“We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.” 2 Corinthians 4:7.
The Israelites used clay jars and pots to hold just about everything around the house. Some held everyday necessities such as flour and grain. They stored their cooking oil, which was an important staple in their pantry. Other bigger jars held utensils and tools. Some were for carrying water. But they weren’t always used for the most pleasant of tasks. There were the unmentionables too. They did have them you know, they had to GO somewhere! They may not have had Charmin but they did have clay pots!
Clay pots and jars were breakable, they were expendable and they were easily replaceable. They cracked, and they still used them. If they broke they could still use the shards for writing utensils.
Even the Dead Sea Scrolls were found stored in clay jars! The scribes that copied the scrolls were dedicated to such accuracy that if they made even one mistake the entire scroll had to be thrown into the fire. They could not allow for that manuscript to be found and read and compromise the Word of God to be copied incorrectly later. When a scribe had completed one accurately, they then stored it in a clay jar.
So why did the Lord choose something that to us seems so cheap, fragile and crumbling to hold something so valuable? Because of exactly what it says in verse 7, “We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.”
If He had put it in a fancy treasure box overlaid with gold then the focus would have been on the vessel and not what was inside! We don’t want them to be impressed with US but with the real TREASURE that is inside. He chose a simple jar of clay to house the glorious LIGHT of the Gospel. Our true beauty does not come from the outward appearance but from the Holy Spirit which dwells IN us and lives THROUGH us. The first century clay jars and pots hid their treasures and contained their necessities, but our treasure is for the entire world to see!
A jar of clay is not very sturdy, if it falls over it will probably break. That shows how dependent we are upon God. It is HIS power, not our own, that we must rely on. We are not these fancy jars that cannot break HOLDING clay, but we are cracked and vulnerable jars that are MADE of clay. And yet we are holding God’s richest and most glorious treasure!
“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. And because of him, you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 1:27-31.
The enemy thinks that he can put cracks in our jars and cause us to stumble and fall. He thinks that will weaken our resolve, but the Apostle Paul says, “That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:10. When our clay pot gets pushed around, bumped, bruised and cracked what happens? What is inside comes pouring out! When we are “hard pressed, perplexed, persecuted, and struck down”, we spill out the very presence of Jesus Christ and fill the room with His aroma! We then draw attention to Him!
But if we are never pushed, shoved, or knocked around, then the treasure just sits there. It is never shared. It stays hidden. The temptations and trials that come along in our lives do not mean we have been abandoned by the Lord or that He doesn’t love us. Quite the contrary! I don’t believe the Lord puts things on you but I do believe He can make something good out of them. It is because He BELIEVES in YOU as His treasure holder who spills out His presence that He allows these things in your life!
Sometimes the problem is that we can become whiners when trials come and the stuff that we spill out of our jars doesn’t look like Christ, it doesn’t smell like Christ and it sure doesn’t taste like Christ. It’s because we’ve never learned, or we’ve somehow forgotten, that we are clay jars FILLED with Christ! Instead of being a cracked jar leaking a TREASURE that points others toward Him, we have simply become whiney “crack pots”! Who wants to be around a grouch?! Who wants to surround themselves with a know-it-all? Someone that isn’t teachable? Someone that is constantly complaining and finding fault? Someone that has to be in charge all the time and have their way?
God is not pleased.
The pressures in life that crack our jars only prove to make us stronger! And those cracks in turn cause that light to seep out and shine so that others might be impacted and changed by our lives. The jar isn’t what we should be occupied with. It’s what’s inside that really matters! ”We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.” 2 Corinthians 4:8-10.
What God places in our jar is a treasure: The Gospel. He has entrusted it to our weak, broken jars. It is through our cracks and holes that the LIGHT can shine through.
He is that LIGHT!
God Himself, living within us, and bringing life wherever we go! He is our treasure and we are not to keep Him to ourselves. The Gospel was meant to be spread. And those cracks in our jars were meant for that Gospel to seep out and that LIGHT to go into the entire world.
“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you.” Isaiah 60:1. So we are called to be children of LIGHT in a world of darkness and the LIGHT of God is in us, in jars of clay.
Thank Him for our cracks! We are the only Jesus some people will ever see! Thank Him that outwardly we are wasting away, but inwardly we are being renewed day by day.
God trusts YOU with His treasure. He didn’t leave Paul, Peter, John, Matthew, or any of the disciples here for the End-time to usher in last day revival! He left YOU! He trusts YOU! You can’t afford not to share your light! We have a responsibility and we must go out and do our part. There are people in your world waiting for you to let your light seep out of your cracked pot and let them see Jesus in you.
Will new life come to someone this year because Jesus has been seen in your life through a broken jar of clay?