“Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honourable use and another for dishonourable use?” (Romans 9:21)
Although a great deal of skill goes into shaping pots on the potter’s wheel, and a great deal of heat is needed to bake the clay to make the pot suitable for use, it remains at the end, nothing more than a pot. No matter how fancy it may have been sculpted, it is still not the pot that is considered the treasure, but that which is placed in the pot. When Mary broke the alabaster flask of ointment to anoint Jesus feet, it was not the destruction of the flask that upset the disciples, but the imagined waste of precious ointment. Clay pots in Jesus day were inexpensive and plentiful.
In the verse above, we are likened to clay pots. We may be tempted to have high notions of ourselves, but God is calling us clay pots. Your worth, this morning, is not in who you have become through your hard work, or where you have arrived through your smart decisions, nor even what you aspire to become through your clever plans. You are yet a clay pot, and as such, easily broken!
Your worth is in the treasure you carry – the wonder of God’s love in the gospel of Jesus Christ! That is the ultimate treasure for any clay pot to carry! That is the treasure we are called to distribute freely to all we come in contact with. In fact, we must be willing, even to have the clay pot broken, if necessary, to pour out the precious ointment of the gospel, so that the glory of the treasure may be be revealed to all the world!
Finally, each pot is made individually, and each slightly different. As believers we do not all face exactly the same circumstances in life. If you feel that the Potter’s hands are hurting you presently, or that you are being baked too hot in the fire of trials, know that the Potter’s hands bear the scars of infinite love – and He desires to make of you a vessel fit to carry the most precious treasure – the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. He promises “My grace is sufficient for you!” Rest in Him! He has the best in store for you!