“2 Corinthians is the most personal of the New Testament books. Other epistles bring the revelation of God to us, but 2 Corinthians is unique in this respect that it shows us the kind of man he is through whom God imparts His revelation. Had we not this epistle we might still know what work Paul accomplished, but we should not know what kind of man he was who accomplished the work. He was an earthen vessel.”
(from “Twelve Baskets Full 2, by Watchman Nee, page 22)
“Earthen vessels” – often used to describe commonness, frailness.
Our lives are full of inconsistencies. We long to be perfect, doing all things well or with excellence. But we find ourselves falling short.
Yet here is Paul bringing this startling statement, that there is treasure to be found in these earthen vessels.
“Let me say that there is not a soul whose earthen vessel is so earthen that the treasure cannot appear in it. The beauty of the treasure is enhanced by the earthen vessel in which it is placed.”
(from page 25)
The display of the treasure is all the more beautiful because of the earthen vessel in which it is placed. It reminds me of how diamonds are often placed on a black velvet backdrop in order to enhance the beauty of the facets and light refraction.
The treasure within causes:
- Our distinctive personalities to become more visible. We come to appreciate the variety of traits and talents, realizing we are crafted for purposes suited for us.
- We come to see God in the people around us. Our fears and inabilities become evidences of God at work in our lives. With the weakness of man clearly seen, the strength of God becomes undeniable.
The beauty of the earthen vessel is that it cannot limit nor hold back the power of the treasure within.
“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.” (2 Corinthians 4:7, NLT)
Our imperfections and cracks reveal the beauty within which shines in a splendor all its own. God is able to make Himself seen in every one of our lives and when He does, others will see past us and only see the treasure.
In the commonness of the earthen vessel,
we come to see the unmatched beauty of
The Treasure within.