Treasure in Jars of Clay

“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.”—2 Corinthians 4:7 (NIV)
 
If you want a unique place in history, you got it. But most likely, it’s not the way you may think.
 
God poured out His grace on us in incredible ways—even before we were born. Still, some of us try to increase our value. Society says, “love yourself” and express it well—because who knows how long we’ll be on this earth.  
 
The truth is, if we looked back at our lives as far as we could, there’s no doubt we would see traces of His kindness and goodness every step of the way. Even today, can we not see God’s grace in our lives, in spite of our blunders? In a holy act, inspired by the Holy Spirit, God proves Himself to be real, powerful, and very much alive.
 
The “treasure in jars of clay” that the apostle Paul is speaking of in the verse above is “the light of the knowledge of God’s glory” (2 Corinthians 4:6 NIV). With that introduction, he sets up a series of contrasts.
 
Affliction and weakness are the stark backdrop against which the brilliance of the light shines most brightly. The spectacle of the Roman military triumph is the metaphor many feel Paul has in mind. The Persians muted gold and silver taken as plunder or taxes and poured it into common clay pots. Likewise, the victorious Christ entrusts the riches of the gospel to poor earthen vessels like Paul, like us.
 
The important thing is that human weakness presents no barrier to the purposes of God; indeed, His power is made more obvious in our inadequacy. People who are set on impressing others with their riches, power, and status never impress God. In fact, it is one of the shortest routes to His displeasures. Paul certainly learned this lesson. As a Jewish rabbi, a second-generation Pharisee, and a leader known as Saul in the Jewish community, he persecuted and killed Christians. In an incredible act of kindness, the Lord redeemed his life and called him Paul, follower of Jesus Christ.
 
Dig: Read 2 Corinthians 4:6 and Philippians 3:8.

Discover: We are the clay; God is the potter. What does this mean to you?
Display: Share the Good News of Jesus, the treasure that’s been stored in us.

About the Author

Maritza Cosano-Gomez