“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.” – 2 Corinthians 4:7-12
In church this past Sunday evening this is the section of scripture that our pastor, Grant Foster, shared and I felt like it was a message that needed to be shared. Paul writes to the Corinthian Church about a treasure that is greater than anything we could imagine. This treasure that is mentioned here may not be what we expect however.
I think there are two ways we can look at this. First, we see that Paul mentions these Jars of Clay that are treasures, although fragile, they are useful to hold on to a treasure for a time. Paul uses this description to describe the human condition. We are the Jars of Clay mentioned here, we are fragile, crumbling at times under the pressure that life and conditions place on us. We see the promise that we can be pressed, perplexed, persecuted, and struck down, but we will not be crushed, found in despair, abandoned, or destroyed. This is because Christ is at work in us.
We have a hope, because we have been given over to the death of Christ Jesus so that his Glory can be revealed in us.
Another way we can look at this scripture is to look at the tradition of the time. Throughout history many of the scrolls that have been found holding scriptural scrolls have been found in similar type jars of clay. They were kept there and read during fellowship, and understanding this, while understanding we are the jars of clay can help us understand Psalm 119:11.
“I have hidden your Word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” –Psalm 119:11
This tells us that where we are to store the scripture is inside of our Jar of Clay, our heart. We do this so that we can protect and acknowledge the Word. We are to carry it and share it with others. The jars protected the scripture from the elements, and we are to protect it and apply it at the proper time.
Today, embrace your role as a Jar of Clay for the Kingdom; you may feel beaten down and exhausted by life at times, but know that you are not abandoned, you are loved. God loves you, he sent Jesus to pay your debt, and today we can rest in the knowledge that we are saved by the blood of Christ.
Your jar may be cracked, it may be battered, and it may be showing signs of weathering, but God can protect and provide. Trust Him and His promises today, you will not be destroyed.