This Treasure

2Corinthians 4:7-10 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; 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. 

‘This treasure’ is the light of the knowledge (4:6) of the gospel that God has shined into our hearts to give us life.

‘Earthen vessels’ [Greek: ostrakinos] here and in 2Timothy 2:20. Often in the East treasures are hidden in earthen vessels to protect them from moisture (cp. Jer. 32:14). Here it refers to the power of the Holy Spirit through the light of the gospel in our bodies. The emphasis is on the contrast between a frail vessel of earth and the priceless treasure of power that dwells in it.

‘We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair.’ Four pairs of expressions of sufferings: Hard pressed, but not suffocated. Puzzled, but not utterly baffled. Pursued, but not caught or outrun. Struck down, but not out of the fight.

The first two refer to wrestling; the third to a race; and the fourth to a boxing match (4:8-9).

‘Bearing about in the body’ [Greek: periphero] to carry about with one; to whirl (4:10; Mark 6:55; Eph. 4:14; Heb. 13:9; Jude 1:12). I am under a sentence of death for Jesus and am likely to die at any time for His cause (4:11). There is also an allusion to the marks of battle already fought for Christ (Gal. 6:17).

‘Dying’ [Greek: nekrosis] making dead; a dead condition (4:10; Rom. 4:19). The idea is that of being in a state of crucifixion for Jesus (Gal. 2:20) so that the resurrection life of Jesus might be made manifest or visible in our body and so that the miracles we do might prove the resurrection of Jesus Christ (4:10-12).

The Parable of the Hidden Treasure

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man has found, he hide, and for joy thereof go and sell all that he had, and buy that field. Mat. 13:44 KJV

The treasure illustrates Israel in the kingdom of Heaven, partaking in the kingdom or realm of profession in this age. She, Israel, is like a treasure Ps. 135:4; Ex. 19:5; Mal. 3:17 hidden or lying in the world in the sense that Israel’s testimony as witnesses for God is veiled, Rom. 9:111:29  lying dormant and failing to fulfill her calling. The field is the world as in all preceding parables. Mt. 13:38 The treasure was not in the world when the devil took possession of it. When Christ came to seek the treasure it was hidden in the world. The man is Christ Mt. 13:34,37 seeking the treasure. Jn. 1:11-12; Mt. 23:37-39 and joyfully gives His all to buy the field Jn. 11:51; Rom. 8:17-25; 1 Pet. 1:18-19; 2 Pet. 2:1 to get the treasure and all else in the field. Php. 2:5-8; 2Cor. 8:9; Tit. 2:14; Heb. 12:1-2 The treasure, though found, Mt. 10:6; 15:24; 23:37-39; Acts 13:46 remains hidden in the world until Christ comes to take possession of it at His second coming. Rom. 11:25-29; Lk. 21:24; Lk. 1:32-33; Isa. 9:6-7 Then the treasure, as well as the field, will be His. Eph. 1:14; Rom. 11:25-28; Lk. 21:24; Rev. 19-20; Rom. 8:17-25 His joy in giving all for the field is experienced in view of the glorious restoration of all things and the treasure, Israel, exalted and made a blessing to all nations as originally planned. Heb. 12:2; Rom. 11; Lk. 1:32-35; Isa. 9:6-7