Clay Jars

Jack Roeda

READ : 2 Corinthians 4:1-12

But we have this treasure in clay jars. (v. 7)

In the ancient world, clay jars were the disposable bottles of the day. It was the stuff of common people. The well-to-do used ivory, glass, marble, brass, or costly wood.

Paul tells us that we are the clay jars. Consider the churches in your area, think of your own church, picture all the members: they’re all clay jars. Some are chipped, even cracked. Life is hard on clay jars. Yet they hold a great treasure.

But to hold the treasure requires that we be empty of self. It is so easy to become filled with self-importance, envy, anger, or despair. The heart requires constant dredging.

If you ask: What is this treasure we hold? Most simply, it is the gospel of Jesus Christ. Here we encounter the one who is the glory of God; he is God’s power and wisdom in concentrated form, our proof that God is for us and with us. Paul compares coming to a knowledge of this gospel to the shattering moment at the beginning of time when God said: “Let there be light” (Gen. 1:3).

This treasure transforms us ordinary clay pots into vessels of glory. We become a people about whom it can be said: “Look, God’s home is among mortals.”


Dear God, dredge us, and fill us with your grace and truth. Amen.