For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.2 Corinthians 4:5-7 NIV
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.
Clay jars are no longer used much in the western world. They have been replaced with metal, plastic, or glass containers. But when Paul wrote clay jars were one of the primary storage containers, along with baskets. But they needed to be handled with care. Clay jars were fragile and easily broken. And once broken they were no longer able to serve the purpose they were made for.
Being A Clay Jar
In this passage, Paul compares himself, and his companions, to jars of clay. They were plain, fragile, unadorned clay jars. Yet God had placed a treasure of great value within them: “The light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.” What Paul is able to do as an apostle was not because of his own power or wisdom. Instead, it was because of the all-surpassing power of God working through him. The treasure within was working to accomplish what Paul himself was unable to.
I am like a clay jar. Fragile and unworthy of the treasure God has seen fit to put within me. The treasure of the indwelling Holy Spirit. And my prayer is that the power of God that worked in Paul would also be at work in me. I pray that his light would shine out in the words of this blog. And that he would use them to glorify himself, and to advance his kingdom.