Wednesday, February 6, 2008


Jesus worked in Joseph's carpenter shop from the time he was twelve years old until he began his ministry at the age of thirty. You can read the story of the early life of Jesus in Luke Chapter two.

At twelve years old after being missing for three days they found him asking questions and talking about the Law of God with the experts. (Luke 2:46-47 KJV) "And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. {47} And all that heard him were astonished at his understand and answers."

After a mild scolding by Mary Luke tells us -- (Luke 2:51 NIV) "Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart."

All kinds of questions run through my mind. Did Jesus see and hear the "haggling" over price in the carpenter's shop? Did he witness the struggle for Joseph to make enough money to support them? It was the custom for a son to learn a trade and eventually support his family. Usually this was to take over the business when the Father was too old to carry on.

Was Jesus a master carpenter? When Jesus started his Ministry they still called him just a carpenter. (Mark 6:23 NIV) "When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed. "Where did this man get these thing?" they asked. "What's this wisdom that has been given him, that he even does miracles! {3} Isn't this the carpenter? Isn't this Mary's son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren't his sisters here with us?" And they took offense at him."

There's no record that he ever asked for money, or took an offering, or became wealthy. He didn't have to beg. The record does show that Godly people looked after him and supplied his needs. What an amazing thing to have cared for and supplied the needs of the Son of God!

So how did he live for the next three and a half years? We have a clue when Jesus sent out his disciples to preach the gospel. In Matthew 12 his disciples were hungry and went into a corn field, plucked some of the corn and ate it. Of course, the Pharisee's had a cow about the desciples of Jesus doing something unlawful on the Sabboth day, but Jesus told them that according to their own law it was legal for them to do so. (They had many rules or excuses for breaking the law of Moses)

Is the answer because Jesus could work miracles? Jesus took a little boy's lunch of five barley loaves, and two small fishes and fed a multitude. (You will only find the fact that it was a little boy's lunch in John 6:9) Matthew, Mark and Luke are called the snoptic gospels. A blended view. The gospel of John stands alone and gives us many facts not found in the snoptic gospels.

We have to go back to the snoptic gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke to find out that Jesus took five loaves and two small fishes and fed five thousand men, and all the women and children present. Then they gathered up twelve baskets full of leftovers. From Jesus our Lord we have learned the joy of working and giving.

What a day !!! (He never did that again.)

Why not? Miracles are rare occurances. I don't know of anyone who can produce a miracle. Only God can do that.

With such great power why did he borrow the "ass and colt" to ride into Jerusalem? (Matthew 21:2-3) We all know that if we promise people "easy and plentiful miracles" they will come by the thousands. We also know that often they leave disappointed.

Why didn't Jesus do that? People come to God not when they are full, but when they are empty. We get serious about finding God when we are in desperate need. Do I believe in Miracles? Yes! I've experienced many powerful and humanly impossible and inexplicable things in my life. When they happen I am totally amazed.

When Jesus sent his disciples out to preach the gospel he gave them these instructions. (Mat 10:9-16 NIV) "Do not take along any gold or silver or copper in your belts; {10} take no bag for the journey, or extra tunic, or sandals or a staff; for the worker is worth his keep. {11} "Whatever town or village you enter, search for some worthy person there and stay at his house until you leave. {12} As you enter the home, give it your greeting. {13} If the home is deserving, let your peace rest on it; if it is not, let your peace return to you. {14} If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that home or town. {15} I tell you the truth, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town. {16} I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves."

My wife and I have lived by this principal for almost 60 years. We have often had only what we needed to preach and teach the gospel. We now live on our combined Social Security of $890.00 a month. How do we do that and still print full color booklets, make CD's and give them to needy people that we meet each day? Many Godly people have helped us and met our needs, and only eternity will reveal how we have all been blessed by being laborers together.

Paul wrote to the Phillipians: (Phil 4:12-13 NIV) "I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. {13} I can do everything through him who gives me strength."

As Ordained Ministers for over 60 years we still keep Christian Ministries going. God provides the opportunity and we pray for and encourage those we meet each day. What a joy it is to remember those who helped us and made it possible for us to "give CD's and booklets" to troubled people. We remember each morning as we pray together all the special friends who provide for our needs. What a joy and blessing it is to the people in need of his love.

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