Jesus was more than a carpenter; He was a builder, a craftsman. It makes sense since He created the world!
24 One person gives freely, yet gains even more; 25 A generous person will prosper; 27 Whoever seeks good finds favor, 28 …the righteous will thrive like a green leaf.
As we continue our look at Nazareth, we find that they had very normal lives, Joseph and his family included. While Joseph’s family was carpentry (Mark 6:3), most were farmers and were non-Roman in beliefs and traditions. Jesus’ family traveled to Jerusalem each year for Passover (Luke 2:41-52). The trade of carpentry also carried the duties of brick mason. Joseph and his sons, Jesus, James, Joseph, Simon and Judas (Matthew 13:55), most likely built houses and buildings. The nearby city of Sepphoris provided work for them.
Joseph was a builder [craftsman, artisan]– not [just] a carpenter, since there was little need for a carpenter in a small village, and wood was a luxury item. He probably had to travel to get jobs outside Nazareth, but there was plenty of work at the time, since Herod Antipas had recently redesigned and rebuilt the nearby town of Sepphoris. People of Nazareth
There were several events that happened in Nazareth:
- Gabriel visited Mary and Joseph, respectively; a marriage occurred;
- The family was warned not to stay close to Jerusalem (Bethlehem was considered close) when they came back from Egypt, so they went home to Nazareth (Matthew 2:22-23);
- He was rejected in His hometown by claiming to be Messiah (Luke 4:14-30); they tried to throw Him off the town’s cliff, but Jesus walked right through them;
- A demoniac in Capernaum referred to Jesus as “Jesus of Nazareth (Luke 4:34);” pretty specific, huh?
Jesus is referred to as “Jesus of Nazareth” another time,
35 As Jesus approached Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. 36 When he heard the crowd going by, he asked what was happening. 37 They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.”
38 He called out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
39 Those who led the way rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
40 Jesus stopped and ordered the man to be brought to him. When he came near, Jesus asked him, 41 “What do you want me to do for you?”
“Lord, I want to see,” he replied.
42 Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has healed you.” Luke 18:35-42
Literal- In Mark 10:46, we find that the blind man’s name is Bartimaeus. There were actually two blind beggars and both were healed (Matthew 20:29-30), but only one is mentioned in Luke, and he is named only in Mark. Their persistence paid off. Jesus’ question is an obvious one, but it was important for the beggars to state their need and desire. Jesus obliged, and they followed Him into Jerusalem rejoicing. I’m sure that miracle caused quite a stir!
Moral- We all “see” ourselves in these blind men. Without the salve of the Holy Spirit, the scales that cover our eyes and blind us to the truth remain intact. All we have to do is state our need and desire to be healed by Jesus. When He does, we will go with Him, rejoicing along the way.
Spiritual- They called Him “Jesus, Son of David.” They could have derived their information from the fact that He was from Nazareth since that is where the royal line of David resided. Also, they likely heard about Jesus from passers-by and knew this was their big chance. Notice that they continued to cry out even when told to be quiet. Are we that desperate for healing? Do we even want to see spiritually? My answer is, YES! How about you? Daily application continues to give us a clearer vision of Jesus.
Joseph and Mary left Nazareth to go to Bethlehem to be counted, so tomorrow we travel to Bethlehem. Stay tuned…
Abba, the way You work in our ordinary lives is amazing. I think that You are constantly pulling off “minor” miracles in our lives. Even so, You let the normal course of our actions flow naturally. Even death doesn’t seem like a big deal to You–and I guess it isn’t. May we learn to trust You explicitly in all we do and in all that happens to us. I have faith that even what happens because of sin in this world You will take and “work it for good for those who love You and are called according to Your purpose” (Romans 8:28). The safest place to be is in the center of Your will, Lord. Amen.