Gospel of Thomas - Chapter 077
- (76) Jesus said, "The kingdom of the father is like a merchant who had a consignment of merchandise and who discovered a pearl. That merchant was shrewd. He sold the merchandise and bought the pearl alone for himself. You too, seek his unfailing and enduring treasure where no moth comes near to devour and no worm destroys."
The kingdom of heaven is the new teaching of peace. In this saying the merchant rids himself of the burden which is not his in order to obtain the wisdom of the pearl.
The Greek word μαργαρίτης 'pearl' is a linguistic pun. This is the same kind of cross-language pun as Nazarite and Nazarene that Matthew uses (Mt 2:23 ).
מר - myrrh, bitter רג – kill גר – sojourner, he stirs up All the two-letter sub-roots are related to imagery of the cross, which Jesus said is the key to the kingdom; the key to teaching the wisdom of God.
Some are bothered by the apparent theft of stuff to purchase the pearl. However, all stuff belongs to God whether it is in our possession or the possession of another. He puts it in our possession to use to gain wisdom. How do we do that? By not clinging to stuff.