Lesson 1: Jesus At Work

Jesus At Work

Matthew 13.55 Is this not the carpenter’s son? Is His mother not called Mary, and His brothers, James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas?


I’m going to make you depressed right away. I want you to think about the problems at work or at home related to work—behind on projects, low productivity, being asked to do the “impossible,” unpaid bills, needed repairs, lack of time with the family, broken relationships, stress at work being carried home and transferred to the spouse and/or the kids, etc.

Jesus understands. He worked as a tekton—a carpenter, a technician. He worked for someone. He may have employed others. He had to support a widowed, aging mother and several younger siblings, maybe as the sole breadwinner. Despite this, his family mocked him. His neighbors taunted him. He may have had to bounce a priest out of his workshop or walk away from a persnickety customer. He may have had to fire someone who was so tormented by anxiety from the troubles in life under Roman rule that they were making mistakes. He may have had to work for a narcissistic boss who didn’t care about employees, customers, suppliers or anyone else if they made him look bad. He had to be careful about sexual harassment and racism/ethnicism in the marketplace. (Even in His ministry, He had to deal with prejudice—a future disciple snarkily asks, “What good can come from Nazareth?”) He had to pay taxes to an empire he wished would do better.

Customers may have been unclear explaining their requirements and may not have liked what he made or built. They may have not paid the full amount. Suppliers may have been late delivering the materials. They may have overcharged. Workers may have been tardy. They may have wanted a raise or complained about the way Jesus wanted it done—because it’s not the way others do it or it was slightly inconvenient. The wood joints may not have fit well or there was a knot or a split in the wrong place. He may have had to work overtime just to get the job done on time.

There were days he was fatigued and emotionally drained. His calendar may have been full and had no time for himself. He may have found it hard to be loving, joyful, peaceable, patient, kind, gentle, good, faithful and…self-controlled. He may have had to remind himself that he may be the best tekton in Galilee but if he doesn’t have love, he is nothing.

Study Questions

1. Often we think of Jesus as only a rabbi—teacher and preacher. What aspects of His work life as a tekton do you think mirrors your work today?
2. What aspects of His work life are You wanting Him to tell you more about?
3. How might you invite Him to join you at work?
4. How often are you willing to have Him shadow (follow) you at work? What situations at work are the most difficult for Him to see? What situations at work would you like to celebrate with Him?
5. What will you do differently this week?

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