Who was the carpenter’s son they called Jesus, and what was He really like? He lived, breathed, and walked the face of this earth some 2000 years ago, but how well do we really know Him?
What would it have been like to be around Him, listening to Him, and following Him? Beyond what we read in our Holy Bible, or what others have written to express their understanding of Scripture’s portrayal of Him, we might wonder what He was like as a child or as an adult facing mundane day-to-day life issues.
So, I paused to think about the man named Jesus in a more personal way—like a neighbor would watch this young man’s life from a distance. Because sometimes we may take our faith for granted.
What made the life of Jesus special? Why did thousands of people seek him out while others spoke against him? Why did some ask questions intended to trick him while others clamored for more of his wisdom? Every time, though, Jesus amazed the questioners, and even pointed out their thoughts.
I don’t think I’m alone in seeing myself among the various descriptions of His 12 disciples and their attitudes, nor among the attitudes of the crowds which followed him. I honestly don’t know how I would have reacted as a contemporary of Jesus. Would I have believed His message then. . . like I do now? Would I have stood on the sideline as a skeptic and mocker? Or be afraid to affirm my love of Jesus like Peter did that night beside the fire? Perhaps these are among the issues any one of us might ponder.
Yet, He was so much more. . . for the other side of the carpenter’s son was Holy. He had a wisdom, a knowledge, and a divinity about Him that was evident to those who believed His message. He claimed to be the fulfillment of the ancient prophesies about the coming Messiah. In other words, He was born as one of us, yet He was fully God. Sometimes it may be hard to wrap our finite minds around that concept.
He calmly and quietly took the punishment of death on a cross for something He did not do. To pay for my sins. To pay for your sins. And my heart is forever grateful to the carpenter’s son, the Holy Son of God, for the mercy and grace He extends to each of us on our confession.
May you be truly blessed this Easter as we contemplate together all that our Lord has done for us.
The Carpenter's Son
Linda A. Roorda
I watched him grow, the carpenter's son.
He was lucky, the boy who survived.
Herod killed them, all boys under two
But Joseph moved and saved his firstborn.
Back from Egypt to Nazareth town,
Joseph’s wood shop not far from my dad's.
Jealous was I of one with no wrong.
How could this boy always be perfect?
I saw his work, quality unequaled.
Though younger than I more skilled were his hands.
His work in demand, mine not so much.
Frustrated was I; like him I did not.
Found debating the elder rabbis,
Who was he really, this carpenter's son?
How could he know such truths at age twelve?
Puzzled was I, as I watched him grow.
His father died young, with Jesus the oldest,
Leaving their mother to raise them alone.
A godly woman, without doubt was she
A humble woman, with wisdom gifted.
But there came a day when Jesus left home
Leaving skeptic brothers, the carpenter's sons.
Now he gathered a group of twelve men
Teaching the crowds, with miracles, too.
I have to admit my conscience was pierced
For as I listened among noisy crowds
I often wondered how had he become
A man of wisdom, this carpenter's son?
I began to listen a bit more closely
His words made me think in ways I hadn’t before.
He knew the Scriptures and taught to our hearts
Once I disliked him, now I wanted more.
What was the draw? Why such attention?
His message simple, to love each other.
But most of all with heart, mind and soul
To love our God above all others.
For three short years, I put aside self
To understand the carpenter's son.
I had not liked him, but he drew me near
He opened my eyes to depths of my heart.
But then I heard they’d arrested him!
What was the crime? He had done no wrong!
‘Twas then I learned false charges were made
Against our Teacher, the carpenter's son.
The servant of all stood calmly as charged
When asked who he was, confessed to be God.
Without fair trial, they mocked and whipped
And like a meek lamb, faced his own death.
We stood and watched as nails were hammered
His cross raised high between mocking thieves.
Taunted was he, called King of the Jews
Yet humbly forgiving was the carpenter's son.
When they determined death had overcome
We quietly left to contemplate all.
How could this happen, we wondered aloud
As he was buried behind a great stone.
The man of wisdom with a heart for peace
He who preached mercy was gone from our midst.
Who could replace the man we once followed?
Like no one else, our hearts he had touched.
Three days later news came to our ears.
He was risen, though how I don't know!
Mary first saw Him in the garden alone
Our Master dear, Redeemer and Lord.
He then appeared to the gathered friends
To show his scars and express His love.
But He also spoke of a message now ours
Of mercy and grace from the carpenter's son.