The Carpenter Jesus
Authored by Mike Furey
The Carpenter Jesus
Jesus was fully man and fully God. The focus in this message is on his humanity. Once a man remarked to me that Jesus never became sick. I said, "You mean he never had a cold, or sneezed even?" He said,"No." I didn't believe that and still don't. This man thought if you ever got sick it was because you lacked faith. That's just not true. I asked that man, "Well, did Jesus' lips ever get parched from working in the sun all day, or did his skin get bronzed from being exposed to the sun after working long hours? Could he have gotten a sun burn then?" He said, "No." I asked, "Did Jesus have to wear diapers of some kind when he was a baby or did he ever have to use the rest room as a man?" He said, "No." I said nothing back. It was obvious that the Jesus he had in mind had no type of humanity at all. But Jesus was fully man as well as fully God. He was God in the flesh. He took on the form of a servant and humbled himself so that he might die, take the punishment for our sins, and save us from eternal punishment.
The only fact revealed about the life of Jesus as a man is that he worked in the field of carpentry. You've seen the bumper sticker, "My Boss Is A Jewish Carpenter." Actually, the Bible states that his earthly father, Joseph, was a carpenter. It says, in Matthew 13:55 "Is not this the carpenter's son?" As custom dictates, sons followed their fathers in their trades. God used a righteous man named Joseph to train Jesus in the ways of wood working. But, why carpentry?
I can imagine Jesus learning to swing a hammer at an early age. Luke 2:52 tells us that Jesus grew in knowledge. It is an art swinging a hammer against a frame or pounding a nail in one blow. When I used to work in construction as a plumber's assistant I would wonder how many times Jesus hit his thumb with a hammer and bashed it so hard that it sliced open or became purple? Or, how many times did Jesus ever step on a nail while on the job or even accidently bang a nail into his hand? (Don't hold a handful of nails while trying to bang another nail in or you may find out!) The Bible tells us he suffered on all points like as we do, but yet without sin. I am sure Jesus went home tired and hungry after a good day's work. I am sure he had his share of job related injuries, including a hammer bashed thumb. I am sure his skin exhuded sweat and became tan from the hot Galileean sun. And I have often wondered how many times a splinter might have pierced the skin of the carpenter Jesus. But, I don't know. But, why carpentry?
I think Jesus had bashed his thumb so many times in the course of his earthly career that he could tell you all the stages of the pain process and the healing process. In my university days I worked as a welder. I got little burns every night from slag or sparks and occassionally a portion of my skin might make contact with hot welded metal. I got so used to being burned that I could tell almost exactly how long the pain would last and the different stages of pain from a burn. It would have a peak moment and then gradually die down in a certain order of pain level. So, if I got burned on one particular night I would know how much I would have to go through already, it was just going to be about 4 hours of harsh pain and then...
Imagine Jesus as a man, as an ex-carpenter facing the cross. It was wood. He would be nailed to it! It must have caused his head to spin with all the past experiences he had getting hurt and getting through past pains. But, now! He had felt nails in his foot before. But this time bigger ones. He had hit his thumb before. But this time his hands would be torn in a monstrous way. As a carpenter, Jesus' terror must have been increased by experience. He knew a portion of the type of pain he would be feeling, but he had never experienced injuries to that degree. The cross would be his most painful, horrible, and unrelentless moments. Oh, how Jesus the God-man suffered for you and me! He truly paid a price for our sins. Do you accept his death on the cross as your death, as the payment for your sin?