Celebrating the Birth of a Jewish Carpenter: Born with a Purpose

Tis the season!  We recently commemorated the Jewish Festival of Lights (Hanukkah), and as believers, we know that Jesus Himself is the Light of the World (John 8:12, John 9:5). Our sights now turn toward Christmas and the celebration of the birth of our Savior who is Christ the Lord.

But let’s get practical for a few days to consider some physical facts about Jesus’ birth and humanness.  Perhaps we forget that Jesus was physically born into this world just as we were, and faced the same challenges that we face.  True, He was sinless and we are not, but that does not change the fact He was fully man as well as fully God.

Mark 6:3 and Matthew 13:55 clearly identify Jesus as a carpenter, and the son of a carpenter.  Some would dispute that fact, arguing that the Greek word tekton, translated “carpenter,”could mean something different, such as “stone mason.”  It is not a salvation issue, so I prefer not to be dogmatic.  However, a widely accepted definition of tekton is “artisan”or “craftsman.”  While not divinely inspired, early historical writings also distinguish Jesus as an apprentice woodworking craftsman of His earthly father, Joseph.   Together, they made things such as ploughs and yokes out of wood.

Why is it important that Jesus was a tekton?  Because God the Father had a specific earthly purpose for His Son, Jesus!  He was certainly not the only Bible character whose vocational training fit perfectly with what God called them to do.  For example:

  • Elisha – He was plowing a field when Elijah called him into ministry (1 Kings 19).  Plowing entails removing rocks, planting seeds and bringing about growth…which is exactly what Elisha was called to do!
  • Gideon – While separating wheat from chaff, God called him to “weed out” his army (Judges 7), then sift Israel’s enemies.  His vocation prepared him for the purpose God had for him.
  • David – A lowly shepherd boy, tending sheep in a hostile environment (1 Samuel 17).  He fought wild beasts,protected the flock, cared for them, and ultimately used his skills to slay a giant.  What perfect training for the calling God had on his life!
  • The disciples – Many were fishermen, and you know the analogy!  Some of Jesus’ great miracles had to do with miraculous catches of fish. They would become miraculous fishers of men, and thousands would come to faith as their vocation had prepared them!

Likewise, Jesus was born with a purpose and God the Father knew exactly in what “vocation” His Son would be raised to excellence!  In a manger in the city of David, a Savior was born, and we celebrate the birth of that carpenter’s son as Jesus, our Savior and King!

I hope you’ll stick around over the next few days as we look at what Scripture says about Jesus and the vocation prepared for Him by His Father.

See you tomorrow!

“Operation Northern Shield” Going Strong

Three Iranian-backed Hezbollah terror tunnels burrowing into Israel from Lebanon have been discovered by the IDF.  Many more are believed to exist, thus Operation Northern Shield is working overtime to identify, expose and destroy tunnels that extend into Israel.

Here is a recent report from the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs:

Kudos to the IDF…and let’s pray for their safety!

Is the Sea of Galilee Drying Up?

When in Israel, I have seen the low levels at the Sea of Galilee.  Some are fearful that the Sea of Galilee may soon drop below a level at which irreversible damage may be done to the ecosystem.

Here is a report from one of the news channels in Israel:

While I don’t necessarily agree with every statement made in the newscast, these types of reports are becoming more and more frequent.

I find Biblical significance in reports of this nature.  Scripture tells us of famines, earthquakes and various natural disasters that will take place during end times.  The lack of water is just one of many possibilities upon and earth that is groaning for the Lord’s return.

Thus, this serves as a reminder to pray on two different fronts.  First, it is good to pray for Israel’s resources, including water.  Ultimately, though, we know things of this earth will pass away.  Therefore, it should also remind us to pray for salvation of the Jews, Arabs and others in the region (and around the world).  Indeed, we see preparations for the Lord’s return and time is short.  Let’s be people of prayer!