In Matthew 13:45-46 the Lord Jesus said, “The kingdom of the heavens is like a merchant seeking fine pearls; and finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.” The kingdom of heavens, is used here to refer to the genuine church as the reality of the kingdom of the heavens in this age (16:18-19).Simply put, the church is this pearl of great value.
The pearl is highly valued because it is the product of the Lord Jesus Christ’s life-releasing death and life-imparting resurrection to make those who were once sinners in the world material for the building of God to express and represent Him for eternity (Rev. 21:21). According to Ephesians 5:27 the church, which is also the pearl in Matthew 13:46, is presented to the Lord “glorious, having no spot or wrinkle or blemish.”
In Matthew 13:45-46 the merchant is Christ Himself who is seeking the church as the pearl of great worth for His kingdom. After finding this pearl, Christ went to the cross, sold whatever He had, and bought this pearl (v. 46). Christ did not withhold anything to purchase this pearl of great value. Ephesians 5:25 says that “Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her”. 1 Corinthians 6:20 says that the believers, the constituents of this pearl were “bought with a price.” Acts 20:28 reveals that the price paid was Christ’s own precious blood. Just as Christ valued the church, the believers today should likewise value the church.
Witness Lee, The Crucial Truths in the Holy Scriptures, Vol. 6, Chapter 1, Section 2 (Print).