“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it" -- Matthew 13:45-46, English Standard Version
Many times I've heard this parable explained like this: "We are that merchant and Christ is that pearl. We must be willing to lose everything to seek out and gain Christ." Here's the problem, prior to faith, how do we pursue Christ? Can we pursue Christ? No, we can't. Fallen man would never pursue Christ. We are dead in our trespasses to sin. Here's another problem. If we interpret this parable this way we can only conclude that we must then do something, some feat of skill, some work of our own to attain Christ and his forgiveness. That's not Gospel. That's "works righteousness" and false teaching. What then can this parable mean?
God is the merchant and we are that pearl that he values so much. He sought after us, pursued us until he found us that He might have us as his own. (Luke 19:10) He then paid a costly price and purchased us with the blood of Christ. Our hope is not in our pursuing of God, trying to earn his favor, but rather in his pursual of us, purchasing us through Christ's blood and granting us faith through Word (Romans 10:17) and Sacrament. This is truly good news.
Soli Deo Gloria