December 22, 2022 – Thursday
Matthew 13:55 NIV
55 Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother called Mary, and his brothers, James and Joses, and Simon, and Judas?
Mark 6:3 NIV
3 “Is not this that carpenter, Mary’s son, the brother of James and Joses, and of Judas and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us?” And they were offended by Him.
There are only two verses in the New Testament that have the word carpenter, and both are given above. This seems a bit odd as we know Jesus’ earthly father was Joseph, a carpenter. In the first verse we read, Is not Jesus the son of the carpenter Joseph and in the second Is not this that carpenter? The second telling us that Jesus carried on what Joseph had taught Him.
It is also strange that this carpenter, Joseph – Jesus’ earthly father, never has a verse in the Bible where he speaks. We know from Matthew 1 that he is of the lineage of Abraham and David. We also know he was a man of great faith as on three occasions he acted on messages from God. First in Matthew 1:20-24, he was directed to accept Mary – even though she was with child – as his wife, and he did so without question. Next in Matthew 2:13, he fled with Mary and Jesus to Egypt as directed again in a dream, again without question. Then in Matthew 2:19-20, again in a dream, an angel of God tells him he can now safely return to Israel from Egypt as King Herod had died and it was now safe for Jesus to return. And once again he acts on this without question, and they return to Israel.
Joseph was a carpenter and so was Jesus, but what was a carpenter? Thayer’s Greek Lexicon tells us Strong’s 5045 is a worker in wood, a carpenter. The NAS Concordance gives us a craftsman, specifically a carpenter. And Strong’s gives us a craftsman in wood — carpenter. No surprises there as we even today recognize carpenters as workers or craftsmen in wood. My father was a carpenter, a trade he learned on the job, as did two of my brothers. One became a master craftsman, the other moved on to mechanics in his retirement.
Two quotes from Guzik: Trapp – Justin Martyr, an ancient writer, testifieth, that our Saviour, ere he entered upon the ministry, made ploughs, yokes, and so forth. But was not that an honest occupation? And Spurgeon – Julian the apostate, as he is called, once asked a certain Christian, ‘What do you think the carpenter’s son is doing now?’ ‘Making coffins for you and for all his enemies,’ was the prompt reply. Gill’s Exposition of the Bible gives a fuller version of that which Spurgeon quotes, From the answer the Christian schoolmaster at Antioch gave to Libanius the sophister; who being big with expectation of Julian the apostate’s getting the victory, asked the schoolmaster, what he thought the carpenter’s son was doing? To which, after a short pause, he replied; O sophister! the Creator of all things, whom thou callest the carpenter’s son, is making a coffin for Julian; who accordingly died in a few days after.
Bottom Line: Our Creator worked as a carpenter until He was of age to begin His ministry as a rabbi and teacher.
Prayer: Almighty God, Jesus truly knew what it was to be human working as a carpenter until He was 30 years of age. Thus, You show us that such humble work is of real value in our own lives. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton