Speaking of the life-giving gospel he preached, Paul once said, “We hold this treasure in clay jars” (2 Corinthians 4:7).
Martin Luther echoed this in the 62nd of his 95 Theses. He said: “The true treasure of the church is the holy Gospel of the glory and grace of God.”
You would think that God would entrust the priceless treasure of the gospel to some exceptionally strong containers. After all, you don’t keep gold bars on the front porch, or the crown jewels in the kitchen cupboard.
Yet, when it comes to this treasure of the gospel, God does just the opposite. He places this priceless treasure into frail human hands and mouths, into earthen vessels, clay jars.
As God used a nervous Gideon and a mere 300 men to defeat the Midianites who were as the sand on the seashore for number, as He used the shepherd boy, David, and his sling to bring down Goliath, so he uses you and me to do what angels envy – to proclaim His gospel.
Why such flimsy packaging for such a priceless treasure? “To show that its extraordinary power is from God and not from us,” says Paul.
So here we are, weak and small, fragile clay jars, fightings and fears, within, without. It’s always been that way.
Isaiah confessed, “I am a man with unclean lips.”
Jeremiah complained: “Ah, Lord God! I really do not know how to speak! I am only a child!”
John the Baptist said of his Savior: “He must increase, but I must decrease.”
Peter reacted to Christ’s call saying, “Go away from me, because I am a sinful man, Lord.”
Paul knew where he had come from and what he had been. He said: “To me—even though I am the very least of all the saints—was given this grace: to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ.”
Weak and small – the beginnings of Christ’s Church – weak and small are you and I still – small like the manger where the infant Savior was cradled, small like the baby Jesus Himself who held oceans like puddles in the palm of His infant hand, small like the standing space of a Roman cross where the Savior died to bring us back to God, small like the tomb from which He arose in glory to give us the one treasure that lasts, “Jesus, Priceless Treasure!”