To begin to understand the beauty of an earthen vessel, also known as a jar of clay, one must first understand how common and fragile these vessels are. These vessels are easily broken, easily replaceable, and often one would find them with chips or scratches on them.
These jars of clay are used to symbolize the commonness (Lamentations 4:2) and frailness of our bodies (2 Corinthians 4:7). How then can these vessels be considered beautiful and how can such a common thing have a ministry? 2 Corinthians 4:5 says, “For we preach not ourselves but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.” This scripture starts by stating we preach not ourselves for we are not able to pardon, enlighten, or sanctify mankind. However, we do preach Christ Jesus, for He is the only infallible teacher, all sufficient savior, and righteous governor; He is our only redemption, wisdom, sanctification. 2 Corinthians 4:6-7 states, “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.”
Since the beginning of time God has caused light to reside where it was not originally. And he is still doing just that. The ministry of each earthen vessel, or individual person, is different yet the same. Each of us are flawed in different areas, and showcase different holes, chips, and scratches. However when one allows God to fill them with “heavenly treasure” no longer is attention drawn to the mistakes and flaws of ones life but now instead to the beauty of Gods saving grace.
If we compare the lives of king Saul and David we find an amazing example of this even in the old testament. Both made their fair share of mistakes. David even sentenced a man to death after committing adultery with the mans wife. However David is often viewed as a great man of God, the Bible even says he was a man after Gods own heart; while in contrast Saul is often viewed in a more negative light. This is because David allowed God to work in his life. David repented and sought to live for God, while Saul was busy worrying about how his vessel looked being consumed with pride.
In conclusion none will make it through this life without falling and marking up our vessel but its in those moments one must decide to try to futilely paint over those flawed moments in ones life or allow Gods grace to create a beautiful testimony of his unfailing love.
2 Corinthians 4:8-18,
“We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;
9 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;
10 Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.
11 For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.
12 So then death worketh in us, but life in you.
13 We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak;
14 Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you.
15 For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God.
16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.
17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;
18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.”