Day 3 – Defined by Our Job?
Jesus grew up as a common laborer in a lower middle income bracket.
Twice in the Gospels he’s described in the family business as a carpenter. “Isn’t this the carpenter’s son?” (Matthew 13:55). “‘Isn’t this the carpenter?’ . . . And they took offense at him” (Mark 6:3).
When Jesus begins his public ministry, he’s known not as the Son of God, but as the son of a carpenter.
He didn’t grow up in an honorable priestly household. He didn’t grow up in the home of an educated Pharisee. He didn’t carry the credentials the religious leaders would normally anticipate.
Rather, Jesus grew up in the first-century home of his stepfather Joseph who was a carpenter – a general craftsman who most likely worked with wood, stone, and sometimes metal in large and small building projects.
Jesus devoted 20 years of his life getting his hands dirty with building materials as a tradesman and naturally brought his work experience into his public ministry.
• From his broad carpentry experience, he tells the parable about two builders and two houses and the importance of building upon a solid rock foundation (Matthew 7:24-27).
• In reflecting on discipleship, Jesus parallels the cost of being a disciple with counting the cost for building a tower (Luke 14:28-30).
• Through a parable he references the rich fool who boasts about his plans for build bigger barns, not realizing that his life was about to end (Luke 12:16-21).
Today we attach value to our careers, our workplace, our jobs.
Children today might brag to their friends: “My dad is a bank president.” “My dad is baseball star.” “My dad is a computer genius.”
Our world values status. People today might feel shame about their job or their lack of education. They might feel the shame of a parent working in a lower-class job. They might feel the shame of being stuck in a lower-paying job.
Jesus didn’t carry the status expected by some. He knew who he was. He knew his calling. He knew his mission.
Knowing our identity in Christ and what God wants us to do lifts us above the potential shame of the world’s evaluation. Don’t let your job define you.
Action Step: Celebrate God’s valuation of you and your identity in Christ.
This is God’s Word for you today,