Trip to the Potter's House
The prophet Jeremiah
functioned in ancient Israel, just before they were carried into
captivity as punishment for the sins of idolatry. This text shows us
that God was eager to withhold judgment and extend mercy, if only Israel
would repent. Unfortunately they would not and were carried off in
captivity and ultimately scattered until they lost their identity as a
people and a nation.
Jeremiah was instructed to go to the potter's house. He watched the work
in progress, as the potter remade a marred vessel as it suited his
fancy. Jeremiah heard the Lord speak, comparing the clay in the
hands of the potter to Israel in the hands of the Lord.
Jeremiah 18:1, The
word which came to Jeremiah from the,, LORD, saying,
2 Arise, and go down to the potter's house, and there I will cause thee
to hear my words.
3 Then I went down to the potter's house, and, behold, he wrought a work
on the wheels.
4 And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the
potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the
potter to make it.
5 Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying,
6 O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the
LORD. Behold, as the clay is in the potter's hand, so are ye in mine
hand, O house of Israel.
We used to sing the song: Have
Thine Own Way Lord
HAVE THINE OWN WAY LORD, HAVE THINE OWN WAY
THOU ART THE POTTER, I AM THE CLAY
MOLD ME AND MAKE ME, AFTER THY WILL
WHILE I AM WAITING, YIELDED AND STILL
The Lord is the potter and He can shape us as He will and as it suits
His purpose. We don't have a lot to say in the matter. He can make
us a vessel of honor such as a fine vase or a vessel of dishonor such as
a rough kitchen utensil. It is simply that the vessels are made to be
used for His service as He directs.
We also sing the song, When He Was On the Cross, I Was On His
Mind. From eternity past, God has had an image in mind for each
of us to be conformed to. That is the image of Christ, which Hebrews
tells us is the express image of God's person (better translated
Hebrews 1:3 Who
being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his
person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he
had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the
Majesty on high;
Ephesians 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the
foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame
before him in love:
Romans 8:29, For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be
conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn
among many brethren .
Old Vessel is Marred
Our old image which we
inherited from our father Adam is marred and unfit for the Master's use.
Regardless of our good works and religiosity we have no merit as a
proper vessel. Isaiah said, "Our righteousnesses are as filthy
rags in the sight of the Lord."
Jesus made an absolute and unequivical statement on the
conditions for entering the Kingdom of God. He said that except we were Born
Again, that is, Born From Above, we could absolutely not
enter into His Kingdom.
John 3:3 Jesus
answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a
man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
Just as the marred vessel was remade in the hands of the potter, we
are born again, by the Word of God, which confronts us and causes a
crisis in our lives. Ultimately we either reject it or we say, "Here
am I, I give it all to you: My hopes, my ambitions, my friends and
family, and my sins and failures. I ask you to remold me as you
1 Peter 1:23 Being
born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word
of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
Marred Vessel Must Die, Before We Can Be Reborn
cannot be born again, until we die first. Jesus foretold His crucifixion
with the following statement :
John 12:24 Verily,
verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and
die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.
He is telling us that just as He was willing to die, we must regard our
earthly life in the same way. If we try to hold on to the old self,
the old marred image and do things our way, we will lose our life.
If we will submit to His demands and let Him shape us as He will, we
will live eternally. As they say, "You do the math."
John 12:25 He that
loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world
shall keep it unto life eternal.
In Luke, Jesus states that if we put anything before Him, we cannot be
His disciple. That's a hard statement that should make us think.
Luke 14:26 If any
man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and
children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he
cannot be my disciple.
27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me,
cannot be my disciple.
Luke 14:33 So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all
that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.
and being Buried into the Death of Christ is Not Unlike Being Reformed
on the Potter's Wheel.
This dying and
rebirth is typified by our water baptism. Being much more than just an empty ritual, scripture tells us
that a transformation takes place, not unlike the clay on the
potter's wheel, as we are buried in the waters of baptism into the
death of Christ. We arise to walk in the newness of life. We knelt
before Him confessing our sin and believing that His death was our only
available remedy. We arose as a new vessel shaped by the Master, and
eagerly embraced His promise of the Holy Spirit which is His down
payment on His promise of everlasting life.
Romans 6:3 Know ye
not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized
into his death?
4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like
as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even
so we also should walk in newness of life.
5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his
death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
Colossians 3:3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear
with him in glory.
Faith to Faith and Glory to Glory!
We know that
having believed and confessed His gospel, the Lord Jesus has us on the
I like to use the following two scriptures together ( Ro. 1:16; II Cor.
3:18) and say that we go FROM FAITH TO FAITH AND GLORY TO GLORY.
Our Christian walk is like a baby learning to walk, one step at a time
with a few falls along the way. Eventually we master the art of walking.
As our faith increases, we behold the image of our Lord as the
perfect example of the potter's craftsmanship. We behold His perfect
love and cry out, "Lord take me back to the potter's wheel and
increase my love." We soon become aware that something has changed.
We continue marveling at the endless perfection of His image, and Paul
tells us that we are changed into the same image, by the Spirit of
the Lord. The potter will never quit working in our lives until we
reach a state of absolute perfection. We know that this will be when our
mortal bodies put on His immortality and the corruption of the old
vessel is exchanged for His incorruptible image.
Romans 1:16 For I am
not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto
salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the
Greek. 17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith
to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
2 Corinthians 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass
the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to
glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
Considered Himself Dead and yet Alive in Christ
2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I,
but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I
live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for
As great of an apostle as he was, he felt that he had not yet gotten a
hold of that which had gotten a hold of him. In other words, he
considered that he was still being formed on the potter's wheel. We hear
his plea, "That I may know Him, in the power of His resurrection
and the fellowship of His suffering." Paul was quite willing to
be placed on the potter's wheel and be reshaped, time and time again.
We Live as a New Vessel,
Because Jesus Died For Us!
4:9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God
sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through
10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent
his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
11 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and
this life is in his Son.
He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath
Are New Creations in Christ, Let Us So Live!
If we be in Christ,
we are a new creature and a new vessel. We are not our own, we don't plot our own course. We have been
bought and paid for by the precious blood of Jesus and we are
instructed to live our lives accordingly.
2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old
things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
I Corinthians 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the
Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your
own? 20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God
in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.
the Pattern, the Master Vessel
image of God is given to us as the master vessel after which all others
Corinthians 1:30 But
of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom,
and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:
1 John 5:20 And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an
understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that
is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal
My prayer is that as you consider this simple analogy you will reflect
on any area of your life that you need the Master Potter to repair. He
is eager and willing to reshape you, and me, into vessels that are
useful in His service.
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