“But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”
The Vessels by Derric Johnson
The Master was searching for a vessel to use; before Him were many, which one would He choose? “Take me,” cried the gold one. “I’m shiny and bright. I’m of great value, I do things just right. My beauty and luster will outshine the rest, and for someone like You, Master, gold would be best.”
The Master just nodded and passed on by – No word at all.
He looked at a silver urn that was narrow and tall. “I’ll serve you, dear Master, I’ll pour out Your wine. I’ll be on Your table whenever you dine. My lines are so graceful, my carvings are true. My silver will certainly complement You.”
Unheeding, the Master passed on to the vessel of brass, wide mouth, shallow, polished like glass. “Here, here,” cried the vessel, I know I will do, place me on Your table for all men to view.”
The Master shook His head. He came next to the vessel of wood, polished and carved, solidly stood. “You may use me, dear Master,” the wooden bowl said, “but I’d rather You use me for fruit, not for bread.”
The Master kept ongoing. Finally, He looked down on the vessel of clay, empty, broken, it helplessly lay. No hope had that vessel the Master might choose, to cleanse, make whole, to fill and to use. But He said, “Oh, this is the vessel I’ve been hoping to find. I’ll mend it and use it, I’ll make it all mine.”
“I need not the vessel with the pride of itself. Nor the one who is narrow to sit on the shelf. Nor the one that is big mouthed and shallow and loud. I don’t need the one who displays it’s contents so proud.” Gently He lifted the vessel of clay, He mended and cleansed it and filled it that day. He spoke to it kindly, “there’s work you must do, just pour out to others what I have poured into you.”
Highlight – what words or phrases jump out at you
Explain – what does the passage mean?
Apply – how does the passage intersect with your life today?
Respond – how is God leading you to respond?