“Now we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this surpassingly great power is from God and not from us. We are pressed on all sides, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.” 2 Corinthians 4.7-9
What treasures do we have in clay jars? The hope of the gospel? Are we the treasures that God has created in vessels that are easily broken? We can not contain the goodness of God without him. Paul says this treasure is put in jars of clay so that “this surpassingly great power is from God and not from us.”
We have been given the greatest gift — his salvation, love and grace — but it’s placed in a body made of flesh, weakened and temporal. The eternal glory resides with God and he is the one who keeps our souls for heaven. Our role is to demonstrate His power while we have breath and bear witness to His name. Yet these clay jars (i.e. our bodies) will one day perish.
And even so, we are pressed on all sides, Paul writes, “but not crushed.” We are “perplexed, but not in despair.” We are “persecuted but not forsaken.” And lastly, “struck down, but not destroyed.” How can this be? Because our hope is in Christ who is eternal. Though our bodies may fail, our spirits will remain intact as they are sealed with his Holy Spirit and redeemed for all eternity through the blood of the Lamb.
God could have placed treasures in golden goblets or silver cups? They could have at least been some form of metal in this metaphor. But no, the treasure is in jars of clay, our own bodies of flesh and bone. And even still, we are able to overcome because of Jesus.
I wonder if you are feeling the burden of this world? If you are feeling pressed, crushed, perplexed, persecuted or struck down. Remember, though the troubles of the world may come, Jesus is the great overcomer. We have victory in his name and grace by his hand. As Paul wrote to the early church which faced all kinds of trials, are we not modern day Corinthians? Has not our world fallen away just as during the time this letter was written?
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. Lean into the Lord. As Paul writes in V.10, ”We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.” This is who we are — bodies of flesh with spirits who carry an eternal weight of glory. Allow the light of Christ to shine in your hearts and be revealed in your body of flesh.
“O Lord God, you are good. Your love is powerful and a weapon of war. Come now, Lord King, save us from the sins of this world. Help us promote the Gospel so all might know the power of your resurrection and love. I thank you Lord for loving me. I am a clay jar, bent from the beginning of time, but renewed and redeemed by your love. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen