by Stephen Whitney

This content is part of a series.

Jars of Clay (6 of 6)
Series: Symbols of Discipleship
Stephen Whitney
II Corinthians 4:5-7

It has been said that the Roman Empire ran on olive oil. It was used for bathing, ceremonies, cooking, cosmetics, lamps and as medicine. For decades, olive oil from southern Spain was shipped to Rome in large clay jugs called amphorae.

Those jugs, not worth sending back, were discarded in a growing heap of broken shards known as Monte Testaccio. The fragments of an estimated 25 million amphorae created that man-made hill, which stands today on the bank of the Tiber River in Rome. In the ancient world, the value of those pots was not their beauty, but their contents. What was inside the jars made them valuable.

Our bodies, like the amphorae, are temporary, fragile, and expendable. In our modern world which highly values outward beauty, we would be wise to remember that our greatest treasure is the life of Jesus living within us. We are just a clay pot, Jesus is the true treasure within us. By God’s grace and power, may we live so that others can see Christ in and through us.

Richard Baxter wrote, “There is little that we touch, but we leave the print of our fingers behind.” People either see the life of Christ lived out through us or they do not see Christ in us.

The glorious gospel of Christ is seen by the world in: How we see ourselves – guilty or forgiven of our sins. How we treat others – graciously or harshly. How we view life – just here and now or future hope. How we view suffering – accepting or rejecting it. How we view death – as tragic or hopeful.

A simple chorus put it this way: Let the beauty of Jesus be seen in me – all his wonderful power and purity. O Thou Savior divine, all my nature refine, Till the beauty of Jesus be seen in me.


The message which Paul and others proclaimed to people was not about them, but about Jesus Christ. He had come and died that their sins might be forgiven if they b ...

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