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Useful Reflections on Christ's Working as a Carpenter

Useful Reflections on Christ's Working as a Carpenter

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Mark vii. 3, [first part,]
Is not this the carpenter ?

Mark vii. 3, [first part,]
Is not this the carpenter ?

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Nov 18, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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USEFUL REFLECTIOS O CHRIST'S WORKIG AS A CARPETER BY JOB ORTOMark vii. 3, [first part,] Is not this the carpenter ? The prophet Isaiah foretold concerning the Messiah, that he should be " for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to the house of Israel ; for a gin and for a snare to the inhabi- tants of Jerusalem," Isa. viii. 14; 1 Peter ii. 8. This prophecy- was remarkably accomplished in the unkind reception which our Lord met with among the Jews, and the offence they took at many circumstances of his hfe. " He came to his own and his own received him not." But there was no place where he met with a worse reception than in his own country, at a- zareth ; which led him to remark, in the verse following the text, that, " a prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house." In the begin- ning of his public minstry St. Luke tells us " he came to azareth, where he had been brought up," Luke iv. 16, &c. ; and preaching there, his countrymen first admired, and then endeavoured to destroy him. But he, who was never weary of well doing, nor discouraged by some fruitless attempts, "went thither to azareth again" (as St. Mark tells us in the first verse of this chapter), for that is meant by his own country : and there " he taught in the synagogue," Many who heard him were astonished; yet began to reflect upon him, and be offended at him ; despising and re-  jecting every thing he said, on account of the circumstances of his birth and education, and the manner in which he had hitherto been employed. Among other scornful questions, they asked, " Is not this the carpenter ?" My design in the following dis- course is, I. To illustrate this observable circumstance of our Lord's life. And,
II. Suggest some useful remarks from it. I, I am to illustrate this observable circumstance of our Zorcfs life. His supposed father Joseph, though he was "of the royal house and lineage of David," was a person of low circumstances, and of the occupation of a carpenter : and our Lord, his supposed son, was brought up to the same business. It was a maxim among the Jews, that every man should bring up his son to some mechanic trade. And it was the determination of their celebrated rabbies, that "he who did not teach his son some trade, taught him to steal." Those young men among them, who enjoyed a learned education, were all taught manual trades; D 2 36 ohton's practical works. that they might well employ the vacancies of life, and be able to gain a livelihood by the trade, if not by the learned profession. Thus St. Paul was a tent-maker, though educated at the feet of Gamaliel and a student in his academy. The same custom is observed among the easterns to this day ; and the Grand Seig- nior or emperor of Turkey, is always taught some mechanic business. Our blessed Lord was brought up to his father's call- ing, and worked at it ; probably till the time he appeared in a public character, that is till he was thirty years of age. There was a tradition among the ancient Christians, mentioned by Justin Martyr, one of the fathers, that he made ploughs and yokes. His countrymen, who knew his manner of life from his youth, call him in the text "the carpenter." St. Luke tells us, that when Christ was twelve years old, he went with his parents to Jerusalem ; there discoursed with the doctors in the temple ; and after that he went his parents to azareth " and was subject to them," Luke ii. 51 ; which may include his labouring with his hands at his father's occupation, as a faithful servant ; as
well as behaving in all other instances in a modest, humble, and obedient manner. — Our Lord condescended to this employment to provide for himself and the family to which he was related ; and the rather, as probably Joseph died some time before our Lord entered on his ministry, for we read nothing of him after that time. He did not choose to work miracles for the support of the family, because his time was not yet come : and the de- sign of his miracles was to gain attention and regard to his doctrine, and dispose the minds of his hearers to receive it and believe in him. He might also intend by this, to set an ex- ample of diligence and activity to others ; and also to habituate himself to fatigues and hardships : as a life of indolence and ease would have not only been inconsistent with one design of his coming, namely to set us an example ; but would have rendered him less fit to endure hardships and sufferings: for he knew that he should be exposed to many of these in the course of his ministry. Then he travelled about from place to place ; often without any convenient and agreeable accommodations either for food or repose ; for when "the foxes had holes and the birds of the air had nests, the Son of man had not where to lay his head." Thus the former, and by far the greater part of our Redeemer's life was employed : and his countrymen, who knew this, were offended at it, when he came to appear under a public character and tobe a preacher of righteousness. I proceed, n. To suggest some useful remarks from this observable circum- stance of our Lord's life. And here, by considering the text in its connexion with the history to which it belongs, we may observe that — A person's original, his business and circumstances in life, are apt to occa- DIS. v.] CHRIST WORKIG AS A CARPETER. 37 sion prejudices against his most useful and instructive observa- tions. But such prejudices are very absurd, unreasonable, and mischievous. The condescension of the Son of God in submit- ting to such humiliation deserveth our admiration and our praise.

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