Yesterday we discovered the purpose bestowed upon the Jewish Carpenter. Our Savior, Jesus Christ, was born for His Father’s purpose, and became a Master Carpenter. But, I bet Joseph himself was a very skilled, master carpenter as well! He taught his Son the finer details of the trade, as well as the importance of excellence in even the tiniest details. It simply makes sense that God the Father would choose the perfect earthly father to teach His Son the earthly lessons that would carry over into the very purpose the Father had for His Son!
Think about this: at Christmas time, we picture Baby Jesus in a manger. Again, though some would argue the manger was really of stone rather than wood, let’s not get bogged down in dispute. (We’ll get to that stone part tomorrow!) The fact that our God in heaven came down to earth in human form as a baby, and was laid in a manger is significant. A manger is a feeding trough. Isn’t it interesting that the Bread of Life (John 6:35) was born in Bethlehem (“House of Bread”), in a feeding trough, perhaps made of wood? (Who said God is not into details!?!)
Let’s go a step further in understanding the Father’s Masterpiece. In Psalm 1, Psalm 92, Isaiah 61 and elsewhere, Scripture likens people to trees. Wood represents our humanity. In fact, Zechariah 3:2-4 and Amos 4:11 describe sinful man as a wooden stick snatched from fire by our God of mercy. Just like wood, we are frail, corruptible and unable to last forever. We rot, yet the Jewish Carpenter turns rough planks into useful tools and beautiful vessels. Perhaps He chops off unnecessary pieces, sands down the rough patches and planes us to fit His blueprint. He is, after all, a Master Craftsman. That’s what the Father prepared Him to be!
Interestingly, Isaiah,Jeremiah and Romans all describe the relationship between a potter and the clay. Clay does not tell the potter how it will be molded, shaped or used! Likewise, I don’t think this knotty plank will demand of the Carpenter how it will be used! The Father’s Masterpiece is fashioned in the hands of the One who became a Master Carpenter just like His father!
As we gaze upon the manger this Christmas season, may we be reminded that we are in the hands of the Great Carpenter…the One whose purpose is to design us to be the masterpiece God the Father intended us to be from the beginning of creation!
Come back tomorrow as we celebrate the birth of a Jewish Carpenter with a different twist!