Jesus Teaches How to Live
Buried treasure: From mollusks to pearls
Have you ever found a shell at the beach or bought one at a store? Shells are interesting and fun to collect. But did you know they are really the homes of little animals called mollusks? Even the shells that hermit crabs live in once belonged to mollusks. There are many kinds of mollusks, such as snails, conchs, cowries and scallops. Some mollusks live in the sea, while others can be found in lakes and rivers.
There are a few special mollusks that can create treasure. Beautiful pearls are sometimes found in oysters, clams and mussels. A pearl forms when a piece of sand or dirt gets inside a mollusk’s shell. When you get sand in your eye, it hurts. Your eye produces tears to get rid of it. When a mollusk is bothered by dirt or sand, it produces smooth, shiny, shell-like material to cover the irritant. Over time, this material becomes a pearl.
Since ancient times, pearls have been highly valued as treasure. A Roman general’s mother once sold a pearl earring to pay for an entire war. The Romans loved pearls. One Roman emperor wore slippers covered with them. He even had a pearl necklace made for his horse.
Treasure seekers still search and dive for pearls. The largest natural pearl ever found is the Pearl of Lao Tzu. It is as big as a basketball and weighs more than 14 pounds. Even though it isn’t round, shiny or pretty, it has been valued at $3.5 million!
Jesus often told stories called parables. Jesus used these parables to help people understand God’s truths. One parable told of a man who went to buy pearls. He found one that was so special it cost a lot of money. But this man didn’t mind paying a high price. It was worth it for such a valuable treasure. He sold all his other things to buy it.
“When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it” (Matthew 13:46, NIV).
Jesus explained that God’s kingdom is like that. We should want to serve and please God as much as the man wanted the pearl. There is nothing more valuable than knowing God. There is no greater treasure than experiencing the forgiveness and eternal life Jesus offers.
— Christina Quick
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