My text for my message yesterday was 2 Timothy 2:20, “Now in a large house there are not only gold and silver vessels, but also vessels of wood and of earthenware, and some to honor and some to dishonor.” I had a fun time with an object lesson.
I looked for a gold or silver vessel in our house, but couldn’t find anything, but, I did find a nice crystal bowl, which was a wedding present given to my wife and I (nearly 20 years ago!). Then, I looked around for a vessel of wood or of earthenware. We don’t use chamber pots anymore, so I found my son’s portable toilet, which we call the “Froggy seat.”
Upon one of these vessels, we place honor. And, upon the other, we don’t place honor. Can you guess which one? Crystal bowls are kept clean and safe and used only for special occasions. We serve food in it because it helps enhance the appearance of the food. Froggy seats, on the other hand, are not so beautiful. We keep them hidden from view, in the bathroom. We even prefer not to be talking about Froggy seats. They get quite dirty and gross. We clean them with high-power cleaners and disinfectants.
We don’t serve salad at the dinner table in the Froggy seat. Can you imagine coming over to our house for dinner and eating your salad from it? Neither do we place our son upon the crystal bowl when he needs to go to the bathroom. I believe that you understand this.
Now, to understand the point of the illustration, you need to understand that these vessels represent different sorts of people. Some are like crystal bowls, carrying themselves with honor. Some are like Froggy seats, carrying themselves with dishonor.
Here’s the point: God doesn’t want Froggy seats to shepherd His church. Rather, God wants crystal bowls to shepherd His church. That’s the point of the next verse, “Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these things, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work” (2 Timothy 2:21).
It’s at this point that you see the illustration breaking down. Whereas a Froggy seat will forever remain a Froggy seat; it will never be used at the dinner table. Such is not the case with God’s people. By God’s grace, people can be transformed from a Froggy seat into a crystal serving dish. May God give such shepherds to His church.