Jesus the Artisan

Mark Batterson

We don't tend to think of Jesus in artistic terms, but I think we underestimate how artistic Jesus was.

For starters, Jesus created the heavens and the earth. Looks pretty good on your artistic resume! But let me put it in incarnational terms. During his tenure on earth, Jesus spent most of his time as an artisan. He was in carpentry much longer than he was in ministry. Almost a 10:1 ratio. And I'm pretty sure he took pride in his carpentry craft. He sanded till the wood was perfectly smooth. He measured twice to make sure the angle was just right. He cared about color. He cared about contour. He cared about quality. And like any carpenter, I'm sure he wanted his work to bear his unique signature.

I love the way Dorothy Sayers said it: "No crooked table legs or ill-fitted drawers ever, I dare say, came out of the carpenter's shop in Nazareth."

I think we underestimate how much his artistry influenced his ministry. Read the gospels. Jesus was a wordsmith right? He chose words like a craftsman. Each word was measured like a carpenter measures wood. Any way you slice it, Jesus was an artisan first. And his ministry was shaped by his artistry.

I guess I'm just trying to make a case for artistry as a dimension of spirituality. Pretty cool to think about our heavenly carpenter preparing a place for us right now!

Used by permission of Mark Batterson

Mark Batterson serves as lead pastor of National Community Church ( in Washington, DC.  He is the author of In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day.  And he blogs at


Originally published June 06, 2007.

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