Keith Wishum: Your most valuable jewelry

Published 2:43 pm Monday, May 21, 2018

How much is the Pearl of Allah worth? There is some question about that. Actually, there are questions about most everything related to this pearl, including its current ownership. One thing is certain: the pearl is worth a fortune. Some appraisers have valued the 14-pound gem at as much as $60 million!
Legend says that the 2,500-year-old pearl was once in an amulet that belonged to a Chinese philosopher. He allegedly carved the faces of Confucius and Buddha into the pearl’s surface and then had it placed in a series of successively larger clams to increase its size.
The pearl did grow — until it was about the size of a football. But it is oddly shaped and lumpy with a grayish tint. Even so, as its size grew, its value increased, and so, in turn, did the human greed for it.
After the pearl was lost in a shipwreck, one diver drowned trying to bring it to the surface. Later, two contract murders were reportedly carried out by those who lusted for the pearl’s luster. Court battles have been waged trying to determine the rightful owner of the pearl. Plaintiffs hoped for $32 million as their share of the stone.
Consider another pearl of great value. Not so long after the Pearl of Allah’s origin, this other pearl was announced to the world. “The kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls,” Jesus said. “When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it” (Matthew 13:45-46).
This great pearl is worth any price because its value is infinite. This pearl offers eternal life. It brings happiness and joy. It restores and preserves marriages. It prompts parents to raise children of character and integrity. It guides its owners toward wise and productive choices. It engenders joy. It fosters deep and abiding friendships. It prompts peace. It fuels forgiveness. It leaves love in the hearts of those whose hands hold it.
This pearl’s worth is far beyond $60 million. Its worth is greater than your most valued possession. In fact, its worth exceeds that of your entire estate regardless of your wealth.
Yet, for all its great value, any who will may own it. You do not have to kill for this pearl, but you do have to die for it.
What is the Pearl of God worth to you?

Keith Wishum is minister, Williams Road Church, Americus.