We have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us (2 Corinthians 4:7).
You may remember the story of Job, his wife, and his three friends. When life was at its darkest for Job, those around him blamed him. Life would have been better, they accused, if Job had more faith or less sin. Remember his loving wife’s advice: curse God and die! (Job 2:9). Job was nothing less than a “cracked pot.”
In the Apostle Paul’s day, clay jars were used to hold everything from the valuable to the mundane and even the grotesque. Pots were cheap, easily cracked and broken, simple to replace.
Like a clay pot, you and I are easily cracked and broken. Yet God has chosen to place the powerful and invaluable message of Jesus in the clay jars known as Christians.
Paul knew weakness firsthand. He was living proof of what weakness looked like. We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed – always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body (2 Corinthians 4:8-10).
God used Paul’s weaknesses to bring attention to His phenomenal power. Paul’s brokenness was proof that God was the source of his power (2 Corinthians 12:7-9).
Paul emphasized the value of the treasure – not the pot. God’s power is revealed in weak people, the same ones that the world discounts, ignores, and even ridicules. He works through weak people, stashing His treasure inside of broken people so that we learn to rely upon Him, not ourselves, and so that He is glorified.