“But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.”
Philip noted that the “treasure” of verse 7 is, of course, the gospel of Jesus Christ. The “jars of clay” speaks of the frail, fleshly body of men into which the gospel is entrusted. According to Paul, that body is beaten, persecuted and driven to despair, yet it persists for the glory of God and the spread of his message.
The central question, which Philip posed to the listeners, was whether we are more concerned about the container (our body – the jars of clay) or the precious treasure on the inside.
It is really a thought provoking question. We do so much to preserve our station in life, to secure our own stability and the stability of our families but do we do so at the expense of the treasure?
Do we avoid sharing the gospel so that we are not thought to be a radical?
Do we fail to stand for truth and morals so that we are not called a bible-banger?
Do we discount our worship so that we can grab one more shift at work?
We do so much for our own bodies; what do we do for the body of Christ? It’s worth a few minutes of your thinking.