Are you the kind of person that enters a house and within a few minutes you are checking the door casings to see how well they are puttied? No? I am. I worked as a new residential homes painter while in high school, on the prep team. We would putty, caulk, sand, and basically get the house ready to be painted. Excellence was expected.
Now when I enter a home, no matter how nice and new it looks right off, inevitably, I will be running my hand along the door casings or eyeing the baseboards. Many times I will notice where the putty wasn’t smoothed out, or the nail hole wasn’t fully covered. (I know admitting this means I may never get invited over to your house.)
It is Valentine’s day today, and if there is one thing this world likes it is love. The world loves it! I was looking at the back of a book in the library the other day about a woman who has an affair while her husband is away at war. The tagline said, “What would she do for her family? … For love?” Because in the world’s view, love is lust and sensuality. Love is whatever makes you feel good – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, the pride of life. That is love to unbelievers. From far away, that seems good. When you get up close and take it to its inevitable conclusion, you can see that it is full of holes, it is shoddy. It leads to death. It is ugly.
I was watching a TV show a while ago about houses or something. Apparently, there was nothing else good on; anyway they brought the camera crew into the family room in one very nice home, and they had the camera zoom in on what looked like dots on the walls. As the camera reached micro zoom, you could see that those weren’t dots. They were pearls. Pearls!! Pearls in the wall as part of the pattern. I was amazed. From a distance, the wall didn’t look like much, but when you got close…pearls! In the wall!
When we first look at the son of God, the Bible even says, there was no beauty that we should desire him. And many people look at the cross and say, how could God have His Son die? It is only as you get closer, through the Word of God and through the Holy Spirit that it becomes more clear that this is the greatest love in the world. That God would send His Son to a world that would hate and mock him. A world that would turn the definition of love into a selfish me-oriented feeling. A world that would look on the sacrifice of Love and say, “None of that for me.” Yet, still He came. Because love is a sacrifice that brings everlasting life. That is the most beautiful thing in the world.
“Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.” (I John 4:8-9 ESV)
The world wants love, needs love, and we know what it is. It is the pearl of great price.