Summary: Christ as a craftsman, makes our world, and our salvation.
Proverbs 8:22-31: THE CRAFTSMAN AT GOD’S SIDE
Have you ever watched a craftsman working hard at his craft? Maybe you’ve watched a construction crew build a house. While we were remodeling this building, I watched all kinds of craftsman - a carpenter, a plumber, an electrician – each one worked hard at carrying out his craft. I think it’s interesting watching people put together things. You can learn a lot about people by watching them do their craft. Are they smart? Are they hardworking? What is this craftsman like?
In the books of Proverbs, Jesus describes himself as a craftsman. It’s true, at one time in his life, he was a carpenter. But in these verses, we see him in more advanced crafts. Today, we’re going to look at two very important things that Jesus crafted – the world, and our salvation. Our goal this morning, is to just sit and watch Jesus, the craftsman, and as we do, we’re going to learn a few things about him. We’re going to grow in our relationship with him. As the Holy Spirit works on you, you will be growing in your faith today.
You wouldn’t expect to find Jesus in the book of Proverbs. Most of the time, he’s in the Gospel of Matthew or the Gospel of Mark. But here he is, in Proverbs chapter 8. The chapter begins by talking about wisdom. Wisdom is personified. Wisdom speaks as though it’s a person. For example, in verse 12, Wisdom says, “I, wisdom, dwell together with prudence, I possess knowledge and discretion.” But then, in verse 22, as wisdom talks, it starts to sound like Jesus. And by the time the chapter is over, you know for sure that this IS Jesus that is talking. And that’s not just a coincidence. The Bible tells us that wisdom isn’t just a concept – it’s a person – Christ is wisdom, and wisdom is Christ.
When we picture Christ, we always picture him as the Son of God who started working AFTER he was born on Christmas. But according to the Bible, Jesus was working long BEFORE he was born on Christmas. Look at verse 22: “I was appointed from eternity, from the beginning, before the world began.” Christ existed before the world began. Verses 23: “When there were no oceans, I was given birth.” Or verse 24: “Before the mountains were settled in place, before the hills, I was given birth.”
We confess that truth in our Nicene Creed, when we say that we believe in Jesus Christ, who was “eternally begotten of the Father.” God the Father and God the Son existed together before the world came into existence. They were two separate persons, but one God, closely united together, before the world was made. Let me ask you this morning: can you fully understand that? That God the Son was begotten by God the Father before the creation of the world – is that something that you can fully understand?
What if I were to tell you that next week, for our children’s Sunday School, we are going to have a rocket scientist come in, and that rocket scientist is going to explain to our Sunday School children the complexities of the space shuttle program. He’s going to fill the wall with mathematical equations. He’s going to draw diagrams of engine parts. He’s going to explain how rocket fuel works. He’s also going to explain how all these things are funded. Do you think our Sunday School class will understand that rocket scientist? No – those things would be beyond their understanding, and probably our understanding too.
Completely understanding Christ is even more complex. How do you explain that that close bond, that unity, between God the Father and God the Son? There are certain times in the Bible when you just have to take a step back and say, “This is beyond me. I’m just going to believe it, without trying to understand it.” When the Bible says that Jesus was brought forth, or begotten, by the Father, from eternity, don’t try to understand it. Just stand in awe of Christ, and believe, and worship him.
Many people picture Christ as the Savior of all mankind, and that’s it. But the Bible tells us that Jesus was also involved in the creation of the world. Verse 27: “I was there when he set the heavens in place, when he marked out the horizon on the face of the deep…” Verse 30: “I was the craftsman at his side.” Jesus was the craftsman, the skilled worker, crafting the world alongside of God the Father, the two of them, as one God, working closely together. Christ, the water of life, crafting the lakes and the oceans. Christ, the rock of salvation, crafting the hills and mountains. And notice how Christ felt after he was finished crafting his creation, verse 30: “I was filled with delight day after day, rejoicing always in his presence, rejoicing in the whole world, and delighting in mankind.” Christ is pictured as delighting in the creation of the world and especially delighting in mankind.