour the first commandment to love God with all our being, all our heart.
The Kingdom of Earth is the beautiful treasure we are enticed to enjoy as pleasure in this life, it is not buried at all, but displayed on every bill board and screen every which way we look. The devil is the alluring force drawing our attention, then desire, to possess those beautiful pearls – not ONE pearl – but pearls, because the selfish heart is never satisfied.
“Jesus, may we always seek to keep you, the pearl of great price, in our heart by giving you are heart and abiding in yours – you sacred heart full of mercy and love. May we shun all pearls that adorn for show and present to others to gain a stature in their eyes that is undeserved and hypocritical, but strive to emulate the emptying of self you experienced for love of us, in imitation of your meekness and humility.
May we always have the honesty and humility to know all good comes from God, and when we shine a light for others to see and be moved to change for the better, it is always and only ever for the glory of God.” Amen.