“Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas?
We reflect on the names Jesus was given because they each teach us something about him. But when he was called the carpenter’s son, it was not a compliment; his hometown cynics were trying to discredit him. Others might think he was something special – a prophet, perhaps – but they knew this Jesus – he had grown up there. In their mind he was just the son of Joseph the carpenter – a local boy, someone just like them. They took offense at him because of his growing reputation.
But when we read further in the New Testament, we learn that what caused them offense, was actually one of the most impressive things about Jesus. We may like to imagine the Messiah as some kind of super-hero, with super-human powers which made him immune to the troubles and hardships which others face. But in reality he was just the opposite; he suffered the same things everyone else suffered, and he had proven that in the carpenter’s shop. When he smashed his finger, it hurt like ours does; when he got cut, he bled like we do; when the wood he was working split unexpectedly, he was as frustrated as you would be; and when people didn’t pay, he was broke, too.
This was God’s marvelous plan: he sent his Son to share in our humanity, with all our frailty, that he might be qualified to stand in our place and bear the penalty of our sin. Then, when God raised him from the dead, he might be our great representative before God the Father: not one unable to sympathize with our weakness, but one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet without sin.
What a comfort; our Savior is not far off and out of touch with our trouble; he is one of us – he has walked in our shoes and suffered what we suffer, that he might deliver us from sin and sustain us as we live in this broken world.
~Pastor Bert Hitchcock