Jesus The Carpenter - June 18, 2006
JESUS THE CARPENTER
IS NOT THIS THE CARPENTER? MARK 6:3
Jesus came to manhood in the city of Nazareth. He left Nazareth and went down to Judaea; was baptized in the River Jordan, tempted in the wilderness, and eventually went back to Nazareth and preached in the synagogue. His message was rejected and they led Him out to the brow of a cliff where the city was built to throw Him down headlong. They would have succeeded had He not exerted His divinity and walked away.
About a year later He returned to Nazareth for a second time as recorded here in Mark chapter six. Why in this world would Jesus want to go back to a city where they had tried to kill Him before, by making Him a skydiver without benefit of a parachute? Personally I would not have gone near that place, but then I am not Jesus.
The second visit was no better than the first. He was rejected again. They actually believed He had done mighty works because they said, “Whence hath this man these mighty works?” Since they could not deny His works, they must have thought He was doing them by the power of the Devil. And the divine record says, “He could do no mighty works there because of their unbelief, save only the healing of a few sick folk.”
Since Jesus had brought His disciples with Him, His disciples were in for a shock. Just recently they had been with Jesus in a boat when a great storm threatened the lives of experienced fishermen, and He, being awakened out of a sound sleep, had arisen and with the words, “Peace be still”, subdued the raging wind and sea to a whimper.
Not only that, they had seen Him deliver a man possessed with a legion of demons, heal a woman with an incurable issue of blood, and raise up from the dead a twelve year-old girl. He obviously was all-powerful, but here was something even Jesus could not do. Not only was it something He could not do then, but also He cannot do now. There is no way the Lord can, or will force anyone to accept salvation, even though they cannot deny what He has done.
They sneeringly called Him the carpenter. At this point we will leave the ancient people of Nazareth and consider what they called Him. They were right when they called Him the carpenter. He was the Carpenter in ways they never dreamed. They said Jesus was a Carpenter. So be it. Now let us examine some of the carpentry work of Jesus, the Master Carpenter.
THE CARPENTER MADE A YOKE
For one thing the Master Carpenter made a yoke. He said, “Come unto Me all ye that labor and are heavy laden and learn of Me, for I AM meek and lowly in heart and ye shall find rest unto your souls, for My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.”
When the Carpenter said, “Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me, and I will give you rest”, He gave the reason we should take that yoke upon us. The reason being, that we might find rest unto our souls. So the soul is the part of us that is heavy laden and needs rest, and not the body. How can the soul be heavy laden? Our souls are heavy laden with the guilt of sin. It was not rest for the physical body, but the soul that needs the rest that only Jesus can give. When you take His yoke, He carries the load and you will learn how to find rest for the soul.
In Revelation 14 there is a good lesson on rest for the soul, “Blessed are the dead from henceforth who die in the Lord from henceforth: saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors; for their works follow them.”
According to that statement of the Spirit, if you are in the Lord when you die your soul will rest. Your body may be dead, but the soul and or spirit lives on in a conscious state, and is at rest.
Peter reminds us why the soul is at rest when he says in his first epistle chapter two, “Who His own self bear our sins in His body upon the tree, that we having died unto sins, might live unto righteousness; by whose stripes we are healed.”
When Jesus carried the cross He fell beneath the load. The load was all of my sins, and that was enough to make Him stagger up the bloody slopes of Calvary, and cry out, “My God My God why hast thou forsaken Me?” The yoke is easy and the burden light because Jesus carried all my sins. The person who has not taken the yoke of Jesus can very well ask, “When I stand before the Judgment seat by and by-Will He be bearing all my sins, or shall I?”
Hear again the invitation of the Master Carpenter, “Take My yoke upon you.” The people of Nazareth were right. Jesus is the Carpenter.
THE CARPENTER MADE A PLOUGH
Not only did the Master Carpenter make a yoke, but He also made a plough. In Luke nine he informs us that the Carpenter said, “No man having put his hand to the plough, and looking back is fit for the Kingdom of God.”
That plough is the greatest plough ever invented. That plough is greater than any mechanized farm equipment in existence today. That plough made by the carpenter Jesus, ploughs furrows in the human heart in preparation for the seed of the Word of God, which when planted will result in the harvest of human souls when the Lord of the harvest commands the angels, “Gather the wheat into My barns.”
When Jesus said, “No man having put his hand to the plough and looking back
In the face of such determination it is no wonder that he spoke of people who put their hands to the plough, and look back not fit for the Kingdom of God. He set His face toward Jerusalem. Shall we not also set our face to Jerusalem--The New Jerusalem that John said he saw coming down out of Heaven.
Many of the membership on the Church roll today are constantly looking back, looking to this side, and then the other. Only God knows how many in our own congregation would fall under that condemnation, “Not fit for the Kingdom of God.” The people of Nazareth were right, Jesus is the Carpenter.
THE CARPENTER MADE A HOUSE
Next we need to consider the Carpenter built a house. Peter refers to that house in the second chapter of his first epistle. Hear these words, “A living stone rejected indeed of men, but with God elect, precious, Ye also as living stones, are built up a spiritual house
Jesus spoke of that House when He declared, 'Upon this rock I will build My Church.' ” And Paul said, “No other foundation can any man lay than that which is laid, even Jesus Christ.”
This House that the Lord built was ready for occupancy on the Day of Pentecost, fifty days after the resurrection, and ten days after the ascension. On that day the gospel in its fullness was first proclaimed telling of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. Those who believed the gospel story were told to, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” About 3,000 responded by being obedient to those terms that same day. This glorious story concludes that the Lord added to the Church day by day those that were saved. I make no comment on those verses since the Holy Spirit has clearly spoken for Himself. Evidently the Carpenter is still building His House even unto this day. The people of Nazareth were right, Jesus is the Carpenter.
THE CARPENTER HAS BUILT A TABLE
Now we must notice that the Carpenter of Nazareth of Galilee has also made a beautiful Table. Paul mentions this Table in First Corinthians ten when he referred to the Lord’s Table.
Listen to something Luke tells us about the Lord’s Table. Regarding the Lord’s Table, he records these words, “And He took bread, and when He had given thanks, He brake it and gave to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of Me. And the cup in like manner after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood, even that which is poured out for you." And behold, the hand of him that betrayeth Me is with Me on the Table.” The Lord’s Table! Think of that, “The hand of him that betrayeth Me, is with Me on the table.”
This was the final warning of Jesus, to Judas to turn back from his plan of betrayal and reject his bargain he had already made with the chief priests to sell Jesus for thirty pieces of silver. What haunting words they were. The hand that betrayeth Me is with Me on the Table. But we do not need to examine Judas, and pass judgment on him as to whether he ate of the loaf and drank the cup; whether he left before, or after the feast makes no difference.
Paul tells us to examine ourselves as we eat of the bread and drink of the cup. However, it is true with us also. When we observe the Lord’s Supper, at the Lord’s Table, our hand is also with Him on the Table, the Table of the Carpenter. We are invited to come to the Lord’s Table. When we reach out and take the bread, our hand is with Him on the Table. When we lift the cup and drink it, our hand is with Him on the Table. At the end of the day before we close our eyes in sleep we can reflect that earlier that day our hand was with Him on the Table; the Table of the Carpenter of Nazareth.
On Monday and the rest of the week as you go about your job in the work place, the home place, the school place, the other place, or any place, remember to say regarding all your activities before the sons of men, “Last Sunday, my hand was with Him on the Lord’s Table.” Was your hand on the Table with Him, the hand of betrayal, was your hand on the Lord’s Table with Him the hand of denial, or was your hand on the Lord’s Table the hand of your witness to the fact that Jesus is the Christ the Son of the living God? Whatever your answer may be, it is always true when you observe the Lord’s Supper on the Lord’s Table, on the Lord’s Day. Your hand is with Him on the Table. The people of Nazareth were right, Jesus is the Carpenter.
THE CARPENTER HAS ERECTED A TEMPLE
In the second chapter of the gospel according to John is the account telling how Jesus erected the Temple at Jerusalem. The Jews therefore answered and said unto Him, “What sign showest Thou unto us seeing that Thou doest these things? Jesus said, Destroy this Temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” They could not understand how He could raise it up in three days since they had been working on it forty-six years.
They did not know it, but He was speaking of the Temple of His body. Later when Jesus was risen from the dead the disciples remembered He had said this, and they believed the scripture, and the word, which Jesus had said. Jesus had referred to His body as a Temple and when He was risen from the dead in three days, His promise came to pass.
It was by His own decision that Jesus lived in the body He called a Temple. Paul reminds us that Jesus considered not being on an equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking on Himself the form of a servant, made in the likeness of man, He humbled Himself even unto death, Yea, the death of the cross.
By His resurrection Jesus fulfilled His promise. He built the Temple of His body again in three days. And this means so much to us because the inspired writer, Paul, informs us that not only was the body of Jesus a Temple, but our own bodies are in God’s sight, a Temple. Listen to Paul in First Corinthians six, “Or know ye not that your body is a Temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you, which ye have from God? And ye are not your own for ye were bought with a price: Glorify God therefore in your body.”
In First Corinthians is a thrilling statement of the Apostle Paul, when he refers to the resurrection of Jesus as the first fruits of them that sleep. If Jesus is the first fruit from the dead, then the Christians are next to follow. He will raise up the Temple of our bodies also as He raised up His own.
The Apostle John speaks about that when he tells us in his first epistle chapter three, “We know that if He shall be manifested, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father, He that hath ears to hear let him hear.”
The Carpenter of Nazareth is still in business building Temples like unto His own. The people of Nazareth were right, Jesus is the Carpenter.
THE CARPENTER HAS BUILT A MANSION
And now at last we consider that the Carpenter of Nazareth is building mansions. He said, “In My Father’s House are many mansions: if it were not so I would have told you.” If it were not so, I would have told you.
Sometimes we sing that spiritual song, “Just Give Me A Cabin In The Corner of Glory Land.” Actually because of the grace of God we don't have to settle for a Cabin in the corner of Glory Land, we can hope for a dwelling mentioned in another song, “I've Got a Mansion Over The Hill Top.” Actually both songs are a little out of sync. Jesus said, “In My Father’s House.” The Father’s House has many mansions or many rooms in it; so it is better to think that our place of residence in Heaven as a room in the Father’s House.
Sometimes Heaven is depicted as a city, sometimes as a far country, but in this case it is called a House, the Father’s House. When Jesus was born there was no room for Him on earth, but in Heaven He will give me my own private room. Thank God, I won’t have to sleep in a celestial manger. He will give us a better reception in Heaven than we gave Him down here.
When I approach the Father’s House at the end of life and get a glimpse of the lights of glory there will not be a “NO VACANCY” sign hanging out. Jesus said He is not only going to prepare a place for me, but He also said, “If it were not so, I would have told you.” We can be just as sure of that room in the Father’s House as we are sure that Jesus told us the truth. What a view some will have from the room Jesus has prepared for us in the Father’s House. I suppose those who have suffered for their faith in a martyr’s death as well as some preachers who have had holes burned in their bellies by the stress of ulcers may have a front room in the Father’s House looking down Hallelujah Boulevard. Others, like me, who had such an easy time preaching on the radio, will have to be satisfied with a back room in the Father’s House looking down Ebeneezer Alley. However I will not complain; I will be satisfied with whatever room the Lord has prepared for me. It looks like the people of Nazareth were right, Jesus is the Carpenter.
Charles M. Sheldon has written these lines:
“If I could hold within my hand the hammer Jesus swung
Not all the gold in all the land, nor jewels countless as the sand
All in the balance flung; Could buy the value of that thing
Round which His fingers used to cling.
If I could have the Table He once made at Nazareth
Not crowns of Kings or Kings to be
Nor pearls unnumbered from the sea; So long as men have breath
Could buy from me that thing He made
The Lord of Lords who learned a trade.
Yet, but that hammer still is shown; In hands of honest toil
And round that table men sit down And all are equal with a crown
No gold, nor pearls soil; That shop at Nazareth was bare
But the brotherhood was builded there.”
At least the unbelievers of Nazareth had one thing right, Jesus is the Carpenter!