Nov 7, 2015

saturday med.itations: A Pearl of Great Price

Large, perfectly shaped pearls equal the value of the most precious gemstones. But pearls are different from other gems. Most gems are minerals mined from the earth. Gem-quality pearls however, form inside the shells of one type of oyster, the sea pearl oyster that grow in the tropical waters of earth’s Eastern Hemisphere.

If the oyster is to produce a pearl, a piece of sand or other foreign substance has to find its way into it’s shell. The oyster immediately begins to coat the irritating grain with a type if lime. As it adds layer after layer of the pearly covering, the pearl keeps growing.

Divers must open thousands of wild oyster shells to find even a few pearls, and then most of them are flawed. It may take 20 years to collect a perfectly matched set of pearls. The cultured pearl industry began because of the scarcity of perfect pearls from wild oysters. Most of the pearls that you see in a jewellery store are cultured pearls grown in pearl farms where “farmers” insert mother-of-pearl beads into the shells of living pearl oysters, then put them into cages or basket and keep them in quiet waters for one or more years. Pearls grown in this way are less valuable than those grown naturally, but they satisfy the demand for this gem.

Manufacturers produce imitation pearls by dipping glass beads into a fish scale solution to coat the glass with what appears to be a pearl coating. But the imitation pearls do not stand the test of time and do not exhibit the soft wonderful glow of a real pearl.

In Revelation, John describes the New Jerusalem with walls and foundations composed of gems. “And the twelve gates were twelve pearls: every several gate was of one pearl” (Revelation 21:21). It is impossible to imagine the size or the beauty of such pearls, but it is easy to understand what those gates of pearl mean. Jesus is the pearl of the great price. He said, “I am the door” (John 10:9). Every one of those pearly gates represents Jesus. He is the only way in. Taking upon Himself a foreign substance—sin—He coated it with eternal love for us.

source: Nature Quest

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