2Corinthians 4:7, “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.”
If you needed the greatest treasure you owned, transported to a group of people that you destined to receive it that who would you entrust with it? Would you give it to the fierce warrior, or perhaps the brilliant scientist? Maybe the military soldiers should be charged with so great a treasure.
Look at the ones that God entrusted to carry His great treasure. He chose those who were frail, weak, fallible, and liable to sickness, persecution, and death. One blow could put an end to those picked by God just as any other man. Without the strength of the military bearing arms before them, they faithfully carry the gospel with the armor of God upon their lives, and the treasure within their lives. Yes God uses mere man to accomplish His great work, entrusting him with His great treasure, the gospel.
The Jars of Clay (earthen vessels) are ordinary people that serve an extraordinary God. God is the One that empowers the jars of clay. What can a jar of clay do, in and of itself? It can only contain that which is placed inside. And the only One that can place something inside is the One who formed the vessel of clay, the Potter. Remember the account of Jeremiah with at the potter’s house?
Jeremiah 18:1, “This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD: 2 “Go down to the potter’s house, and there I will give you my message.” 3 So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel. 4 But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him.JER 18:5 Then the word of the LORD came to me: 6 “O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter does?” declares the LORD. “Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel.
The Potter was intent on forming the pot and fashioning it to His liking. He had in mind a purpose for the pot. For everything God forms is for God’s purpose and everything God forms He fills. When the earth was without form, God formed it and filled it with light, water, and life. God formed the ark (Noah just followed the blueprints) and filled it with the animals and Noah’s family. God formed the tabernacle and the temple and filled them with furniture and His presence. God’s desire is that He can do with us as ordinary clay pots and fill us with the all-surpassing power of the everlasting gospel.
In the children’s story the Tale of Three Trees each tree had a purpose for itself. The first tree boasted that it’s lumber would be used to make a great and beautiful treasure chest. The chest would be decorated with bright golden hinges and polished to a fine and shiny finish. Inside it would hold great riches, jewels which were the colors of the rainbow and gold and silver coins. Now the first tree that had dreamed of being a beautiful treasure chest was instead made into a manger. It was sold to a farmer who used it in his cave where he kept and fed his animals. From this manger the animals of the farm ate the hay that lay in it. Until one night a young woman and her husband came to the cave looking for shelter for themselves and their newborn baby. In that manger, they laid their infant son. It was at that moment that the tree knew that it held the greatest treasure in the world, God’s gift to mankind. And as the child lay sleeping in the manger, the angels sang and the stars shone brightly in the sky. See the full inspiring short story – http://www.theologic.com/oflweb/forkids/3trees.htm>
Application: But we have this treasure (the gospel) in jars of clay (our lives) to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” What are you doing with the power in you to reach others for Christ?