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Summary: It was not by chance or mere coincidence that Christ was raised in the environment of a carpenter’s shop.

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In Mark 6:3 we read, "Is not this the carpenter?" I believe nothing was left to chance in the life of our Lord. Every day’s experience had been foreseen and planned in the counsels of deity before the Incarnation took place. There were no surprises for Him. He was never caught unaware. He knew the way out of everything into which He went, even the grave.

I believe that even the environment in which He lived was planned and purposed by the Father. It was no mere chance or casual happening that determined He should live His life in the environment of a carpenter’s shop.

What would you have chosen for His occupation, were it left to your discretion to decide?

He Was Not a Shepherd

You might have chosen the environment of the sheepfold and the shepherd life, for this would have been appropriate to identify the purpose of His spiritual ministry. His own favorite figure of Himself was that of the shepherd, and didn’t He come as David’s greater son and heir, and wasn’t David the shepherd king? How fitting that his Son should go from the sheepfold to the throne.

But He was not a shepherd.

He Was Not a Lawyer

Some might say, "I would have chosen the environment of a lawyer’s home."

... the lawyer in the Old Testament sense ... those men who expounded the law of God. Surely no one ever lived who so capably expounded and revealed to us all that God is, as Christ did. But He was not a lawyer.

He Was Neither a Physician or Fisherman

You might say, "I would have chosen for him the physician’s office, for truly He is the great physician." But He was not a physician.

Still someone else might say, "I would have chosen the environment of the fisherman’s hut, for He spoke of Himself as the fisher of men, and offered to teach others to become a fisher of men, also." But He was not a fisherman.

Any one of these environments in His boyhood shows, in a beautiful symbol, the glory and purpose of His spiritual ministry. But He was none of them ... He was a carpenter.

He Is The Master Shepherd

He is the Master Shepherd who seeks "until" He finds. How many shepherds have gone looking for the lost sheep in a storm, and failing to find it, returned to the comfort of their warm fireside and to the pleasure of sleep; but not so with our blessed Lord. When He starts on the trail of the lost sheep, He seeks "until."

Surely everyone who is saved by His infinite grace knows what a wonderful shepherd He is. Not only did He seek until He found us, but our hearts rejoice in the consciousness of the place of security we now occupy. Many people misquote Luke 15:5. They say, "He lays it on His shoulder." The correct quotation is, "He lays it on His shoulders." (Plural)

What a difference! A lamb or sheep laid upon the shoulder of the shepherd means it would be dangling about, but the oriental shepherd does not do it that way. He gathers the two front legs into one powerful hand, and the two hind legs into the other hand, lifts the sheep over His head and wraps it around His shoulders.

It stays there until the fold is reached. What a picture of our blessed Savior.


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