What did the Lord Jesus know about work during His time on earth? What bearing does that perspective have on our own lives and work?
Answer: Actually, quite a lot.
While Scripture doesn’t give us a lot of detail about Jesus’ years growing up in Joseph and Mary’s home, even as an adult, people in His hometown referred to Him as “the carpenter’s son” and “the carpenter” (see Mark 6:3; Matthew 13:55).
He was clearly known as a craftsman of some sort. That means He likely put in a lot of hours doing work that required careful thought, skill, and strength.
He probably also had to deal with the expectations of his supervisor (his father) and of those who utilized the products of his craftsmanship. He talked often about the importance of being a “good and faithful servant.”
Hmmm… thought, skill, strength, supervisors, customers, good and faithful servant – are those important elements in the work you do? I’d say it’s likely.
In Jesus’ adult ministry, His words and also His works drew attention. Scripture records more than 30 miracles He performed – actual, literal acts of power attributable only to divine intervention in the normal course of human affairs. Each miracle altered the expected outcome. Perhaps some are familiar to you including:
- turning water into wine at a wedding
- physical healing of the lame, the deaf, the blind, and others
- deliverance of individuals enslaved by demonic spirits
- a few fish and loaves of bread multiplied to feed hungry multitudes
- walking on water and calming the stormy Sea of Galilee in full view of His frightened followers
These were not random, whimsical events. Jesus was not some wandering magician amusing and dazzling people with capricious signs and wonders. Each of His works brought glory to His Father, validated His uniqueness as the only begotten Son of God, and summoned people to believe in Him.
Ultimately, all Christ’s works were stepping stones toward the Great Work for which He came – paying the penalty for sin on the cross in order to deliver us from our futile attempts to become right with God through our own inadequate works.
When it comes to our daily work in our places of employment, Christ certainly embodied and taught principles that can help us, and we can indeed learn from them.
As we approach the days called Good Friday and Easter Sunday – which commemorate His crucifixion and resurrection – let’s not miss this point:
It’s because of His work on our behalf that we can have forgiveness for sin, peace, spiritual rest, and eternal hope.
“By grace you have been saved through faith,” the Apostle Paul wrote to early believers in Christ, “and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9).
May you sense the presence and fellowship of Christ in your workplace in the days ahead. May your heart be calmed and strengthened by the work He accomplished so you could have eternal life.
He is Risen!