Who is this Carpenter?

The Bible clearly makes reference to Jesus as a carpenter. He was born in Bethlehem and then his family moved to Nazareth, where Jesus grew up . His earthly father, Joseph, was a carpenter by trade and just as it was the tradition at the time, Jesus also worked as a carpenter before he began his ministry. He was referred to as “the carpenter's son”. The book of Matthew 13:55 is the only instance in the bible in which Jesus is referred to as a carpenter, " Is this not the carpenter's son? Is not his mother called Mary? And are not his brothers, James and Joseph and Simon and Judas ?". During those times, it was common for a son to take up his father's profession as it was easier for them to learn the skills.

Who is this Carpenter?

The significance of Jesus as a Carpenter

Jesus's profession as a carpenter shows his humility. To be a carpenter meant that he had to take a lowly place. He is the son of God - the greatest teacher who has ever lived, and the king of kings. Yet, he chose the will of the father to be a humble carpenter. He was not after the temporal treasures of this world. He found satisfaction not in the riches of the world but in being in the perfect will of the father. Jesus was a simple man. His being a humble carpenter is also connected to the prophesy made in the old testament about the coming Messiah . In the book of Isaiah, it was prophesied that the messiah would be a humble servant who would be 'despised and rejected by men' . This was clearly seen in Jesus' life on earth as he was rejected by many people including the religious leaders. He did not try to impress people with his status. His status as a carpenter shows how lowly he was born and how many people could not get past their prejudices to realize that he was the ' Messiah ' 

Jesus' life was a test of forbearance and carpentry contributed to teaching him patience. Without patience working wood is an exercise in frustration , leading to temptation through anger which, if yielded to , becomes sin . He felt the roughness and the weight of the cross through his crucifixion and he would have been reminded of the work he did as a carpenter . When he was crucified , he was nailed to a wooden cross and his body was placed in a wooden tomb . But his body did not remain in the tomb - it was resurrected and he was raised to a new life . This explains how Jesus's death and resurrection brings a new life to those who believe in him. It is a reminder of his human experience and the physical pain he was enduring. The work he did as a carpenter prepared him for the suffering he experienced as he carried the cross and died on it. 

The spiritual significance of Jesus's carpentry is that it represents his role as a teacher and a builder of God's kingdom. Jesus is the foundation of the church . In Ephesians 2:20, he was referred to as the 'chief cornerstone' of the church Just as a carpenter builds a house , Jesus is building a spiritual house - the kingdom of God . God is a builder and also skilled at building in our lives. In Matthew 16:17, Jesus tells Peter ," And I say also unto thee , That Thou art Peter ,and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it". 

Jesus started his journey by constructing tangible things and learning carpentry from his father. This was a reflection of his mission here on earth which was to establish his church ( Matthew 16:18) and deliver the lost from sin and death.

The idea of Jesus carving and shaping wood as he would one day reshape the lives of many is extremely prevalent throughout Christianity and there are a few lessons learnt from the life of the carpenter;

1. Jesus's ministry on earth was spiritual carpentry. He spent his earthly years fixing the brokenness of humanity 

2. Jesus did the will of his father in heaven and he was not driven by his self-will. He glorified God by accepting a humble profession 

3. Just like wood, which speaks humanity in a carpenter's hand, we have to be worked on by God , subjected to dealings and workings . 

4. Jesus's perfect yielding to the will of God, the father made him the chief cornerstone upon which the house of God is being built today.

5. Jesus has set a standard that we must live up to and become aware of the areas of our lives that are not lining up with him and that we may be changed.

6. Jesus serving at his earthly father's workshop is a lesson about service .Jesus spent his life serving others, in both big and small ways. He fed the hungry and healed the sick . He taught his disciples to do the same We should learn to serve others around us by obedience and a gratitude filled heart. 

7. Jesus spent time honing his skills and perfecting his crafts. This shows the value of constant practice . Jesus knew it was going to take time to perfect his skills as a carpenter and he was willing to put in the effort . This applies to our different lives also. Whether you're learning a skill or learning to improve at something , you need to put in the required time and efforts to practice.

It is important to note that everything we build in our lives should be built on Christ's foundation. No matter what we do or how much we achieve in life, it's all for nothing if it's not built on the foundation of Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 3:11 says, " For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ ". This verse of the scripture is an insight of our faith and hope in Christ's foundation.


Jesus's life journey as a carpenter was simple and showcased meaning and purpose. It has showed that we can all find true transformation and fulfilment ,no matter what our lives look like. He is an example for every believer and a model to follow and learn from . We should learn from Jesus because he is the master craftsman . We are not just learning how to do things , we are also learning how to be like him  - the perfect carpenter . This is the true transformation that Christ brings to our lives. 

Jesus never stops working in our lives. His work continues even after his death and resurrection.The Great carpenter, Jesus is still working in our lives today . He knows which tools to use to bring out our potential and what needs to happen in our lives to bring out the talents that we have. 

When Jesus died on the cross, he chose to die a carpenter's death. The Romans took a hammer and nails, the tools of a carpenter and they nailed the son of God to a wooden cross . Even though it was an humiliating way to die, he went through it so that he can buy and redeem us from the devil . As we strive to be like Jesus, we should rely on his ability to repair our lives.

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