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A THOUGHT ON VOCATION



Matthew 1:20-21


20 As he considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. “Joseph, son of David,” the angel said, “do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit. 21And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”



Mark 6:3


3Then they scoffed, “He’s just a carpenter, the son of Mary and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas, and Simon. And his sisters live right here among us.” They were deeply offended and refused to believe in him.


 

In Mark 6:3, we learn that Joseph worked as a “carpenter.” The Greek word tektōn that we translate to “carpenter” can also be understood to mean “a craftsman” or “an artisan.” In other words, Joseph worked to create new things for others. And of course, per the custom of the time, Joseph’s children, and this would have included Jesus, would have worked alongside him.


Here’s what is most remarkable to me about Joseph’s vocation: God could have chosen for Jesus to grow up in anybody’s home. He could have placed Jesus in a priestly household like John the Baptist where he could have devoted his days to prayer. He could have chosen for Jesus to grow up in the home of a Pharisee like the Apostle Paul where he could have spent hours upon end studying the Scriptures. But instead, God placed Jesus in the household of a carpenter, where he would spend his days making things with his hands.


On the surface, that truth may appear shocking! Yet it may just be the least surprising thing in the entire Christmas story. Why? Because the work of Jesus’s earthly father wasn’t all that different from the work of his heavenly one. “In the beginning, God created” (Genesis 1:1). In the beginning, God was productive. In the beginning, God worked.


As we have been looking at this Advent season, in John 1, Colossians 1, Hebrews 1 we have noticed that Jesus has a prerequisite for creating alongside Joseph. He had created alongside God the Father, all of these New Testament passages tell us that not one thing that has been created was created with Jesus.


What we discover is that work isn’t beneath the God of the Bible. It is an essential part of who he is, and a strong case can be made that that is who we are as his image-bearers (see Genesis 1:27-28).


I wonder, if we were to take on that mindset, that the work you do today isn’t secular or inferior, but is good and God-like, if that would make a difference in our Joy metre about work. Here is what the Bible invites us to do, let our work be in line with God's character, with excellence, love, sacrifice, justice, and beauty, as a response of worship. That’s what Paul was to write in 1 Corinthians 10:31, ”whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God" and in Colossians 3:23-24 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Keep up the Good Work!

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