Matthew 13:45

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking fine pearls:
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Gregory The Dialogist

AD 604
Again, the kingdom of heaven is said to be like a merchant who is seeking fine pearls. He finds one really precious pearl, and, having found it, he sells everything he has in order to buy it. In the same way, he who has a clear knowledge of the sweetness of heavenly life gladly leaves behind all the things he loved on earth. Compared with that pearl, everything else fades in value. He forsakes those things that he has and scatters those things that he has gathered. His heart yearns for heavenly things, and nothing on earth pleases him. The allure of earthly things has now dissipated, for only the brilliance of that precious pearl dazzles his mind. Solomon justly says of such love, “Love is strong as death,” because just as death destroys the body, so ardent desire for eternal life cuts off the love for material things. For love makes insensitive to extraneous earthly desires the person whom it has swept off his feet.

Hilary of Poitiers

AD 368
As regards the pearl, the reasoning is the same. But this passage is of value for the merchant who has long been steeped in the law. After lengthy labors, he finds out about this pearl and abandons those things that he obtained under the yoke of the law. For he carried on business for a long time and found the pearl that his heart was set on. He must pay the price of this one pearl he desired at the expense of all his other work.

Peter Chrysologus

AD 450
Let no one who hears this take offense at the name merchant. Here Christ is speaking of a merchant who shows mercy, not of one who is always usuriously investing his profits from capital. This merchant is the one who provides for the adornment of virtues, not the incentive of vices. He weighs the dignity of morals, not the weight of jewels. He wears necklaces of integrity, not of luxury. He flaunts not a display of sensual pleasure but the earmarks of discipline. Therefore this merchant exhibits pearls of heart and body, not in human trading but in heavenly commerce. He displays them not to trade for a present advantage but for a future one. He trades in order to gain not earthly but heavenly glory. He seeks to procure the kingdom of heaven as the reward of his virtues and to buy, at the price of innumerable other goods, the one pearl of everlasting life.

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation - 2 Peter 1:20

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