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JESUS THE CARPENTER

 On one occasion, those in the country of Jesus were amazed at His wisdom and miracles and asked, "Is not this the carpenter's son? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas?" (Mt. 13:55). Thus, Joseph, Jesus' foster father, was a carpenter. In keeping with the Jewish culture that believed that "He who does not teach his son a trade teaches him to steal," Joseph taught his eldest boy to use a hammer and saw. That was how his fellow citizens of Nazareth came to think of Jesus-"the carpenter's boy," and later just, "the carpenter" (Mk.  6:3). Those who knew Jesus as a child couldn't believe how far He had come from His humble beginnings. They looked at Jesus as a carpenter's son rather than as God's Son. Although they needed to look at Jesus in a new way, it is profitable for us to consider Him as a carpenter.

First, Jesus the carpenter made the world.

John wrote, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made" (John 1: 1-3). The context makes it clear that the Word was Christ (John 1: 14). Paul wrote, "Unto me, whom am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, --that I should preach among -the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; and to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ" (Eph. 3:8-9).

It is easy to see the perfect design of the world. Emerson said it this way: "The world was built in order and the atoms march in tune." If the earth were any farther from the sun, we would freeze to death. If it were any closer, we would bum up. It is easy to see the perfect design in man. An ancient Hebrew song said, "I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest part of the earth" (Psa. 139:14,15). We have to agree with Carl Sandburg:

When God scooped up a handful of dust, And spit on it, and molded the shape of man, And blew a breath into it and told it to walkThat was a great day.

The Psalmist correctly wrote, "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night showeth knowledge" (Psa. 19:1,2). "Let us study the visible creation as we will; take the anatomy of the smallest animal; look at the smallest grain of corn that is planted in the earth, and the manner in which its germ produces and multiplies; observe attentively the rose-bud, how carefully it opens to the sun and closes at its setting; and we shall see more skill and design than in all the works of man."'

Second, Jesus the carpenter built the church.

When Simon confessed that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the living God, Jesus responded by blessing Peter and promising to build his church. We read, "And I say also unto thee, 'I hat thou art Peter, and upon this rock, I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it" (Mt. 16:18). Jesus built His church on the first Pentecost following His resurrection (Acts 2:47). It is not hard to see the perfect construction of the church. It is built on a foundation that will never crumble (1 Cor. 3:11). Its walls are made of living stones that are perfectly ordered by the chief cornerstone (1 Pet. 2:4-6) and cemented together with the mortar of love (John 15:12). It is adorned by a solid door that can only be opened by the owner (Jn. 10:7, 9; Rev. 3:7). It has a window that fills the house with light (2 Tim. 3:16-17; Psa. 119:105). As Christians, we must continually give thanks that we are a part of the church that Jesus built.

Third, Jesus the carpenter is building mansions in heaven.

Shortly before His departure from earth, Jesus said, "Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare  a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself-, that where I am, there ye may be also" (Jn. 14:2-3).

Nothing on earth compares favorably to any part of heaven. When many savings and loan institutions failed in 1989, the federal government had to dispose of numerous properties. One was most interesting was the six acre NcCune mansion in Paradise Valley, Arizona. Walker NcCune built it in the 1960's for his young bride. The house contains fifty-three thousand square feet and includes an ice-skating rink, an Olympic swimming pool, a fourteen-car garage, its own beauty salon, guesthouse, and a ballroom with an $80,000 chandelier.

Oddly enough, Mrs. NcCune didn't like it and refused to move in. She never lived in it. Perhaps there are others who don't like Paradise Valley, Arizona, but no one will be dissatisfied with the mansion Christ has prepared for His bride. It is located in paradise (Rev. 2:7). Its climate is perfect, The sun will not light on us nor. any heat (Rev. 7:16). It features the sparking river of life and the beautiful tree of life (Rev. 22:1-2). The place that Jesus is preparing for us is located on a golden street (Rev. 21:21), inside gates of pearl that never have to be shut (Rev. 21:25). Finally, the place that Jesus is preparing for us has wonderful neighbors (Rev. 21:27). It is easy to see the perfect design of the place that Jesus is preparing for us-a more beautiful place has never been prepared by any carpenter.

Jesus the carpenter built the greatest things ever built. When we consider the world, the church, and the home that Jesus is preparing for us, we must thank God for Jesus the carpenter as well as Jesus the Savior.

by Wade Webster