Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Is Not This the Carpenter? (Part 1 of 3)

“Is this not the Carpenter?” (Mark 6:3).

We know that Jesus grew up in Nazareth, and worked in Joseph’s carpentry shop. Thus, by trade, He was a carpenter. But what puzzles us is that He learned things as He was growing up. In one place the Scripture says, “though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered” (Heb 5:8). See the enigma here?

How can One is All-knowing learn anything? The mystery is solved once we realize that Jesus, when He became a Man, gave up the claim to all things that made Him Divine. He laid aside His omnipotence, His omnipresence, and His omniscience. As a Man, He was not all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-present.

He was a Carpenter.

G.H.Morrison wrote, “Every man learns certain lessons from the trade in which he is engaged.” (Highways of the Heart, pg.40). Thus, Jesus learned things by working as a carpenter. The shop in which He worked was not simply filled with planks of wood and piles of saw-dust and wood chips – for Him it was full of parables and lessons. What are some things Jesus may have learned in that little Nazarene shop?

Here are three lessons suggested by Morrison years ago.

First, Jesus would have learned how much may be hidden in a common thing. Be there on that day when a shipment of trees arrived at the shop. After they were unloaded, the process would start by lopping off branches, stripping the bark, and cutting the timber into a variety of sizes and lengths.

Soon, after the skilled hands of the Workman applied His talents, that gnarled wood that once stood as but a tree in the forest was now turned into a plough, a bowl, a desk, a bed. If these are the things that can be seen in a piece of wood – what else can be seen if we but look around us?

Morrison observes, “Jesus saw the Kingdom in a mustard seed. He saw the citizen of heaven in a child. He saw, as no one else has ever seen, how much lays hidden in the human heart, and in the lives and characters of common men.”

What do you suppose it is that Jesus sees in you?

We continue this discussion tomorrow…


No comments: