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I wonder if He grew impatient as He awaited word from His Father that now He might proceed. Surely it was a difficult thing for Jesus of Nazareth to work day by day in the carpentry shop, while daily He could see the suffering, the pain, the torment His people were living through, dying through, while He did nothing more than watch and pray. Watch and pray! How many times did He petition His Father, how many times did He take His request to the great throne and ask, “Now, Father? Do I start now?”

We know He was a carpenter’s son, and that He had taken up His earthly father’s trade. Think of the chair that He would fashion. It would be level beyond that which any tool could measure. It would be smooth, every square inch planed and sanded to perfection. And why not? The wood He used was from the tree He created. And what of a bed made by the hands of the Creator? Would one sleep an especially good night’s sleep in such a bed?

I often wonder about the people, who lived in His village. Did they threaten Him, intimidate Him? Did they demand He stop what He was doing and satisfy their needs immediately. Did they haggle price with Him, demean His work in order to achieve special discounts. Did they treat Him like an inferior person because He worked with His hands, while many of His customers lived a style of life much higher than His?

Or did they know, somehow recognize the peace that was surely His trademark? Did they speak softly in His presence, or did they curse, brag and demand? How often I have spoken to a tradesman and felt that this man could not begin to have the importance I felt I possessed.

How often I have condescended to bribe, to intimidate, to distract a worker from his appointed task, feeling that which I needed would be of greater import than anything else he was engaged with at the time. How often I have been arrogant, how often I have been proud!

And did they treat Him like that? Imagine the Son of God listening with patience while a woman describes how he wants a table made, or a cabinet hung. He listens gently, as He did all things gently, and waits for her to finish. She is concerned that His work last a long time. A guarantee, she asks? She wanted assurances from this craftsman that His work will last as long as she expects it to.

How kind He was to listen, to explain, to be one of us, to interact with us, and to do so from an inferior posture. He would someday judge her, this customer in His shop. But not that day. That day He would listen. That day He would give to her all she demanded. He would not be offended by her bickering, her incessant chatter about the quality of workmanship being less now than when she was a girl.

And when she had finished, He would guide her out of His workshop, and return to begin the task for which she had engaged Him. He would select the right piece of lumber, lumber He Himself had caused to grow, and He would carry it to the bench. His hands were strong, His back was solid.

He worked with skill and confidence, for his father, Joseph, had taught Him, the creator of the universe, how to build. He would look at the coarse lumber, and see a finished cabinet, much as He still looks at the sinner and sees a saint. Working with patience, tenacity and love, He would take ordinary, common wood and turn it into a work of art. He could do no less. For the Son of Man would do nothing cheaply, nothing slipshod.

And to this day, He still takes the common, the ordinary, the unspecial material, and produces works of art. There is nothing in me to catch the eye of a Master, I was cheap and common and of no value to anyone save myself. But His learned eye saw past what the world would see, and He knew I was indeed a special piece of wood. He took me in His hands and molded me, sanded me and polished me.

When He is finished with me, He will present me to His Father and say, “Behold, Father, this one is mine.” And on that day, as I stand before the God that created me, and the One that drew me to His Son, I will be grateful that it is into the hands of a gentle, loving carpenter that I came to be a finished work of art. Not by virtue of what I was, but by virtue of the Master’s hand!

Author: Phillip E. Mahfood
Source: Unknown

 


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