The above painting was scanned from the November 2015 issue of The Upper Room devotional magazine.. I fell in love with it immediately! When I first saw it, I assumed it was a painting of Jesus before His ministry, asleep at his carpenter’s work area after a taxing day as Nazareth’s village carpenter. Actually, it is a painting of Joseph, Jesus’s earthly father, receiving a dream by the angel telling him that Mary truly is pregnant with the Messiah.
I like my initial assumption the best, because Jesus really did work strenously hard as the village carpenter before the Father would call Him out to begin His next three years as a “spiritual Carpenter” for His people and all mankind. In my earlier blog posts, I posted how involved Hebrew Carpentry work was .., how trees had to be cut down, and hauled, and cut to size for each project for example. There were deadlines, then discontent customers who you could never please .. even with perfection., those whom Jesus never received payment from, those who wanted their jobs done over again different ways. Let’s just say that it’s doubtful Jesus worked only 8 hours a day, or worked until Supper-time. No doubt He worked throughout the night on many jobs.
Perhaps, Mary quietly brought over some loaves of bread for Him to eat while He worked hard into the evening hours; or maybe she sent one of His younger brothers . I can definitely visualize Jesus asleep at His carpenter’s bench around 2:00 in the morning after completing a huge job that the customer really needed quickly. I can imagine the slivers in His hands from years of carpentry work…. foreshadowing the slivers He would receive in His hands when later carrying the cross up Golgotha’s hill.