“But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.” (2 Corinthians 4:7)
Beginning in chapter 3 of 2 Corinthians, the apostle Paul started to talk about his ministry especially as it pertained to the Corinthians church. As he went on he started to tell them and us in chapter three about the glories of our ministry in the new covenant. It is exactly that. A ministry of a “new covenant”. He
says it is a ministry of “hope” because it is a ministry of the Spirit not the letter. It is a ministry of life not death. It is a ministry of boldness as we can behold the glory of God with unveiled faces and therefore being transformed from glory to glory.
However, in chapter four, the tone changes as he starts to address the challenges of the ministry. One challenge in verses 1-6 was the risk of losing heart and starting to compromise and twist the word of God. This would be due to the resistance of those perishing.
In our verses this time going from 4:6-5:1, he will address a second challenge that could make us lose heart. This challenge is the fact that we are pots of clay. This indicates our human weakness. This weakness allows the world to afflict, persecute, strike us down and even kill us. In our humanity we are
also many times perplexed by our circumstances. However, despite all of that, there is a treasure that we are entrusted with. This treasure is the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ (vs. 4). It has a power that leads people to come out of darkness to behold the light of the glory of God in the face of Jesus
Christ (vs. 6).
How is that possible? What makes this pot of jar so powerful that no affliction could crush it, no perplexing leads it to despair, no persecution leaves it feeling forsaken and no striking down destroys it? The answer is “the surpassing power” of God. It is to this power that we will turn our attention. What does it do? Why does it do it? And how does it work?