It’s quite a leap to go from being a pearl to being an earthen vessel, a common clay jar. But here again, it’s simply metaphor.
“We are like common clay jars that carry this glorious treasure [the light of the knowledge of the glory of God, vs.6] within, so that the extraordinary overflow of power will be seen as God’s, not ours.” (2 Cor. 4:7)
Although formed from the dust of the earth, Holy Spirit treasurized us with an overflowing brilliance of living water that gives us the power to model the life of Jesus. With such spiritual treasure within us, the vessel receives transformation to pull it off. “We consider living to mean that we are constantly being handed over to death for Jesus’ sake so that the life of Jesus will be revealed through our humanity.”
Dying to the earthen vessel (self) brings me to life in him (being a pearl). To embrace his life, seeing the treasure that he is and making him mine gives me access to redemption’s treasure.
Jesus used comparison to break down complex pictures into nuggets that could be understood; often in part. That is the nature of biblical simile, metaphor and allegory. Matthew 13:44-46 is an example.
The Godhead saw a hidden treasure in the people of this planet. But the field of earth was in possession of someone else. The Godhead gave the only begotten son to redeem the treasure of humankind from the dirt of sin it was buried in. And in Papa’s eyes, each individual is as valuable as the whole treasure. Not only that, the son paid for the entire planet and started the redemption of everything else in it at the same time (Rom 8).
“Heaven’s kingdom realm can be illustrated like this: A person discovered that there was hidden treasure in a field. Upon finding it, he hid it again. Because of uncovering such treasure, he was overjoyed and sold all that he possessed to buy the entire field just so he could have the treasure.
Heaven’s kingdom realm is also like a jewel merchant in search of rare pearls. When he discovered one very precious and exquisite pearl, he immediately gave up all he had in exchange for it.” (TPT)
In the Old Covenant, Israel was the first instance of God’s treasured possession. In the days of his redemption through the cross, we are his people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, the Children of God; earthen vessels carrying glorious treasure.
“Now we have been stamped with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit. He is given to us like an engagement ring is given to a bride, as the first installment of what’s coming! He is our hope-promise of a future inheritance which seals us until we have all of redemption’s promises and experience complete freedom—all for the supreme glory and honor of God!” (Eph. 1:13-14, TPT) See also 2 Cor. 5:1-10; its really good in the TPT.
Anyone who has purchased a home knows what ‘earnest money’ is. For those who don’t, you put down a fair chunk of change to prove to the seller you’re ‘all in’ with the transaction you’re proposing. But let’s make a flip here. Father God is giving away new homes and you’re saying you want one. There’s a contingency to the transaction. You don’t get your new home; in this case a new body with a prime location; until you die.
In this instance the benefactor is so ‘all in’ about the transaction, that Father God puts Holy Spirit inside us as a guarantee your new home is waiting for you. Not only that, Holy Spirit will be giving you insights and up-close experiences concerning what to expect when you arrive. Of course, the real thing will be better than the pictures. Ahh! Did I mention that it’s a lifetime guarantee and the contract is irrevocable?
“In my Father’s House are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” (John 14:2, NKJV)
We of the redeemed have chosen a life of spiritual realities. It was a monumental exchange, putting to death our old nature and putting on the living and active Jesus. It’s like we exchanged power sources; dirty ungrounded power for clean power, a life of flesh for a life of spirit, an earth-based life for a heaven-based life.
Anyone remember the old new car advertisements that went like this? “Bring your old car, in any condition; drivable or not, tow it in if you have to; and we’ll put you in a new car.” Our old lives were wrecks in comparison to what we have today. What we received in exchange is a priceless custom vehicle with more power and accessories than anything we could imagine fueled by high octane love.
“Could it be any clearer that our former identity is now and forever deprived of its power? For we were co-crucified with him to dismantle the stronghold of sin within us, so that we would not continue to live one moment longer submitted to sin’s power.” (Rom. 6:6, TPT)
“By Jesus’ sacrifice he died to sin’s power once and for all, but he now lives continuously for the Father’s pleasure. So let it be the same with you! . . . continually view yourselves as dead and unresponsive to sin’s appeal while living daily for God’s pleasure in union with Jesus, the Anointed One.” (vss. 10-11)
The law left us in debt. Redemption through the blood of Jesus paid that debt.
“When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. (Col. 2:13-14, NAS)
Jesus added a disclaimer to that forgiveness in Matthew 6 and 18. “Forgive us our debts,” the prayer says, “as we forgive our debtors.”
In describing what the kingdom of heaven is like, we are instructed by Jesus to be as generous in our debt liquidation as the King is with us. It’s so simple isn’t it? Have every debt forgiven and forgive every debt. Now that’s what I call debt relief!
To recover ownership by paying a sum is one of redemption’s definitions. Reconciliation is another way of saying this; to reestablish a close relationship with.
“And by the blood of Jesus, everything in heaven and earth is brought back to himself—back to its original intent, restored to innocence again! Even though you were once distant from him, living in the shadows of your evil thoughts and actions, he reconnected you back to himself. He released his supernatural peace to you through the sacrifice of his own body as the sin-payment on your behalf so that you would dwell in his presence.” (Col. 1:20-22, TPT)
As his restored children we then become representatives of the family. “Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf; be reconciled to God.” (2 Cor. 5:20, NKJV)
Dictionary definitions can actually support a spiritual context. Let’s take a look at redemption along with scriptures.
- To recover ownership by paying a sum. Corinthians says we were bought with a price. (1 Cor. 6:19-20, 7:22-23, Col. 1:19-20)2. To pay off. There are a couple of places in scripture that talk about debts being forgiven or cancelled out. (Matt. 6:12, 18:23-27, Col. 2:13-14)3. To turn in and receive something in exchange. Scripture says we are dead to our old life in exchange for a new one. (Romans 6, 7, 8)4. To fulfill, like a pledge. Scripture says Papa gave us Holy Spirit as a pledge, or guarantee, of the inheritance he’s given us. (2 Cor. 5:4-5, Eph. 1:13-14)
5. To convert into cash. Hmmm, that one is interesting. Many places in scripture speak of us as Papa’s treasured possession and also about treasuring him. Yeah, that’s a keeper.
6. To set free, rescue or ransom. The gospel and Timothy tell us that Jesus death is a ransom for all of us to go free. (Matt. 20:28, Mark 10:45, 1 Tim. 2:6, Gal. 5:1, Col. 1:12-13)
7. To save from a state of sinfulness and its consequences. I’d say that one was written for us.
8.To make up for. Jesus makes up for so much. It would be difficult to make a list of all that he does. In his compassion, he saw us as sheep without a shepherd and brought us into relationship with him. That makes up for anything lost in this life. (Matt. 9:36, Mark 6:34, John 10:11, 1 Pet. 5:4, Rom. 8)
9. To restore to honor, worth or reputation of. Now there’s a big one. Genesis says man was created to be in God’s image and enjoy relationship with him. Adam lost that and Jesus restored it. (Rom. 8, Gal. 3:29, 4:7, James 2:5)