In Biblical times, they didn’t have the power tools of today. Nor did they have the wood glue one can buy at the local hardware store. Or the nails, bolts, washers, and Ikea manufacturers that are available to us. Yet, there were still carpenters, and Jesus was one of them.
Jesus didn’t start His ministry until around the age of thirty, so every time I recall Jesus was a carpenter I picture Him in His teenage years or in His twenties helping Joseph build something or building something Himself. Even though Jesus was visiting the temple of Jerusalem and asking questions of or giving answers to the teachings there at an early age (Luke 2:41-47), Jesus still allowed Joseph to teach Him the carpentry trade, for it was costume back then for a son to learn their father’s work.
However, I believe there was a reason Joseph — the man chosen to be Jesus’ stepfather — was a carpenter. Joseph could have been anything; just look at his lineage in the first chapter of Matthew. It starts with Abraham, then it mentions, Isaac, Jacob, Boaz, David, Solomon, and many others. Correct me if I’m wrong, but the names listed in the previous sentence were not carpenters. Joseph’s father might have been, but carpentry wasn’t always the family business. I believe the reason Joseph was a carpenter, and Jesus was one as well, was to help us in our journey with Christ.
This help is two fold. First, it helps us to relate to Jesus. Jesus had a job just like us before His ministry work began. He served as He could until God told Him it was time to set that aside and begin the work foretold in prophecy. He knew what it was like to have a job that took up much of the day. He had callused hands; He probably sweated in the heat as they worked. There’s even a great chance that not all the costumers they got were polite and respectful. Plus, there might even have been days so beautiful He and Joseph would have rather pushed off their orders and enjoyed the day, yet kept to their responsibilities to ensure their business was honorable.
Secondly, it helps us to understand what it takes to grow in Christ. In today’s world, we are encouraged to go, go, go. We’ve become an impatient population, always wanting something NOW…easily getting frustrated when we are asked or forced to be patient. Our culture today also calls us to focus on me and only me. It becomes more difficult to work with others and trust others with something, because me comes first. However, to grow in Christ we must be patient, we must put Jesus first, and work with Him as a team. Not that Jesus needs us on His team to get something done, but He wants us to help so that we can draw closer to Him as we work together.
Isn’t that humbling? Jesus is offering to help us with the tasks we need to check off. So, going back to carpentry, each project He helps us with is something in our lives. Some projects that are started are chosen by Him. We’ll hear or read a scripture and feel the conviction of guilt because we’ve been doing the thing that scripture just told us not to do. Or we hear or read that scripture and God unlocks that door of wisdom so the lights in our heads turn on. Other projects God allows us to chose; it’s something in our lives we no longer want or something we’re striving for. In either situation, Jesus is helping us grow for the better, even if some of the things He askes us to set aside we may consider not-so-bad things (like playing video games all day long). If it’s an ‘easy fix’ then it’ll take a short amount of time to complete, like a carpenter adding a handle to a drawer. If it’s something we’re in the habit of doing then it’s going to take a tremendous amount of time to work through that, just like a carpenter trying to build an ark.
Regardless of how much time or effort you and Jesus have to put into the current project, there is still work to be done and it shouldn’t be put off until later. We are only here on this earth for a short while and we’re here for a reason, we were saved for a reason. If we don’t read scripture, if we don’t pray, if we don’t work side-by-side with Christ to grow and prosper as He has planned us to do we will miss out on the best adventure of our lives. Jesus can lead us down the amazing path of a journey and do things in our lives we never thought would happen. To be honest, if you had asked me five years ago if I believed I would one day love Jesus and love reading the Bible or that I would be typing out posts for this blog, I would have flat out told you no and probably would have resented you for saying such a thing. And yet, this is where a journey with Jesus has brought me so far. I pray you can feel Him moving in your life. Seek Him out and go on an adventure!
“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’.”Jeremiah 29:11
And you probably thought this post was about Noah. 😉