Closing Shop

Opening to the World

by Derrel Emmerson

The day came in Nazareth when Jesus closed the carpenter shop, hung up his tools and set out on a course that would take him on an itinerary ministry throughout the whole country.

Eventually, he would first take up his seat in the synagogue in his hometown, be deposed and then strike out to the courtyards of the Temple in Jerusalem. Later still, he would gather his followers on the hillsides of the land. His message was for everyone including the common people. He went wherever he could get their hearing working with the acceptable platforms until He was rejected either by the establishment or the people.

He took his message to the Jews and then to those pagans who wanted to hear what he had to say: Samaritans, Romans and Greeks. He was constrained with five motivations. First, he had to make his message clear to His people. Second, he covered the whole of his homeland territory. Third, He would be rejected and crucified. Fourth, he prepared his disciples to take his message of Good News that death would not be then end of Him. Finally, he would endow them with His Spirit by which they would live in the power of His undefeatable Spirit and spread his message to the whole earth.

So that day came in the “fullness of time.” Jesus hung up his manual tools and took His name from the sign that said “Joseph and Sons.” He left his kin who did not understand this turn of events and struck out on the downward road to a literal new valley of decision—the lower regions where the Jordan River spilled into the Salt Sea. He passed quite naturally from a lake of life to a lake of death, from the valley of Nazareth to the valley of the wilderness. This was to continue the journey He had begun when He came down from Heaven as the Son of Man, completely identifying with the lowly. That means all of us who recognize that our condition is a needy one.

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