In The Hands Of The Potter



“And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter. . .” (Jeremiah 18:4)

Scripture Base: Jeremiah 18:1-6

In talking about the complexity of our world and the complexity of creation, there has always been the argument that it had to have a Designer.

The human eye is made up of a hundred million cells. Seven million special vision cones fire information to the brain. Whenever any degree of light is sensed, these special vision cones automatically begin to
differentiate between a thousand shades of color. It has the most sophisticated auto-focusing capability ever designed.

We live in an age of high tech binoculars. We even have satellites that can read a license plate from space. The focusing capability of a satellite is pretty impressive, but nothing in technology compares to the ability of the human eye. I can look down and read a 12pt font in my notes then look up and immediately read a sign hanging on the back wall – our eyes shift and focus that fast.

Charles Darwin, the father of evolution, in a moment of unusual candor, wrote this; “To suppose that the human eye with so many parts all working together could have been formed by natural selection seems, I
freely confess, absurd in the highest degree.”

When I walk into an office and see a brand new computer with the ability to edit video sitting on a desk, I don’t suppose there must have been an explosion in an electronics factory and this is the result. When I see a high tech jet traveling 550 miles an hour, 39,000 feet in the air I don’t think it just emerged somewhere in the Amazon after a billion years in a primordial soup.

When we look at things like computers and jets, we know there must have been a pretty smart designer or designers who created them. And we are not the product of a big bang or an explosion or anything of that
nature either.

When you look at creation, from our eyes to every part of our being; there had to be a Designer. There had to be a Creator who put all this together. The Biblical explanation is very interesting.

I found out that this word, “formed,” is primarily used when they are talking about a potter. It means to be squeeze into shape; to work with. This vessel wasn’t haphazardly designed. It was formed. The Creator had a vision. God created man in His own image. He formed and squeezed man into the masterpiece He had in mind. God was the template for Adam and Eve. Colossians 1:15 talks about the image of God – Jesus Christ!

The word “image” in Greek is icon. In a computer, you know that if you click on an icon it represents a whole lot more. Each icon represents all sorts of files on your hard drive. Jesus wasn’t just another man,
another teacher, another prophet; He was mighty God, reconciling the world back to Himself!

The Lord came to Jeremiah one day and told him to go down to the potter’s house for an object lesson. There, God showed Jeremiah how He relates to His people. As the potter was forming the clay, it became
marred. That is what sin does to our perfectly formed and created vessel. What happened when sin entered our world is that everything God created became marred. A cracked vessel will not hold water. The Old
Testament is about how sin cracked God’s perfect vessel and how God kept working with His people. That is what sin does to us.

When Judas came back to the priests, throwing the 30 pieces of silver at them and then went out to hang himself; the priests could not hold on to money that had been used as blood money. So they bought a
potter’s field to bury strangers in and called it the “field of blood.” As the Lord had appointed, this potter’s field was purchased with the blood of Jesus Christ!

My son, James, is especially fond of “Thomas, the Tank Engine” stories. Together, we have read the stories about Thomas and his train yard friends many times. One of the threads running through these stories is
the big fear Thomas and his friends have of the scrap yard. They dread going there.

The world says you can get something for nothing… but it’s nothing but broken promises. People end up castaway along the side of the road.

God looked at all our junk, He looked at all the marred vessels and said, “I’ll purchase you.”

God wants us to know how worthwhile we are to Him. He is willing to buy us out of the potter’s field.

After creating a masterpiece and seeing what the world and sin had done to that masterpiece I would have wanted to give up, start over. Calvary tells us that God did not give up. He came to buy us back. Calvary
meant that He was not through with us. The New Testament is about how He continues to work with us to transform us into His image. I don’t know what your relationship with God is today, but I do know that
sometimes we mess up and feel we can never get back, but He never gives up on us. We are His masterpiece. He paid everything He had for our redemption.

The philosophy of the world is to get something for nothing Yet God paid everything for what the world considered nothing!

The potter had a marred vessel, but he added water to the vessel and kept working. Why, when he could have thrown it away and made another vessel?

We have to realize that the reason why there is so much hell in our world today is because we are looking at marred vessels that need to be put back into the Potter’s hands. He is still working. The Potter is so
patient. We ask why the pressure and pain in life – it’s because He is going to keep working on us until we are perfect (in His image,) again. Peter said try your faith. Try 7s the Greek work for trial. God can’t
use us the way He wants to when we’re a broken vessel. The vessel needs to be perfected.

Examine your faith. The trials in life are the areas that the Potter is still trying to work us to perfection. If we let Him have His way, if we allow Him to work on us “as it seems good unto Him,” one day we will
be in the fullness of Jesus Christ, a vessel of honor, fit for the Master’s use.


Editor’s Note: Bra Coltharp co-pastors with his father in Aurora, Illinois He is the Illinois District Youth President and war recently elected sectional presbyter.