Summary: Jesus was born into the family of a carpenter - a builder. Why? Was this significant? Student ministry PowerPoint format.
[A Jewish Carpenter – Building a Legacy]
Slide Graphic – A Jewish Carpenter (of course) – see http://www.postcardman.net/24928.jpg
Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas?
"Where did this man get these things?" they asked. "What’s this wisdom that has been given him, that he even does miracles! 3Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?" And they took offense at him.
Jesus, we believe, was God himself made flesh. He chose to become human, live among us, and allow himself to be crucified as punishment in our place for the evil we have done.
As God, he could have chosen any family on earth to be born into. Since he was coming to reveal a personal religion, he might have chosen to be born into the family of a priest. He might have chosen to be born into a wealthy, respected family which might have changed how broadly his message could have been spread in the briefs years of his ministry. He might have chosen to be born into a politically powerful family, even as a prince.
Instead, Christ chose, from the beginning of time, to take this one brief opportunity to live among us in the flesh, and be born into the family of a carpenter. Until the time he was close to 30 years old, he lived in the house of a builder. No doubt, Jesus worked side by side with his father, building things: houses, furniture, who knows what. He may have even had to take over the family business if something happened to his father, as many scholars believe. Think about this. Somebody in Nazareth was living in a house, or eating at a table, physically built by God himself. How would you like to have a chair made by Christ with his own hands?
Why, do you think God chose to be a part of this particular family?
I don’t consider this to be bible-trivia. I think this plan reveals a lot about the character of God.
[Carpenter? Or Stonemason?]
Slide graphics – stonemasons
Slide Text –
4As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him— 5you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6For in Scripture it says:
"See, I lay a stone in Zion,
a chosen and precious cornerstone,
and the one who trusts in him
will never be put to shame."
7Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe,
"The stone the builders rejected
has become the capstone," 8and,
"A stone that causes men to stumble
and a rock that makes them fall."
Jesus said to them, "Have you never read in the Scriptures: " ’The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone;the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes’?
22 The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone; 23 the LORD has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes.
14 and he will be a sanctuary; but for both houses of Israel he will be a stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall. And for the people of Jerusalem he will be a trap and a snare.
Jesus was said to be a carpenter but the Greek word tekton, which is translated as "carpenter" had a meaning quite different from the way carpenter is defined today. The Greek word tekton has been translated as “carpenter” in many English Bibles, but the word actually means “a craftsman who builds.
Nazareth was a rural Jewish community of about three hundred people, probably all from the same extended family. But it was not a sheltered retreat. As he grew up, Jesus could see the construction of nearby Sepphoris. And a bustling trade route—the Via Maris—passed nearby. Given that Israel’s buildings were constructed of stones and rocks, Jesus likely worked as a stonemason rather than a carpenter. He probably spent hours helping his father shape and cut stones.
Jesus was indeed a craftsman. In Mark 6:3 he is referred to as a tekton. This word is usually translated ‘carpenter’, but it can also mean a carpenter/builder or artisan. Traditional village culture in the Middle East uses little furniture. The Gospels rarely mention home furnishings. In short, a cabinetmaker would find little to do in a small village like Nazareth. But doors and roof beams are necessary in every house, and they require a woodworker’s skills. Jesus tells a number of parables that refer to the building trade. While he was growing up in Nazareth, the provincial capital Sepphoris was being constructed by Herod Antipas. Joseph may well have moved to Nazareth because there was work for a carpenter/builder in Sepphoris four miles away.