Paul's Second Letter to the Corinthians
The Lord's Treasure in Jars of Clay
2 Corinthians 4:7 - 18
31 January 2016
It's often said you can't 'judge a book by its cover;' that the first impression of something is not always right. In Second Corinthians, Paul replies to false teachers who belittled him for a simple mind and lack of skill. But instead of arguing back, Paul agrees, and declares that all believers are simple jars of clay - but hold the Lord's treasure.
Paul argues the Lord's jars of clay are fragile (v. 7 - 10)
God has purposed for His children to be "pressed on every side" with trouble, to the end "that the exceeding greatness of the power may be of God, and not from ourselves" (v. 7). Though Paul agreed with their assessment of him being weak, he did not lose heart because he knew that the Lord's weak jars of clay display the treasure of the Gospel.
Paul argues the Lord's jars of clay have a purpose (v. 11 - 15)
The purpose is to make the life of Jesus "revealed in our mortal flesh" (v. 11). Through suffering, God works humility, makes us Christlike, and makes Jesus to shine in us. So may we let that light shine!
Paul argues the Lord's jars of clay hold eternal treasure (v. 16 - 18)
He says that for believers, our strength is from the Spirit of God working inside us, not from any physical power. Our value as believers comes not from anything seen, but rather the spiritual life of God in us, which is eternal.
Let us never think we must be strong to be of use to the Lord. He uses fragile jars of clay - but displays His power in them.