Is This Not The Carpenter?


Even though Jesus Christ performed many miracles and was full of authority and wisdom in His teachings when He preached in His hometown, the fellow villagers of our Lord despised Him because of His station, saying, ˇ§Is this not the carpenter?ˇ¨ (Mark 6:3) They also disdained Him because they knew His family members, saying, "Isn't this the carpenter's son? Isn't his mother's name Mary, and aren't his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas? Aren't all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?" (Matthew 13:55-56) The attitude of Christˇ¦ fellow villagers towards Him fulfills the prophesy of Isaiah regarding the world despising and rejecting the Messiah. (Isaiah 53:3) Because of their lack of faith and respect, Christ did not do many miracles there. (Matthew 13:58)


In the elemental social fabric of first century Palestine, the role and function of each profession and each trade had distinct delineations. Farmers grew crops. Herdsmen raised livestock. Merchants tended to commerce and trading. There was little overlapping of personal roles in society. Rarer still were exceptional abilities that overreached oneˇ¦s station and role. His fellow villagers did not know where Christ attained this supreme level of theological enlightenment, and especially could not understand why He had such great spiritual wisdom. Christ was like a very learned rabbi. His speech carried extraordinary power. No wonder even the temple officers who were well acquainted with the teachings of the Scribes and Pharisees declared in astonishment, ˇ§No man ever spoke like this man.ˇ¨ (John 7:46) The villagers were even more amazed and bewildered by the miracles performed by Christ. To them, Christ was a carpenter, so how could He teach like a rabbi? How could He heal like a physician? So they despised Him (despised in the original language could mean stumbled because of). This means that because they could not comprehend or decipher the words and actions of Christ, they judged Him on His superficial standing, subjectively and arbitrarily disdaining His heritage without further inquiring, ˇ§Surely this man is the prophet.ˇ¨ (John 7:40, Acts 3:23) Christˇ¦ fellow villagers only knew Him as the carpenter, bearing the role and function of a carpenter, and did not recognize Him as the One sent from God. That may be why the Lord in His teachings and conversations often said that He was sent from the Heavenly Father. (John 5:37, 6:38, 7:16, 8:16, 12:44, 14:24) As well, the villagers despised Christ because they knew His family members. Perhaps because they grew up with His siblings, and maybe even observed Christ growing up together with them, they took Him to be an ordinary person just like His siblings, and did not believe that He was sent from God.


I am somewhat concerned about our next generation for their lack of true understanding of Jesus Christ. They may know that He is not just a carpenter, and are cognitively aware that He is the Saviour, the Son of God. Yet do they really recognize that this Jesus is not just the historical Jesus, but the God that truly exists today? Do they really perceive that Christ is not merely the Saviour of our souls, but the Lord of our lives? Are they aware that Christ is not just a good shepherd, but a good carpenter as well, building us up with the reflection and wondrous skill of His expertise, so that we (the church) will come together in the future as the Holy City - the New Jerusalem? Will our next generation be like Christˇ¦ fellow villagers, perceiving Christ as a common man because they saw that His siblings were ordinary people? We must ask ourselves introspectively, are our children surmising from our persons that Christ is just an ordinary being, not knowing that He is the craftsman of life nor seeing the work that He does upon us, and perhaps even despising Christ on account of us?


ˇ§For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.ˇ¨ (Ephesians 2:10) ˇ§ˇK.. now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.ˇ¨ (Philippians 1:20)


By: Daniel To