The Carpenter’s Son
October 21st, 1979 @ 7:30 PM
THE CARPENTER’S SON
Dr. W. A. Criswell
10-21-79 7:30 p.m.
Now on radio and here in this great auditorium, let us turn to Mark 6, Mark, chapter 6. Our sermon this morning was entitled Exclamations of Wonder Before Our Lord. And now, beginning at the next chapter, we shall read the first six verses. And the title of message is The Carpenter’s Son.
All of us reading out loud, together, Mark chapter 6, the first six verses; now, together:
And He went out from thence, and came into His own country; and His disciples follow Him.
And when the Sabbath day was come, He began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing Him were astonished, saying, From whence hath this Man these things? and what wisdom is this which is given unto Him, that even such mighty works are wrought by His hands?
Is not this the carpenter, the Son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Judah, and Simon? and are not His sisters here with us? And they were offended at Him.
But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honor, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.
And He could there do no mighty work, save that He laid His hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them. And He marveled because of their unbelief. And He went around the villages, teaching.
What do you think about that? Well, you can’t help, as I say, but think about the reaction of the people to this Jesus of Nazareth. And they said, as He spoke to them in the synagogue and as they heard of the marvelous things that He did, “Is not this the carpenter? And hasn’t He lived all of His life in our town? Is not His mother over there named Mary? And look at James and Joseph and Judah and Simon, his brothers. All five of them are right here. And are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended in Him” [Mark 6:3].
Now why is it that I would bow myself before a carpenter and say, “He is God.” That’s the message. Number one: that carpenter in Nazareth has the testimony of all of the ages. There are no ages since God Almighty created this earth [Genesis 1:1], in which there has not been testimony to the Lord Jesus Christ. Before His coming, they said, “He is coming.”
There are more than three hundred written prophecies in the Old Covenant. He is coming. Here in this Criswell Reference Bible, from pages 1504 to 1509, in close print, there are prophetic Scriptures on one side, and the fulfillment of those prophetic Scriptures in Christ, on the other side; thousands and thousands of years, “He is coming, He is coming.”
And now that He has come and returned to heaven, there are millions and millions of voices raised alongside those testimonies of the prophets and of the apostles who say, “And He is coming again.” In song, in sermon, in poetry, in pageant, in every way the human heart can express itself, we who live in this dispensation of the grace and glory of the Spirit of Jesus, we say, “He is coming, He is coming.” He has the testimony of the ages.
Number two: why do you believe the Carpenter is the Son of God? Because of the witness and testimony of the New Testament Scriptures. They say His incarnation was in the womb of a virgin; that His Father was God in heaven, and His mother, that He might have a body to offer as a sacrifice for us, was a virgin girl named Mary [Matthew 1:20-23].
A keen, brilliant Japanese student asked a missionary, “Do you believe in the virgin birth?” And the missionary said, “I do.” And the brilliant Japanese student asked the missionary, “If an unwed girl were to come up to you and say that her child had no earthly father, that her child had God for his Father, would you believe her? Would you believe her?”
And the missionary replied, “Young man, if the birth of that Child had been foretold for thousands and thousands of years [Genesis 3:15] and if, when the day came for the Child to be born, His birth was announced by an angel messenger, Gabriel, from heaven [Luke 1:26-31], and if the night He was born, all the angels in the hosts of glory sang of His coming [Luke 2, 13-14], and if that Child did as no other man ever did [Matthew 9:33], spake as no other man ever spake [John 7:46]; if that Child, now grown to be a man, dying on a cross [Matthew 27:32-50], was raised from the dead [Matthew 28:1-7]; if He ascended back up into heaven and we look for His coming again [Acts 1:9-11]; if that Child were the Son of that virgin mother [Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:20-23], I’d believe it. I would believe it.” And the resurrection of our Lord is of a piece [Matthew 28:1-7], it’s of a kind, with the incarnation of our Lord. His whole story is the miracle of heaven.
A man came up to Napoleon Bonaparte and said to the general, “Sir, I am trying to start a new religion, but I can’t get anybody to believe me.” And Napoleon said, “Why, it’s simple. Just have yourself crucified, and the third day rise again from the dead.” Ah, the glory of the life and the death [Matthew 27:32-50], and the birth [Matthew 1:20-23], and the resurrection [Matthew 28:1-7], and the ascension and the return of our living Lord! [Acts 1:9-11] The Carpenter is God [Mark 6:3]. Again, He has the witness of human experience, the testimony of human history.
Charles Darwin himself said, in that voyage they made around the world, he said, “If a voyager were facing a shipwreck upon an unknown coast, let him pray that the missionary has been there before him.” For in those South Sea Islands, to be cast upon one of those shores unknown was to fall in the hands of cannibals, unless the missionary had been there. And now, clothed and sanctified and hallowed and saved, they were worshipping God and singing the hymns of Zion and preaching the gospel of the blessed Jesus. He has the witness and the testimony of human experience.
I have been thinking about the marvels that I have seen in the name of Christ as I have traveled over this whole earth. Tomorrow, for the seventeenth time, I will be crossing the equator. And I was just thinking, Lord, Lord, I wish I had about an hour or two or three or four or five, or a day, just to stand in that pulpit and recite the marvelous things that I have seen come to pass in the name of the Spirit of the Son of God, Jesus, the Carpenter of Nazareth [Mark 6:3]. Out of a thousand, thousand of those marvelous things, I choose one, just one. And it comes to my mind because I am going down there to South America in the morning.
I read as you read, as the whole world read, of those five missionaries that were slain by the Auca Indians, in the Amazon jungle. And as you who have been in the church many years know, I announced that I was going to be a guest of the Wycliffe missionaries. And I was going down there to that Amazon jungle and see for myself, for my eyes to see, what had happened. As you know, five of those missionaries were slain by that Stone Age tribe, the Aucas, in that Amazon jungle. Two of them, the widow of one of the slain missionaries, and the brother of another one of the slain missionaries, went into the Auca jungle. And the report came that they had won those men to Christ, and the whole tribe.
So I went down there and was flown into the little area by one of the JARS pilots and was met by Rachel Saint, who still lived among them, and did for years. Rachel Saint was present here on the thirty-fifth anniversary of my pastorate here, Sunday night, a week ago. And I stayed there and looked at what God had done. These Stone-Age Indians, all of their lives, had dipped their hands in human blood, intertribal warfare. And among their own clans and families they had slain one another for generations, and had killed those five missionaries.
When I came, they gathered all of the tribe together and said, “We are going up to the house of the Lord, and we want you to preach the gospel to us.” And presiding over the service was the leader of the clan that had killed those five missionaries. And as I stood up to preach in the church they had made with their own hands, they said, “First of all, would you sing us a song? Would you sing us a song?”
And I said, “I would be glad to sing you a song.”
So I stood up and we began the service with a song for the pastor to sing. Do you know what it was? “Amazing Grace, How Sweet the Sound.” And as I sang it and looked at the intently responsive faces of the Auca Indians, it is a wonder, it is a miracle. I had two of them here in the pulpit. What God is able to do! What Christ hath wrought in the world. And it is universal. It’s in every tribe and family and tongue under God’s sun. It’s everywhere, what Jesus, that Carpenter, has done in human experience.
There came to our CBI a young fellow to go to school; he and his wife and his two children. Most of our students are older men who have been called into the ministry without an education. And this young fellow came here to Dallas, brought his wife and his two children, and he made his way through school, working with his hands. He’s a carpenter, he’s a carpenter. And after he finished our Bible Institute, there came a call from a town in Idaho saying, “We don’t have a church of any kind here. Do you have a student who would come and preach here in this town and seek and ask God to help him build a church here? We don’t have a church of any kind.” And that student volunteered. He went up to that little town in Idaho. And walking through the town, he saw an old, abandoned sawmill. He went to the owner of the sawmill and said, “I’m a preacher from this Bible Institute of the First Baptist Church in Dallas, and I have come here to preach the gospel. And I wonder if you would lend me the old sawmill for a place to preach?”
And the man said, “You’ve come to preach the gospel,” he said, “you can have the thing. I give it to you.” And that boy, with his hands, being a carpenter, he made a place in the back part of that old sawmill for him and his wife and his two children. And then the front part of that old sawmill he made into a church. And then, visiting among the people, he announced revival services. And when the meeting was done, he baptized eighteen souls and organized them into a church. And last week, he sent word to us saying, “There are four other towns here in Idaho that don’t have churches, and we want your institute to send us four more preachers.” Man, that’s great! That’s the gospel. That’s the power of Jesus. That’s the Carpenter of Nazareth [Mark 6:3]. Human experience gives witness to His grace, His deity, and His glory.
Our time is gone. May I just summarize one other? Why do you believe that Carpenter is the Son of God? Because of the witness of our own souls, ours. When the Lord saw all of His disciples melt away [John 6:66]. He turned to the twelve and said, “Will you also leave?” [John 6:67]. And they said, “Lord, to whom shall we go?” [John 6:68]. That’s my heart exactly. Lord, Lord, if it’s not to Thee, to whom shall we go? Shall I be a Muslim, or a Shintoist, or a Buddhist? Or shall I be a Hindu, or shall I be an infidel, or an agnostic, or a materialist, or a secularist? Shall I? If I turn aside from Christ, to what, to whom, to where shall I go? In the hour of my death, at the great judgment day of Almighty God, who can stand by me? Who will promise to save me? Why not Jesus?
If I can trust the feeling of my fingers, if I can trust the seeing of my eyes, if I can trust the hearing of my ears, why can’t I trust the pull of my heart? When they sing a beautiful song about Jesus, I feel it in my soul. When somebody preaches a wonderful sermon about Jesus, the reverberation is in my heart. When I look at a godly, regenerated life, I feel thanksgiving and praise in my deepest being.
He is the Lord. Jesus is Lord. He is all my soul could ever ask. A friend, a fellow pilgrim now, my Savior in the world to come [John 3:16, 10:27-30]. Lord, Lord, that I might be able to serve Thee better and love Thee more. He is all in all. May we stand together?
Dear precious Lord, who looks down upon us from heaven, bless Thou this attempt to witness and testify unto Thee tonight. Where the testimony has been feeble, full of shortcomings, forgive. Where it has been true, sanctify and hallow the message to our hearts. And our Lord, in the holiness of this moment, speak to somebody by Thy Holy Spirit that they might in faith look to Jesus as Savior [Ephesians 2:8]. Oh, what He is able to do to recreate, and remake, and regenerate our lives! Give us hope, heart, heaven. Be our companion through all the unfolding days. Stand by us forever. Take us to Himself in glory [John 14:2-3], O Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, what wondrous things You do for us!
In this moment of appeal, while our people wait before the Lord praying for you, tonight accepting Him as your Savior [Romans 10:9-13]; maybe putting your life with us in this dear church, make the decision now in your heart. And in a moment when we sing the appeal, take that first step. It will be the greatest decision and the greatest step you have ever made in your life. Do it tonight. Down one of these stairways, down one of these aisle, “Pastor we are coming, the whole family of us, we are on the way.” A couple, or just one somebody you; do it now. Make it now. Come now, while we wait, while we pray, and while we sing.