Just a Carpenter

Mark 6:1–6 (ESV) — 1 He went away from there and came to his hometown, and his disciples followed him. 2 And on the Sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astonished, saying, “Where did this man get these things? What is the wisdom given to him? How are such mighty works done by his hands? 3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him. 4 And Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor, except in his hometown and among his relatives and in his own household.” 5 And he could do no mighty work there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and healed them. 6 And he marveled because of their unbelief. And he went about among the villages teaching.

Jesus was causing quite a stir throughout Israel. You would think the people who knew him best would have been the ones promoting him the most. However, that was not the case. In Jesus’ hometown they rejected him. Why? Because they knew him as just an ordinary man with an ordinary background. He was just a carpenter. Nothing special. No special training. Why should they listen to him?

It is hard for us to remember the vital truth that Jesus was both fully God and fully man. This passage is a strong reminder of this truth. The people of his hometown could not think of Jesus as anything more than just a man. So, they rejected him as many people do even today. However, we must also avoid the mistake of seeing Jesus as God in the flesh, but not man. When we do that we lose the gospel. Jesus had to be a man to die in the place of mankind. He had to be a man to live the perfect sinless life that none of us could. He had to be a man to pay the penalty that mankind owed to God. If Jesus was not fully man, he could not be our Savior.

Yes, Jesus was a carpenter. He was a human just like you and me. And yet he was more. He was the Word that became flesh and dwelt among us. May we never lose either of these vital truths.

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