This Treasure in Jars of Clay!
2 Corinthians 4:5-18
The Greek word for “treasure” (thesaurus) used by Jesus is the same word that Paul used in 2 Corinthians 4:7. So they seem to be talking about the same thing!
2 Corinthians 4:7
“But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.”
God intentionally chose to use us, jars of clay, to display his glory!
Characteristics of jars of clay:
- A jar of clay can be both functional and beautiful; however, most are plain earthenware.
- A jar of clay is a pot, or a vessel, is made to hold something.
- A jar of clay is a temporary container.
- A jar of clay is fragile, delicate and breakable.
All followers of Christ, regardless of their position, are no more or less than jars of clay…And God intended it to be that way!
“But the Lord said to him, ‘Go, for he is a chosen instrument (vessel) of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel.’ ”
1 Corinthians 1:26-29
“For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.”
Why did God choose us to display His Glory?
1. So that each one of us would be involved in the work he has designed for us!
2. So the focal point of our lives would be the treasure we hold and share!
2 Corinthians 4:5
“For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.”
3. So that we may experience the real power of God at work through our weaknesses.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10
“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
4. So that when we get jarred and scarred our frailty is exposed and the treasure is revealed.
J. Hudson Taylor, used to say, “All God’s giants have been weak men who did great things for God because they reckoned on Him being with them.”
1 Corinthians 2:1-5
“And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.”
What is the Treasure?
2 Corinthians 4:4
“…the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”
2 Corinthians 4:5
“For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord…”
2 Corinthians 4:6
“…the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”
How does knowing what we are made of and what we are made for help us live the life God desires?
- It keeps us humble enough to be productive.
- It keeps us dependent enough to be effective.
- It keeps us confident enough to not be overwhelmed by circumstances or discouraged by opposition.
2 Corinthians 4:13-14
“Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, ‘I believed, and so I spoke,’ we also believe, and so we also speak, knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence.”
“I believed, even when I spoke: ‘I am greatly afflicted.’ ”
2 Corinthians 4:15
“For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.”