Potter and the Clay Bible Verse
In the Bible, a form of clay and potter imagery is used in ninety-two different verses. Here are a few:
- Isaiah 64:8
- Jeremiah 18:1-23
- Romans 9:21
- Iaaiah 45:9
- Jeremiah 18:1-6
- Isaiah 29:16
- Jeremiah 18:4
- Genesis 2:7
- 2 Timothy 2:20-21
- Jeremiah 18:6
- 2 Timothy 2:20
- Romans 9:20-21
- Jeremiah 18:1-4
- Job 10:9
- Ephesians 2:10
The Potter and the Clay Bible
In these references, the potter represents God and the clay represents humans. The imagery of God creating humans with his hands is powerful. In other instances, he spoke things into being. When he made humans, however, he formed them from clay. Many of the verses also speak of the relationship the clay and the potter have with each other. The vessels are each useful and have a specific purpose. That is why this imagery makes for great storytelling.
Clay and the Potter, Story One
In the first story, the potter creates a little vessel and gives it many different jobs. It is the Little Pot who is eager to discover its purpose. With each item the potter gives the little pot to hold, the vessel wonders if this task is the purpose for which it was created. Holding papers makes the little pot feel smart and important. Holding coins makes the little pot feel rich and powerful. However, both of these items are not what the potter allows the clay vessel to keep. Then, the potter puts dirt inside the little pot. The clay vessel now wonders even more what its purpose is. Unbeknown to the little vessel, the potter has planted something in the soil and it is beginning to grow something inside. Eventually, the plant blooms beautiful flowers. Is its purpose to be pretty and charming? Not exactly. The flowers do not last. Ultimately, they turn to fruit and the clay vessel realizes its purpose does not come through what it holds, but from what is produced through it. This clay has become a little pot that grows fruit.
We are like Little Pot because we are each a vessel made by the potter, God, to grow the fruit of the Spirit.
In the second story, The potter continues to grow fruit through Little Pot as he makes more vessels from clay. As other vessels are made, Little Pot watches and begins to compare himself to them. One day the potter makes a vessel that will serve a different purpose. It is a teapot. As the potter makes tea inside this clay vessel, Little Pot wonders if the teapot is better than it. The teapot boils inside and makes a delicious tea. However, when the potter continually pours out the liquid and picks the fruit, the clay vessels become frustrated with the potter. Selfishly, they desire to keep the fruit and tea. The Potter allows it and eventually the fruit rots and the tea spoils. Finally, the clay vessels realize that they need the potter and ask him to clean and prune them. He does, and the clay vessels can now serve others.
We are like Tea Pot and Little Pot because we sometimes believe that the fruit of the Spirit is for us alone. We forget that the potter, God, created us to serve others.
In the third story, Tea Pot and Little Pot have learned to serve the potter and others. However, their relationship with the potter continues to grow. In this story, the potter creates a small oil lamp. The purpose of this vessel is to shine a light amongst the other vessels. The potter knows that a storm is coming and that a light is needed. The new clay vessel, however, is too shy to shine its light and hides under other vessels. When it finally does become bold enough to shine, it flares up and burns the other vessels. After hearing the stories of Little Pot and Tea Pot, however, the oil lamp has the faith it needs to shine brightly for the potter.
In this story, we can learn to be like Little Pot and Tea Pot and share our testimonies with others. We also can learn to be like Oil Lamp and shine the light that the potter, God, gives us.
Continuing to Learn More
There are more stories to come about different vessels and the potter. The Bible uses this imagery to help us understand that the potter, God, lovingly creates each of us, his clay vessels, for specific purposes. Still to come are stories about an oil jar and a salt vessel. Make sure you follow this blog to get notifications of these new stories.
Little Pot also helps children to become fruit-bearing vessels, This FREE character education program will show children what they need to “hold” and how the potter can grow the fruit of the Spirit through each of them.
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