Before He ascended to the right hand of the Father in heaven, Jesus Christ said to His followers, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you, and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” (Matt 28:18-20)
Jesus Christ sent us out into the world to teach God’s Love and God’s Truth, empowered by God the Holy Spirit to testify and bear witness of the transformation His Love and His Truth has accomplished in our lives (John 15:26-27). Perhaps the greatest proof that Jesus Christ is God made flesh (John 1:14) and that He is risen (Mark 16:6) is a changed life. Unbelievers can argue theology but they cannot argue with our testimony – the person we were, how Jesus touched our life and opened our eyes, and the person we are now (John 9, 2 Cor 5:17).
The Apostle Paul, the greatest evangelist the world has ever seen or heard, shared his one-on-one encounter with the risen Lord (Acts 9:1-22) as an integral part of his witness (Acts 21:29 – 22:16, Acts 26:2-23). As with Paul, the loudest part of our witness of Jesus Christ is our testimony, our new life in Him.
Near the start of His public ministry, Jesus gave one of His most important teachings on the Sermon on the Mount (Matt 5-7). In Matt 7:6, Jesus spoke of protecting our testimony. “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under your feet, and turn again and rend you.” Our testimony is holy in that it is our personal history of how the God of the universe intervened in our lives and separated us out of the world unto Himself. Whereas that testimony is to be shared to the glory of God, it is also to be protected as a precious treasure.
There are hard-hearted people (we all know some) who are so opposed and hostile to the Gospel that when we seek to share God’s Love and God’s Truth with them, they turn it against us. We are told to witness to all men, but we are not told that we must win every argument (Rom 12:18). We cannot convince people of the Truth, God must reveal it to them (Matt 16:15-18). We are to share what the Lord Jesus Christ has done for us, but it is not our responsibility to “close the deal” by talking people into receiving Jesus Christ (John 6:44, Luke 10:22). In Matt 7:6, Jesus is instructing us to not to take the holy, wonderful things that He is doing in our life and share them with people who have no appreciation or understanding of the deep things of God. Doing so only exposes a precious treasure to ridicule and scorn.
The Lord considers our testimony to be a pearl. In addition, Jesus likened the kingdom of God to pearls (Matt 13:45-46). Why pearls? Why not a diamond, a ruby, an emerald, or a sapphire? The pearl is a beautiful picture of God’s Love and God’s Truth at work in us!
First and most important, pearls cost The Merchant Man everything He had (John 3:16, Gal 3:13, 2 Cor 5:21, 1 Cor 6:19-20,Titus 2:13-14, 1 Peter 2:9-10).
Secondly, consider the characteristics of pearls: