Jewels ~ In contrast we find that Israel is God’s chosen and “peculiar treasure,” and the Jews are referred to as “jewels.” For instance, we read at the close of the Old Testament concerning the faithful remnant, “a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the Lord and who meditate on His name. ‘They shall be Mine,’ says the Lord of hosts, ‘on the day that I make them My jewels’”(Malachi 3:16-17 NKJV). At the close of the New Testament we read regarding the New Jerusalem: “The foundations of the city walls were decorated with every kind of precious stone” (Revelation 21:19, emphasis added).
Pearl ~ There are a number of interesting differences between precious stones and the gem that we call a pearl. We will not take time to develop these but only mention some aspects for your contemplation. Jewels are faceted by man, suggestive of the Law, but anything man does to a pearl reduces its value. Jewels may be observed before their final state or condition, but the formation of a pearl is a mysterious, hidden process, unknown until finished—only a small percentage of oysters produce a pearl, and once removed from the mollusk it cannot be improved upon.
Pearls are gently built, layer-by-layer, as the oyster adds a coating of its very nature to a foreign particle—eventually transforming it into an item possessing the same kind of beauty as that which formed it; the Church is being formed individual by individual, and eventually will possess the beauty of Christ. Jewels are typically formed by intense pressure, heat, or chemical action that transforms what exists into a different form. They are among the most durable and permanent objects known to mankind. The Jewish nation is a survivor; the nation of Israel has throughout history been subjected to greater and more intense pressure from surrounding nations than any other nation on earth.
Pearls are among the most delicate of gems, with a relatively short lifespan of about 300 years; the Church is God’s instrument for a relatively short time in history between our Lord’s first and second comings—after that the Church will be with all the saints of all time in the New Jerusalem.
~ from “ONE PRECIOUS PEARL: God’s Design for His Church, pgs 98-99 (ISBN:9780741462329)