JUNE 30, Matthew 13:15
Besides farmers, shepherds and fishermen, there were also craftsmen and traders who worked at the market place. These craftsmen were the potters, carpenters, metal-workers, leather workers, cloth sellers, money changers or tax collectors.
In every village, there were a number of these craftsmen who made useful things for the people, earning a living at the same time. Joseph was a carpenter and Jesus must have been taught carpentry by him. It was tradition for a son to learn a trade or craft from his father, grandfather, or an uncle. One of a father’s main duties was to see that his son learnt a useful trade. Thus, there was a saying among the Jews, “He who does not teach his son a trade is bringing up a thief.”
A basic carpentry kit included an axe for chopping down trees, an axe for shaping wood, and a hatchet. Besides these, there were precision tools for sawing, drilling, chiselling, hammering and filing. These were simple tools but were used to make door and window frames, tables, benches, plows, yokes, kneading troughs for dough and even toys for the children. Carpenters and the other craftsmen were respected for their skills. Today, many things are mass-produced in factories by machines. The skills that we now learn to earn a living are very different from those of the past. Unlike God who never changes, man keeps changing. His words are kept pure for us forever.
Look at the simple tools of a carpenter and see if you can identify them.
Thought: Let us use all our skills to glorify our unchanging God.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for Your gift of talents to each of us. Help us to faithfully use them for Thy glory. This I pray in Jesus’ name – Amen.