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day 129: The Carpenter’s Apprentice

In church this past Sunday we were told that the Jesus who rode into Jerusalem on the donkey on the day that we now call Palm Sunday, was as human as you or I. For the illustration of this the Pastor reminded us of Jesus’ occupation from the time he was old enough to work until he was 30 was that of a carpenter. As I sat there and reflected on this I thought of my grandfather who was also a carpenter. I thought of the rough hands from handling wood and tools, the strong forearms and shoulders from lifting and holding and moving heavy materials, his mule-like strength in his back and legs from all the years of this type of work. Also, my grandfather as a carpenter was amazing with math and logic. He could divide and multiply fractions in his head and he could look at a structural problem and with a little bit of staring, head-scratching and thinking, he would come up with a solution. He was also more than diligent when it came to simple axioms (life lessons) like, “measure twice, cut once”. He never wasted any energy or material. It was the carpenter’s way. I then look at Jesus and what He did in his ministry and realize that His carpenter’s hands were those of real people doing hard work. The carpenter’s arms, shoulders, back and legs are the strength of bearing the burdens of the human world. The carpenter’s mind and logic could look into humanity and divide, multiply and figure out the equations and solutions that man can’t. Like a carpenter, Jesus used every moment and raw material of the men who followed him to the greatest utilization and never wasted a moment to teach and leave behind a lesson and example to follows. The occupation of carpenter was as good of preparation for moving into His ministry as could be imagined. And when He began to teach and amaze those around Him, it was only that much more remarkable that these words came from the carpenter. We see this in Mark 6:2-3: “…Where did he get all his wisdom and the power to perform such miracles? He’s just the carpenter…” When I was a boy my grandfather would not let me use his tools. He told me that I could learn just as much by watching him use them. You know, he was right. Just like the Carpenter; we learn by watching, learning, living and loving. And today, when we go to do our own jobs, let us be the Carpenter’s apprentice and learn on the job to be the example and role model that God wants us to be. And let us remember that like us, Jesus toiled for His wage for most of His life and He mastered an earthly skill and through that work He saw the humanity around Him. When we look at those around us through their eyes we can see what they are up against, what wears them down and what keeps them going. When they look into our eyes can they they see the Carpenter’s Apprentice?

Reference: Mark 6:2-3 (New Living Testament)