if you want to experience what he meant
saying- 76; don't covet 'pearls'!
The kingdom of the Father is like a merchant who had a consignment of
merchandise and who discovered a pearl. That merchant was shrewd/thoughtful.
He sold the merchandise and bought the pearl alone for himself/himself the pearl.
You too, seek this unfailing and enduring treasure where no moth
comes near to devour and no worm destroys.
Here again, the kingdom is compared to a person to indicate that realizing the kingdom
makes you another person – it is not a thing apart from a person.
The saying also indicates that finding the kingdom is by taking action; this time the advice
is to be shrewd or thoughtful and get your priorities right. It also alludes to the advice to
get rid of all things that are not conducive to seeking the kingdom, even when it means
literary ‘everything’, and become a begging wanderer.
I really wonder whether the last explanatory or commenting sentence was part of the
original saying, or rather a later addition. It is a bit unusual that Jesus directly explains a
saying, the more so since this saying becomes at once an allegory for the kingdom, thereby
completely destroying the parable as a subject of reflection.
Therefore an alternative reading:
Merchants able to buy pearls, even if it would cost them their whole business, were likely
not those belonging to the paupers Jesus associated with, but to those setting out to take
financial profit where-, when-, and however they could. Should that be the case, then the
shrewd merchant was only thoughtful in the eyes of the world, but from another perspective
a greedy and thoughtless guy graving for totally useless luxury objects. Shrewd may just have
been used as a sarcasm.
Matthew 13;45; Luke 12:33.