Thoughts for the Day

Sunday, 2nd June 2024: The treasure of God's light

2 Corinthians 4 Paul Gospel Treasure Good News Light Jesus

Reading : Verses from 2 Corinthians, Chapter 4


For we do not proclaim ourselves; we proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and ourselves as your slaves for Jesus’ sake. For it is the God who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness’, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

But we have this treasure in clay jars, so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be made visible in our bodies. For while we live, we are always being given up to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus may be made visible in our mortal flesh.

(Lectionary, New Revised Standard Version)


When we moved into our new house I brought a few plants with me, but found the garden in chaos with brambles everywhere, so they stood in large terracotta pots by the side of the garage on a wide ledge at the top of some steps down into the garden. The plants duly flowered and all was well until a storm occurred and an eight foot wooden panel fell down on top of the plants squashing them and breaking the pots!

2,000 years ago large clay jars were the normal way of transporting water, oil and wine, and Paul writing to the christians at Corinth uses the metaphor of clay jars for those who like himself possess the good news of Jesus Christ and who spread the word to those who are thirsty for it. Just as clay jars are immensely fragile so is the human body (Paul has been attacked many times), but this serves to remind people that the message they carry comes not from them but from God. The Corinthians are to remember that this 'treasure' which they hold is a light for the world, put there by God to be passed on to others.

The church is always one generation away from extinction, after all books are destroyed or remain unread, sermons are forgotten, and evangelists die. Paul says effectively that God's light has shone in ours hearts so that we can share this light with others. We hold this treasure within us that others may have life! And my plants? They survived and thrived in some fresh soil!


Lord Jesus,
Your servant Paul taught us
that we have treasure within us,
that is, the light of the knowledge
of all You have done for us.
May we accept that with this treasure
comes the possibility of hardship
and the expectation that we will
seek to pass it on to others.

Follow Up Thoughts

If you would like to know more about Paul's sufferings look at this:

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