JESUS WAS A CARPENTER
I read a quote recently that sent me, head spinning, questions rising, straight to the Forge. The thought was fun to me at first, but the more I hammered it out in my head, the more convicting it became. It’s about Jesus’ job. The quote says,
“Jesus was a carpenter, but never wrote about it.”
Think about that. Jesus made a living, day in and day out, doing the family business, carpentry, and never even once referred to it. Why? Nobody does that—nobody that I know of. Vocations are generally used to make a living, but whether we mean them to be or not, vocations are used as points of reference. We talk a lot about what we do, because so much of life happens in the daily grind of doing. Doesn’t it just peek your interest to know that Jesus chose a vocation in life, and according to the entire book that was written about Him, He never mentions it Himself? O it is mentioned twice in the gospels of Mark 6:3, and Matthew 13:55. But never once was it spoken from Jesus’ own mouth. In chapter 5-7 of Mathew’s gospel we find Jesus preaching the greatest sermon ever spoken by man, and yet not a peep about his former job. You would have thought, that somewhere in the cannon, Jesus would at least have said, “I used to be a carpenter.” Or, maybe one out of the 46 parables could have been reserved as an allegory about a carpenter or carpenter’s son, or something to that affect—but nope, not a word. I love stuff like this. It’s fun to think about. But make no mistake, Jesus’ ways are higher than ours and this fun little piece of trivia is about to have some teeth in a second. The last part of the quote (the convicting part) says this,
“He never mentioned it because He was more interested in what others were doing.”
If you’ll permit me, I’m going to be a little bolder than the quote and suggest that Jesus was more than just “more interested.” Jesus loved others more than what He had been doing: carpentry. Just a quick sidebar, this is specifically something that I have asked God for many times—to help me love people. So, if you’re wondering, yes, this journal entry hits a bit more on the nose than most for me. “God help me to love people,” is something I have prayed and confessed to numerous friends and maybe even mentioned on theinkForge. The ongoing joke between me and God is, He answered my prayer… He made me a worship pastor. That answered prayer, now a calling, has been both fun and sobering. It is also progressive, just like tested-faith should be. The latest installment of that growth, for me, comes via this thought that,
“Jesus loved people more than what He did (his job).”
I’m a musician and have been for a long time. I actually climbed onto a bus in pursuit of my musical dreams when I was only 13 years old and over 30 years later, I’m still climbing onto buses, but that’s another story.
My point is, musicians are fairly in tune with culture and the trends of society by nature of their art, but musicians can be some of the most selfish people on the planet. I can say that because I am one, and the shoe not only fits, I have multiple pairs to incriminate myself. I don’t mean selfish in the cruel or vindictive way, but I do mean it in the self-absorbed way. It’s an irony how we musicians can be so touchy-feely about so many sensitive issues of our days and yet miss the mark so dismally about the issue of life: love.
It’s hard, I know. Talk to most of us, and we’ll fill you in on our hard times in a Nashville-minute. Believe me, you won’t have to twist a musician’s arm. Bring up their passion, music, and you’ll get an ear full. Everything ranging from writing blocks, to publishing woes, financial strain, how to get noticed in an over saturated town called, Nashville—where the guy flipping your burgers can sometimes play better than you. O, it goes on, trust me. Record company and management wars, A&R bullies that will not let an artist be who they are and on and on it goes, but something is missing. I know, because these stories were my stories. I know, because the missing element was so incredibly embarrassing to me. Do you see it? It’s hard to, nowadays more than ever. In our modern world of, selfie/networking/look at me/please-like-my-page/etc., where is my heart? It seems harmless, right? Then I look at Jesus’ approach to His job—to his life.
We’re constantly talking, blogging, and tweeting about what we did or are doing, but Jesus didn’t do that. Jesus was constantly talking about what His Father was doing, and He was telling it to those He loved!
Jesus didn’t seek out the greatest carpenters and try to get in with them to do a start-up company that would revolutionize the world of carpentry. Sounds funny, but He could have, mind you. He could do anything. What did Jesus spend His time talking about? Jesus spoke about His Father and loved people like they were family. He especially, invested in 12 men and a handful of women.
Today’s question is so simple but has the potential to shape the rest of your life.
DO I LOVE PEOPLE MORE THAN WHAT I AM PURSUING? AND EVEN MORE IMPORTANTLY, DO I LOVE GOD MORE THAN THEM BOTH?
Let my hart take on the shape of Yours. Where Yours is broken, break mine. Where Yours is tender, pour mine out. Where Yours is wholly devoted, let mine take root. Where Yours is consumed with love for me and the things of the Father, let mine be for You. O God, let me love people more than what I do. And let it start by loving YOU more than anything this world can offer me.