“Is not this the carpenter’s son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas?” (Matt. 13:55)
The Lamb of God, the Good Shepherd, why a carpenter? Why not a shepherd, or one who had something to do with sheep?
I could be wrong here, but I cannot recall one parable or even an instance where the Shepherd of our souls spoke about carpentry, nothing about hammers and nails, but He recognized them that day at Golgotha.
Not one word about chairs or tables, but He had no physical address, so to speak, for three and a half years, and He did indeed overturn the tables in the temple that day.
Not one word about how to properly measure a piece of lumber, yet He could measure a man’s heart every time.
He enjoyed the Mount of Olives, perhaps at times contemplating what could be made with them, but knowing full well that when He returns with His saints that mountain will be His landing spot.
“Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” (Matt. 11:29) I wonder if He ever made one for the oxen owned by the people in the surrounding towns?
Personally, and I believe you will agree with me here, I do not believe He ever miss measured anything, cut it incorrectly, put a nail or dowel in the wrong place, used the wrong tool for the job, or did not understand exactly what the customer wanted. I believe Joseph’s carpentry shop prospered; I believe it was a family affair that may have even needed to hire on an extra hand occasionally. Much of the work may have been in town, building and putting additions on homes, sometimes creating something from scratch, sometimes remodeling. They may have even accepted contracts from other towns.
No one excelled in carpentry work as the Master Carpenter did; everything was done not just adequately, but to near perfection. The Lord Jesus Christ was a working man, a man with callouses on His hands, strong hands, strong arms, strong back.
“Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.” (1st Peter 2:24)
“As many were astonied at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men:” (Isaiah 52:14)
I would ask you to contemplate those verses, that strong back was so bloodied and bruised there was no strength left to carry His cross the rest of the way. Those hands may have been calloused, they could hold a small child in love, but they could not withstand the spikes they drove through them.
The Lord Jesus knew the exact type of wood His cross was made of.
Perhaps a carpenter because a shepherd spends much of his life alone, watching, guarding, caring for the sheep, his life is devoted to their wellbeing. The Good Shepherd will give His life for the sheep. A carpenter most generally works around people, he must be able to listen well, to speak knowledgably, to know exactly what the customer desires. A working man, one with a strong work ethic is looked upon as a profitable member of society, until He comes back as a Shepherd.
“And he said, Verily I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country.” (Luke 4:24)
All they knew Him as was a carpenter’s son.
When you think on the Shepherd of your soul, do not see Him out tending sheep, see the strong man lifting the beam for the house, carrying the lumber to the shop to cut it to length. See the strong, hard working man who hung on a cross made of a tree He could name.