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!