Jars of Clay

Read 2 Corinthians 4:1–18.

My wife has this beautiful alabaster jar she brought back from a trip to Egypt. She purchased it because it reminded her of the Gospel accounts in which two different women broke their expensive, alabaster jars of perfume to anoint Jesus. (See Matthew 26:7, Mark 14:3, and John 12:3 for one account, and Luke 7:37 for the other.) That little jar is a thing of beauty, but it’s also very fragile. I know, because I watched in horror as my oldest son at two years of age proceeded to throw it across the room. We glued it as best we could, but it’s never been the same.

Pottery of any kind is fragile. If you drop it, it breaks. There’s no clumsiness-forgiveness with ceramics. Alabaster is at least beautiful and precious, giving it some value, but the average clay pot in the ancient world was barely a step above trash, so when God says that we are “jars of clay” (2 Corinthians 4:7), He’s making quite a statement. On our own, you and I are pretty basic and common. It’s what’s inside that makes us special. As followers of Jesus, we carry with us “the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ” (v. 4).

The gospel is incredibly beautiful, but it’s not something we’ve earned; we’re just jars of clay. The gospel is powerful enough to turn a sinner into a saint, but none of us is changed by sheer willpower; we’re just jars of clay. The gospel changes the world, but it’s not through our own ingenuity or influence; we’re just jars of clay.

You and I are vessels carrying a great treasure, something worth more than all the riches in this world. We may be jars of clay, but we’re jars of clay in the hands of the King of glory.

2 thoughts on “Jars of Clay

  1. This is a great reminder! Bless you, you wonderful jar of clay!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So sorry Jonah broke the jar! Thanks for sharing this story and the scripture. You have a beautiful gift for story telling!

    Liked by 1 person

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