Jesus carpenter/builder or what?
The “working job” of Jesus has been described as a “carpenter”. And this view was based on:
Mark 6:3 “Isn’t this the carpenter, the son of Mary, and the brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon?”
The nature and stature in the community of this type of work may at that time be a measly job or a “put-down” as people “scoffed” at him, as in:
Matthew 13:55 “Then they scoffed, “He’s just the carpenter’s son, and we know Mary, his mother, and his brothers–James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas.”(NLT)
Looking down at his job extended to the place where he grew up from, as in:
John 1:45-46 “Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, “We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” And Nathanael said unto him, “Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?” Philip saith unto him, “Come and see”.
Going back to the original Greek word “teckton”, this may mean ”carpenter and/or stonemason”(1), or Mr. Fix it or engineer(2). The word/meaning of “carpenter” was even considered a poor translation of the Greek word “teknon” with wider semantic range, and therefore a generic word “craftsman” maybe more descriptive(3).
What was he, really?
The preceding verses about the “working job” of Jesus may turn out to be claims or presumption for lack of actual biblical proof/evidence that was in fact the reality. No one witnessed Jesus actually doing “carpentry work”. There was no actual proof that he really did build anything in his “earthly life”. A suggestion was made that “the truth is that we don’t have enough information to construct what He actually did during His two decade working career”(4). These references about his job maybe a part of archetypal hybrid, a fictional construct of reality.
Others addressed him as teacher/Rabbi/Rabboni/master, as in:
Mark 5:35 “While he yet spake, there came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house certain which said, † Thy daughter is dead: why troublest thou the Master (didaskalos/teacher) any further?
John 1:38 “Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest thou? “
John 13:13 “Ye call me Master (didaskalos/teacher) and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am”
In the preceding verses, the context did not just call him “teacher” but Jesus himself acknowledged it, thus confirming that he was. Teaching was his actual work, although most likely not an income-producing professional job. Additionally, the term “Rabbi” is an esteemed title honoring a “master”, and can be used interchangeably. Jesus was witnessed to have superb knowledge and wisdom, as in:
John 7:15 “The Jews there were amazed and asked, “How did this man get such learning without having been taught”
Other verses described him as a teacher (5). Even as young as 12 years old Jesus was witnessed by many, including Mary and Joseph, to be “teaching” the teachers (Luke 2:39-52) in the temple courts.
What is he a future builder of?
While there were witnesses of Jesus in his earthly life as a teacher and no one witnessed him actually doing carpentry/stone masonry, nevertheless he was prophesied to be a “builder”.
The narrative in Matthew 16:16-20 is enlightening:
”And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
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.
And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ.”
Notice that on this rock of “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” , he “will build his church”. Not “upon Peter” but “upon Christ, the Son of the living God”. “Not yet built nor being built but “will” in the future build it.
Before building a “house”, a foundation has to be started. Jesus is the foundational “Rock”, the “cornerstone”, being laid down.
1 Corinthians 3:11 “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”
1 Corinthians 10:4 “and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ”
How will he build his church?
Now that he laid the foundation for everyone to understand that it is He who is the “cornerstone, the Rock” on which his church will be built, what happened after that narrative?
Notice that, through his actions, he re-emphasized his role for why YHVH Creator incarnated into human Jesus. There were hints directing us to his “spiritual task/job” for incarnation (6). Notice the major reasons(7) why Jesus had to incarnate:
1. For a human path to be paved by him as an example of how salvation/immortality is achieved. His human life from incarnation on, has “blazed the trail” as a leader and author/captain. Compare John 1:1-14; Luke 2:40;John 1:29-33; Luke 4:1;Luke 22:42. His life on earth as a human provided an example for the process on how other flesh-humans will become members of spirit-composed God-Kingdom.
2. To be a human-Passover,i.e., to die for us. The death of Jesus was counted/recognized by the Father as our death, for propitiation of our sins (as Adam sinned, so we were all counted as have sinned) thereby reconciling us back to the Father. Compare 1John 2:2; Exodus 12:25-27;1 Corinthians 5:7;John 1:29;Galatians 2:20; Ronans 5:8-21.
3. To resurrect and be alive to receive to himself the Holy Spirit of power from the Father and subsequently give it out to empower us with it. Only a living Son of God can receive the Holy Spirit. Compare John 16:7; Ezekiel 36:27;Matthew3:11-12;1 John 4:2;Joel 2:28.
4. For an “ongoing creation” (8). Jesus needed this unique “power“(Holy Spirit) to re-create humans into the God-kingdom. He did not have this power until after his resurrection. Creator-God (YHVH-Elohim) in Genesis could only create “flesh-part” of man from “the ground” and “breathe” into man’s nostrils, the “breath-of-life/spirit-of-man”. All part of the plan. Incarnated-Jesus has to follow the “will of the Father” to die as Passover and be resurrected to receive this power; he did not follow his “own will”.
Jesus, the man, is the prophesied “builder” of his spiritual “church/body”. And to do this, YHVH Creator has to incarnate into human flesh-composed being, like us, with “breath-of-life/spirit-of-man/mind”(Hebrews 4:15;1John 1:1;Psalms 8:4-5;Hebrews 2:5-18) and to go through the process laid down by the Father since the foundation of the world. After incarnating into a human being, water-baptized, then the Holy Spirit was seen by John the Baptist as a “dove” in-dwelling in him fully(Matthew 3:16). This was a “new spirit” (Ezekiel 36:26) in addition to the “breath of life/spirit-of-man/mind” that every human has and that we were also promised to have in the future. With this Holy Spirit of power in him, he was able to overcome Satan in the “wilderness of temptation”(Matthew 4:1) perform the 1st miracle in Cana (John 2:11)and subsequent miracles. At the garden of Gethsemane, his last temptation was to save his life (rather than die) (“let this cup pass me”). He overcame this as well and followed “not his will” but the “will of the Father”(Matthew 26:36-46). With his death, he then fulfilled the prophesied Passover(1 Corinthians 5:7), the “propitiation for humanity’s sins”(1 John 2:2;4:10), his “death counted as mankind’s death” (Romans 5:8) to “reconcile with the Father” (2 Corinthians 5:18-19; Romans 5:10). Having been reconciled we are then “saved by his life”(Romans 5:10), i.e., by his resurrection to life, as a living (not dead) being has to receive this “creative power of the Holy Spirit” from the Father himself. At Pentecost, this Holy Spirit was given to the apostles and through generations to us-ward.
Jesus is the prophesied builder of the “church/his body and he is still in the process of building, through the creative power of this new Holy Spirit in us.
This Holy Spirit is given to those who believe (Ephesians 1:13-14) and were predestined (Romans 8:29;Ephesians 1:4-5,11-12)to receive at their “appointed time” (Exodus 9:5; Ephesians 1:10) for it to “write the laws in the fleshy tables of our heart” as in;
Ezekiel 36:26-27 “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.
And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.
2 Corinthians 3:3 “Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.”
And this Holy Spirit will germinate, develop, “re-make the clay” (Isaiah 64:8; Jeremiah 18:1-23)through guidance and direction. Those who have this gift of the Holy Spirit has to heed this wisdom of God, follow and overcome evil. Those who “overcome” (Revelation 3:5-12,21) will receive the gift of “immortality” the “salvation” from eternal(2nd)death(9, 10). We will then “be one” (John 17:21) with Christ and the Father.
God bless 🙏😇
1. What evidence is there that Jesus was a carpenter? Retrieved 7/22/2018 from https://christianity.stackexchange.com/questions/4896/what-evidence-is-there-that-jesus-was-a-carpenter
2. Jesus was not really a carpenter. Retrieved 7/22/2019. http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2010/06/jesus-wasnt-really-a-carpenter/
3. Misconception: Jesus was a carpenter. Retrieved 7/22/2019 http://gospelgeeks.net/10-misconceptions-about-jesus-4-jesus-was-a-carpenter/
5. Jesus as our teacher. Retrieved 1/18/19 from https://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/Jesus-As-Our-Teacher
6. Incarnation, are we missing the ultimate purpose for it? Retrieved 1/20/19 from https://fact-s.net/2019/01/04/incarnation-are-we-missing-the-ultimate-purpose-for-it)
7. Basics of Human Development. Retrieved 1/20/19 from https://fact-s.net/2018/12/16/basics-of-human-development-a-prelude-for-the-trailblazer-to-create-the-god-kingdom
8. Ongoing Creation. Retrieved 1/20/19 from
9. Salvation Series 1. Retrieved 1/21/19 https://fact-s.net/2015/10/04/salvation-series-1what
10. Death, what is? Retrieved 1/21/19 from https://fact-s.net/2018/12/06/death-what-is-2/
Original Post: January 22, 2019