Summary: Where does God place the indescribable treasure of Eternal Life?
Where do you hide your emergency house key? (And if you’ll give me that information, you’ll give me your Bank PIN number) Do you have it near the back door in a fancy marble box engraved with the words: Emergency House Key?
Do you have it encased in an alabaster jar sitting on a pedestal on your front lawn? Where do you keep your emergency house key?
Most people hide the emergency key in an unlikely place; some grungy place, some lowly place. Let me guess: Is it under the welcome mat at the front door? Is it in the rain water drain pipe? Is it in a fake rock on the front lawn? Or did you get really cleaver and put it in the dog house?
One day God wanted to hid a treasure on earth more valuable than a house key. He wanted to conceal eternal life in a hiding place somewhere here on earth. So where do you think God hid His treasure of eternal life?
Not in the splendor of a Gothic cathedral; not in the opulence of an alabaster Temple; not in the fine art of a Renaissance painting but rather God choose to hid his great treasure on eternal life in a clay jar.
A clay jar. A human being. An ordinary vessel made from the elements of earth, subject to infirmity, instability, insecurity, cracks and leaks. God hid eternal life in clay jars.
Why would God do such a thing? Why would he hide this unspeakable treasure in a clay jar? If you won a million dollars you’d put it in a bank, wouldn’t you? Who in his right mind is going to stuff a million dollars in a large clay pot and put it under his bed? Who would do that?
God did! And of course, he had much more than a million dollars. He had eternal life to invest. And where to put it? Where?
God entrusted it to human beings – clay jars.
Why? Why would God do this? Why did he entrust us with this incredible treasure of eternal life? I want to suggest of couple of reasons:
First of all, God did this because He didn’t want anything to distract from the glory of the treasure itself. Paul says in verse 7 that we have this treasure in jars of clay in order to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.
In my humble opinion, the Mona Lisa is displayed in the wrong place This magnificent work of art is in Paris – just about the most beautiful city in the world. There it hangs in the Louvre – the ancient palace of the Sun kings. Paris and the Louvre are works of art themselves. By the time one gets to Mona Lisa she’s a letdown. You can hear the whispers: It’s a lot smaller than I thought it would be.
I’ll tell you where the Mona Lisa should hang. The Mona Lisa should hang in Moolix’s Ice Cream Shop on Bernard. Then people would be really impressed. They go in there for one of the 40 plus flavors; take one look at the wall and go speechless. What is that doing here?
God placed his treasure of eternal life in human beings because He didn’t want anyone to confuse the place where the treasure rests and the treasure itself.
When angels and demons walk to and fro over the earth (as we’re told they do) looking for God’s treasure they check out the Taj Mahal. Not there! They look into the Great Synagogue of Jerusalem. Not there! They check out the Temple in Salt Lake City. Not there! They wander through the Gothic cathedrals of Europe. Not there.
Finally, a spirit being stumbles across an ordinary Christian. A Christian with 17 different dysfunctions. A Christian with a body that is definitely last year’s model. A Christian with a long list of failures.
And the spirit being is speechless. This is almost embarrassing: That God would hide His treasure in a place like that? Why would God hide His treasure in HER? What is eternal life doing in HIM?
But you see friends, God entrusted the mystery of eternal life to frail, cracked humans not that we would look good but in order that He would look good. God placed the treasure of eternal life in cracked clay pots so that nothing would distract from the treasure.
I want to suggest that there is a second reason why God placed such a rich treasure in such a fragile jar.
He wants to humble us. We are by nature a very proud people. Some of us actually believe that the human race is getting better and better. Many of us think that education will solve all of our problems. Others of us are so arrogant that we think we can shape our own destiny. We can achieve anything we want to.