But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves.
-2 Corinthians 4:7
(Despite Jars of Clay’s best efforts a few months ago to sour this verse for Christians, the power of these words cannot be veiled.)
Just a few observations and reflections on this verse…
1. We are seemingly unfit carriers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ: We are dust. Priceless treasures are supposed to be placed in spotlessly transparent, airtight, bulletproof, fireproof containers watched over by high-tech surveillance and armed guards. I struggle with sin every day; I lose my nerve in spiritual situations sometimes; far too rarely do people take me for a clone of the spotless Lamb of God. Doesn’t it seem like there should be a less consequential task for earthen vessels like me?
2. But we have this treasure. God chose to store it in us. That treasure is God’s Light (4:6), which is the knowledge of God’s glory which we have seen in Jesus Christ. I have seen God’s glory, because by faith I have seen the glory of Jesus in the Scriptures. And so now I am a witness–God chose for it to be like that. He chose to show me Himself in Jesus, and so now I’m marked–I know Him. He has placed this priceless treasure, this pure Light, inside of me; and now this man of former darkness is a Light Bearer to the world.
3. The deposit of this treasure in me ultimately means that God has taken me for the use of His own purposes. The Light will shine, the Power will be seen, and the people that know me may only be left in wonder that such radiance can proceed from something so earthly…
4. …And, in fact, it seems that this was God’s intent all along: That ordinary, flawed, and broken people like you and I should serve as tangible, undeniable displays of Power and Light that go so far beyond our innate capabilities that the only suitable explanation is the activity of God. The only suitable explanation being God, the only suitable object for thanksgiving and adoration is Him as well.
May we so gladly boast about our weaknesses that the Power of God may be trumpeted through us all the more and all the glory that proceeds may go to Him alone.