VxPoem ID: 38765
Posted: August 12th. 2010 1:39:12 PM
Pearl of Great Price
by Stewart Bitkoff
Age Group: Adult
A Commentary: Parable - Pearl of Great Price
By Dr. Stewart Bitkoff
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.”
In reading any of the ancient scriptures, the modern reader must take into account the social context in which Jesus’ message/parable is delivered. In this society, many of the listeners were fishermen and derived their family’s sustenance from the sea; everyone knew the value of pearls and how difficult they were to obtain. Not every oyster had a pearl and the pearl itself starts from a piece of ordinary sand/dirt (unrefined soul) , taking years to develop; also, in this community the position of pearl merchant had considerable social status and wealth attached to it.
Here was a merchant, trained over many years to know the beautiful, fine qualities and variety of pearls who one day found a pearl of such extraordinary rarity that he fell in love and sold everything he had to own it. Any listener would understand this must have been an exquisite, extremely rare pearl for the merchant to instantly fall in love and essentially give-up everything he worked years to obtain.
This is the great prize, or spiritual journey, that Jesus calls the Kingdom of Heaven. Remember all of his audience were part of the Roman Empire, and well acquainted with living in a Kingdom, and understood this contrast and comparison; one Kingdom being harsh, restrictive and the other sublime bliss.
In more modern terms, for the spiritual traveler, the Kingdom of Heaven is God Consciousness/Higher Knowledge and in order to reach this goal, out of love the traveler must give-up all their attachments, thoughts and desires. Surrendering their ego and lives to the Divine Impulse they become God’s Servant.
Another way to discuss this is that the traveler’s ego/consciousness becomes annihilated and their heart becomes unified with God. In this state, the traveler and the Beloved, blissfully become One; that is the Kingdom of Heaven that Jesus describes and is the spiritual traveler’s goal.
This Caress is bestowed, not earned and involves giving-up everything because one loves for the Beloved (Pearl of Great Price/Beauty) . This spiritual state is comprised of extreme joy, unity, great happiness, profound peace and love.
Author's Location: Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania
More Poems: Stewart Bitkoff has posted 248 additional poems- View them?
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