Sometimes things that we have known forever hit us in a new way. This morning I read a little reflection about work. In it the author quotes John’s Gospel which says that we should ‘work for the food which endures for eternal life’, but then he goes on to say that we should still work with our hands, after all, Jesus was a carpenter for more than twenty years.
Although I knew that, I guess that I never really thought about it. Imagine, Jesus working for twenty years as the carpenter of the town, the man down the street that built things with his hands. How many people came to him and asked for something to be built or repaired? How many times did people walk by and see the lamps glowing in the window as the man inside sawed and hammered wood? How many times did people admire the work of this carpenter of Nazareth?
And then, one day he abandoned his carpenter’s shop and set down the road to begin a different type of work. Isn’t is understandable that people were confused? Can’t we see why people doubted and questioned? Think about it, what if your plumber or dry cleaner took such a radical path one day?
It’s so easy to look back and judge Jesus’ contemporaries. Knowing what we do today we ask, ‘how could they not have accepted him as the long awaited Messiah?’ and yet, think about it….if I were living then, would I step out of the ‘traditional Jewish Law’ and follow this man?
A carpenter for over twenty years…. a preacher, teacher and miracle worker for three years….and our God for all eternity.