2 Corinthians 4:6-9 according
to two translations
2 Corinthians 4:6-9 (Amplified Bible)
6For God Who said, Let
light shine out of darkness, has shone in our hearts so as [to beam forth]
the Light for the illumination of the knowledge of the majesty and glory
of God [as it is manifest in the Person and is revealed] in the face of
Jesus Christ (the Messiah).
7However, we possess this precious treasure [the divine Light
of the Gospel] in [frail, human] vessels of earth, that the grandeur and
exceeding greatness of the power may be shown to be from God and not from
8We are pressed in on every side [troubled and oppressed in
every way], but not cramped or crushed; we suffer embarrassments and are
perplexed and unable to find a way out, but not driven to despair;
9We are pursued (persecuted and hard driven), but not deserted
[to stand alone]; we are struck down to the ground, but never struck out
2 Corinthians 4:6-9 (New Living
6 For God, who said, ďLet there be light in the darkness,Ē
has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God
that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ.
7 We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we
ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This
makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.
8 We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not
crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair.
9 We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get
knocked down, but we are not destroyed.
According to the dictionary to be perplexed means to
filled with confusion or bewilderment; to be puzzled.
2. To be full of complications or difficulty; to be involved in stressful
Troubles round us on every
But we have this wealth in vessels of earth, so that it may be seen that
the power comes not from us but from God; Troubles are round us on every
side, but we are not shut in; things are hard for us, but we see a way out
of them; We are cruelly attacked, but not without hope; we are made low,
but we are not without help (2 Cor 4:7-9 Bible in Basic English)
2 Cor 4:9 (CEV) In times of
trouble, God is with us, and when we are knocked down, we get up again.
A common clay pot
During the Bible times :
Clay pots were plentiful
They were cheap
They were everywhere
They were ordinary everyday
article, with ordinary uses
They were used as containers
to hold water or food.
Sometimes these clay pots were
used to hold things of greater worth, such as money, jewels, or even
parchments. (The Dead Sea Scrolls were found in such containers.)
Maybe we can compare it today
with a mayonnaise bottle, or a checkers bag, or an empty 2L coke bottle
The common lamp at that time
was also a clay pot. It was composed of a cheap clay pitcher or jar
containing olive oil and a floating wick.
One disadvantage is that a
clay pot can break!
In the above mentioned
Scripture (2 Cor 4:6-9) we are compared to this clay pot that breaks
easily, a clay pot which is frail and weak.
BUT there is a treasure in this clay pot
The Good News / Gospel
Knowledge of Godís glory,
grace as we see it in what Jesus did for us on the cross
Godís power; his strength
How can a treasure be kept in a breakable, fragile clay pot?
A breakable, ordinary jar of clay
seems like an odd place for a treasure?
Usually we would keep our valuable treasures in a safe, or in a strong,
A jar of clay is fragile, and can break easily.
Upon further inspection, this jar of clay reveals flaws, chips and cracks.
It's not a vessel of great worth
or monetary value, but rather a common, ordinary vessel.
What are our human weaknesses?
Persecution and attack from
Enemies who hate us
Pressures of circumstances
Disappointment Ė with people
The power of the treasure in the clay pot
"Hard pressed," perplexed,"
"persecuted," and "struck down" refer to the things that we as Christians
can experience in this life.
"But not crushed," "but not in
despair," "but not abandoned," and "but not destroyed" all refer to the
deliverance which God is able to bring to any "impossible" situation Ė
this is the power that is available in the clay pot.
Godís power Ė my
In the clay pot my weakness and
God's power come together.
It seems like opposites:
clay pot vs treasure
pressed vs not crushed
knocked down/hurt vs not destroyed
in doubt vs not in despair
persecuted vs not alone
weakness vs power & strength
This is all back to front.
God doesn't want me to be
stronger. He wants me to acknowledge my weakness so that He can fill me
with His strength, with His power, with His Holy
His strength is made perfect in
2 Cor 12:9 My grace is all you
need, for my power is the greatest when you are weak I am most happy then,
to be proud of my weaknesses, in order to FEEL the protection of Christís
power over me. When I am weak, then I am strong.
The ordinary becomes the
The implication of this is wonderful.
God takes the ordinary and fills it with the extraordinary.
God takes the weak and makes it strong.
He takes the broken, and uses it!
This remind me of the beautiful
words of a song: Ö and now let the weak say I am strong, let the poor say
I am richÖ.
Do not focus on the human, weak
outside; focus on the Godly treasure inside
If we focus on our human side,
despair is bound to set in. When you look around you, you will become
anxious, when you look at yourself as imperfect, weak clay pot you will
become depressed, when you look at Jesus IN you, you will have strength
BUT if you focus on the treasure
inside you, you will be inwardly renewed day by day, and strength an peace
Empty your clay pot so that God
can fill you with His treasures
A jar is designed to hold
something, so let God fill your jar with His treasures!
Receive what you were created to
hold Ė HIS life
Receive what you were created to hold Ė HIS light
But what about the imperfections,
cracks and the holes in my clay pot ?
They are not to be despised, for
they now serve a purpose! They allow the life & light of God, our
cherished treasure, to seep out for all those around us to see.
I have read this beautiful story:
Once upon a time there was a
man whose job was to bring water from the stream to his Master's house.
The man carried the water from the stream in two clay pots. He hung the
pots on each end of a pole, which he carried across his shoulders, to and
from the stream many times a day.
One of the clay pots was
perfect in every way for its purpose. The other pot was exactly like the
first one, but it had a crack in it and it leaked. When the water bearer
reached his Master's house, the perfect pot was always full, and the
cracked pot was always half full.
The perfect pot was proud of
its accomplishments, and it boasted loudly. It criticized the cracked pot
for its failures, and reminded it that despite his efforts, the water
bearer could only deliver half a pot of water due to his cracks. The poor
cracked pot was ashamed of its imperfections, and was miserable that it
could only accomplish half of what it was supposed to do.
One day the cracked pot spoke
to the water bearer. "I want to apologize to you. Because of my cracked
side I've only been able to deliver half of the water to your Master's
home, and you don't get the full value from your efforts."
The water bearer smiled on the
cracked pot, and in his compassion he said, "As we return to the Master's
house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path."
Indeed as they climbed the
path from the river to the Master's mansion the cracked pot took notice of
the sun warming the beautiful flowers along one side of the path, and it
felt somewhat brighter. But when they reached their destination and the
water in the half-empty pot was poured out, his sadness returned. "Thank
you for trying to cheer me up with the beautiful flowers, water bearer,"
The pot spoke. " But I still must apologize for my failure."
The water bearer said, "Dear
pot, you haven't understood what I was trying to show you. Did you notice
that the flowers only grew on your side of the path? That's because of
your crack. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and everyday
as we walked from the stream the water that leaks from your pot has
watered them. I could have got a new pot, but I preferred to gather the
flowers, and with them to bless many tables."
Let God's truth refocus your eyes today on the treasure that dwells within