Why Are We Compared To Clay Pots?
Clay pots in biblical times were shaped and molded by a potter before being baked and refined in the fire until the clay was hard. In ancient times, they were often used to hold things like sacred scrolls or valuable documents for safe keeping, but only temporarily. They were used in everyday life and were the paper plates and plastic utensils of ancient times.
We are referenced as clay pots for a few reasons. Like clay pots or jars of clay, we have a temporary life here on earth, are easily broken, and are all made uniquely. Jars of clay are just like our earthly bodies in that they temporarily hold the treasure the Lord gives us. This life on earth is short in comparison to the eternity waiting for us in heaven (James 4:14). We are not here to pursue worldly treasures but to pursue godliness and share the treasure of the light of the gospel with others so that they may join us in eternity (1 Timothy 6:11-12).
Our bodies are a temporary place for the Spirit of God to dwell in should give a sense of urgency to share the treasure we hold. We must realize how transient our lives are (2 Corinthians 4:17). By remembering this, our earthly suffering becomes lighter, and we can recognize that our temporary suffering is preparing us for an eternity with God (2 Corinthians 4:18).
We are fragile like a jar of clay and can easily be broken. Before a clay pot is baked into its shape, it is just a piece of clay, easily bent and molded. But once complete, they are easily broken, just like us. Physically and emotionally, the corruption of the world by sin will try to bend us and break us (John 10:10).
2 Corinthians 4:8-9 says, “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed. This world will try to break us, and we may bend, but by God’s strength, we will not break or be shattered. Without Him, we are easily damaged by this world. We are referenced as a clay jar to point out our weakness without God.”
2 Corinthians 12:9, “But he said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
Jeremiah 18:1-10 (Message), “God told Jeremiah, Up on your feet! Go to the potter’s house. When you get there, I’ll tell you what I have to. So I went to the potter’s house, and sure enough, the potter was there, working away at his wheel. Whenever the pot the potter was working on turned out badly, as sometimes happens when you are working with clay, the potter would simply start over and use the same clay to make another pot. Then God’s Message came to me: Can’t I do just as this potter does, people of Israel?”
We are uniquely made in the image of the Lord. The world we live in today is attacking the image and identity of who we are in the Lord. Our society distorts the uniqueness of how we are created in His image by suggesting we can choose our gender and sexual identity. Our ability to reproduce in His image has been distorted in the attack against our sexuality and healthy practice of our God-given gift.
Society tells us all kinds of lies about who we are. This world says we need to look a certain way, act a certain way, be successful in this way or be a certain type of person. But the Bible is clear in explaining who we are in Him. By calling us jars of clay, we are all unique. We come in different shapes, sizes, and colors and have other uses. Jars of clay don’t all look the same.
The potter, our God, is an artist and purposeful in how He shapes, molds, details, and designs every part. There is beauty in each jar of clay, and all clay pots have cracks and imperfections.
We are clay pots, and we hold the treasure we were created to share that treasure with others. Be confident in who you are and how you have been made. Our God is THE ARTIST who created us with great purpose and beauty in mind.