The Carpenter Knew

Published April 13, 2013

Luke 2:41-52

New International Version (NIV)

The Boy Jesus at the Temple

41 Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Festival of the Passover. 42 When he was twelve years old, they went up to the festival, according to the custom. 43 After the festival was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. 44 Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends. 45 When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him. 46 After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47 Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. 48 When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.”

49 “Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?”[a] 50 But they did not understand what he was saying to them.

51 Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. 52 And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.

Mark 6

New International Version (NIV)

Jesus left there and went to his hometown, accompanied by his disciples. When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed.

“Where did this man get these things?” they asked. “What’s this wisdom that has been given him? What are these remarkable miracles he is performing? Isn’t this the carpenter? ……


Jesus always knew he was going to the cross.

I believe even at the age of twelve He knew. Jesus reply to his parents when found in the temple, pointed to His personal duty to his Father in heaven. Though scripture does not tell exactly what the questions and answers were between Jesus and the teachers in the temple, perhaps they dealt with the subject of the coming Messiah, Savior to the world. We do know that the teachers were amazed at His knowledge and understanding. We also know when he began his ministry, and in his teaching to the disciples, Jesus knew was going to the cross. He repeatedly told them he must die and be raised from the dead. (I encourage you to do a Bible study and discover how many times Jesus told of his pending death on the cross.)

We also know that He was obedient to his parents. Part of that obedience was as an apprentice to his earthly father, Joseph, who was a carpenter. That Jesus became a carpenter we know from the account of Mark’s gospel, “Where did this man get these things?” they asked. “What’s this wisdom that has been given him? What are these remarkable miracles he is performing? Isn’t this the carpenter? ……

Jesus as a carpenter knew he was to be the Savior of the world. As a carpenter Jesus knew what it took to transform an ugly unfinished piece of wood and turn it into a thing of beauty. I picture in my mind the great physical effort it took to first cut the wood into precise pieces. Then the many hours it would take working with the crude wood planes shaving and forming the wood into beautiful, functional stock, ready to assemble.

Perhaps, Joseph would complement Jesus on his good work, and tell him how proud he was of him.

I picture this scene, and I wonder if Jesus, as he was listening to the praise he received from Joseph, his earthly father, was thinking about his duty to his Heavenly Father. Was he thinking about the ugly and crude pieces of wood that wood quickly be lashed together to form the cross he would be bound and nailed to? Was he thinking how ironic it was, that in the beginning, when He created the world, and all the beautiful trees in the world, He would one day be violently and cruelly hung on a tree? A beautiful tree He had made himself, but was then turned by man into an ugly implement of torture and death?

It is all conjecture on my part, but yes, I believe He was thinking of all these things! But He chose to hang on that ugly tree anyway. He chose too, because of His great love for the world, for you and me!

This makes me want to love, praise, and glorify Jesus all the more! How about you?

Thank you, Jesus, for always knowing!


Rev. David Larsen

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