Christianity 201

October 13, 2020

If He Builds It, They Will Come

Forgive the Field of Dreams reference, but at least we can’t be accused of siphoning readers away from the primary site of today’s discussion.

This is our fourth time visiting the blog Preacher Pollard but our first time with Dale Pollard. This is one of those topics that deals with the context and background of the life of the incarnate Christ. Click through (on the title below) to read more from Dale, Neal and others.

“Was Jesus Really A Carpenter?”

Dale Pollard

  • “Is this not the carpenter, the son of Mary, brother of James, Joses, and Judas and Simon? Are not His sisters here with us? And they took offense at Him. Then Jesus said ‘a prophet is not without honor except in his hometown among relatives and those of his household.”Mark 6:4
  • “Where did this man get this wisdom and these mighty works? Is not this the carpenters son?”Matthew 13:54
  • Was Jesus a carpenter and were these fair questions to ask Him?

      Let’s examine FOUR quick factors:

Factor 1 – LOCATION: Nazareth was located 3 miles from Sepphoris which at the time was developing quickly as part of Herod   Antipas beautification project. It would eventually be known as “The Jewel Of All Galilee.” Jesus would have witnessed and perhaps helped his father cut stone in the quarry that was half way between Nazareth and the developing city.

Factor 2DEMAND – In the days of Jesus there weren’t many trees in the area, and there still aren’t many today. To try and make a living working with a material that wasn’t readily available or even used much would be difficult.

Factor 3 LANGUAGE – “Tekton” simply means “builder” The Messiah was a handyman, and the spiritual connections in your mind may  already be forming.

Factor 4 – SCRIPTURE – Luke 20:17ff – Jesus tells the parable about the wicked tenants, after Jesus is questioned about His authority in the temple by the scribes/chief priests, He looks at them and says “The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone” quoting from Psalm 118.

Again quoted by Peter as he defends himself in front of religious leaders in Acts 4 “This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you the builders.” It was a reference to David’s lineage to the  Messiah and it would have been familiar to Jewish stone builders.

So with this in mind, let’s revisit the questions asked by those in Jesus’ hometown

  1. Where did this man get this wisdom?

A. Their perspective: “You’re the son of a common builder. He didn’t teach you these things, he taught you to build.”

B. The reality: It wasn’t wisdom from Joseph, it was His heavenly fathers wisdom. But Joseph, no matter how talented he was in his craft, did not teach Him to build…

1. A ship that would carry Christians safely into eternity, he may have taught Jesus to  work with stones, but he no idea that on a rock He’d build His church.

2. He did not teach Him to build a home that would last for all eternity, but that’s what Jesus is building now!

3. He didn’t teach Him to build a walkway that would bridge the gap of separation between God and man, but He did.

2. Where did He get these miraculous abilities?

A. Their perspective: “You’re the son of a common builder. You’re performing things with your hands that the hands of a common builder can’t perform!”

B. The reality: Jesus is the master builder. The only one that could claim to build things out of the very stones and pieces of wood He spoke into existence.

What does all this mean?

1. In the hands of the Master builder, you can be something better.

2. In the hands of the master builder, you can be somewhere better.

3. If you’re broken, you can be fixed. If you’re not a child of God, your life is broken.

4. You can be something better than you are. Your imperfections can be made perfect through the blood of Christ.

5. You can be somewhere better. You can be In good standing with the God above. You could be In a loving family bound for glory— the home built by God.

July 26, 2014

Jesus: Time of Death

This week I have spent my mornings listening to Joe Amaral of First Century Foundations, who was teaching at a Bible camp near our home.  He talks about the application of Old Testament Hebraic culture and tradition to the context of New Testament stories. (For my U.S. readers, think of Joe as a Canadian equivalent to Ray Vanderlaan.) There is much online from First Century Foundations’ videos and appearances on other Christian television programs.  This is a sample:

The Four Cups of Passover
(part of a series of short posts at 100 Huntley St. YouTube channel)

Jesus: Time of Death

The Letter of Blood


November 29, 2010

Messiah Watching with the Pharisees

Joe Amaral is a Canadian Bible teacher who covers much of the material familiar to followers of American Ray VanderLaan; in other words, the historical and cultural Jewish context of the world into which Jesus Christ was born.

On one of the DVDs available from his ministry, First Century Foundations, he notes that while we tend to dis the Pharisees for their chronic undermining of Jesus’ authority, there is a sense in which they were just doing their job.   As religious leaders, if Jesus was truly the Messiah, they had to be the first to know.

Joe Amaral teaches that according to extra-Biblical material from the times, we know that there were four signs that were to be manifest in someone claiming to be the Messiah:

  1. The healing of a man born blind.   No wonder so much space in John 9 is given to this story.    Verse 32 notes:  “Nobody has ever heard of opening the eyes of a man born blind.”
  2. The casting out of a demon in someone who was mute.   The pattern at the time was to ask the demon, “What is your name?”   Someone who was mute or deaf and mute would not be able to answer.
  3. The healing of a leper.   While the instructions to “show yourself to the priest” indicates that the law allowed for the possibility of the disease going into remission, as a rule, it did not.   Jesus healed ten lepers in the same moment.
  4. The raising from the dead someone who had been dead for four days.   There was a belief at the time that the spirit “hovered” around the body for three days.   Jesus took his time journeying to the home of Mary and Martha and in so doing, the raising of Lazarus took place on the fourth day.

There is real blessing in understanding the world at the time of Christ that is available through deeper investigation.

You can learn more about Joe Amaral at First Century Foundations.   Today’s notes are from the video Messianic Miracles.

You can learn more about Ray VanderLaan and the Faith Lessons video series at Follow the Rabbi.