-Extract-
Chapter 2: Jesus, the Master Craftsman

JESUS, THE MASTER CRAFTSMAN

Whenever anyone is going to build, restructure, or reform something they begin with a blueprint – a photographic copy of a plan. I believe that God never does anything without a plan. Whatever He is creating, designing, producing, bringing forth, He always has a plan and a purpose that is crystal clear. There is nothing that takes Him by surprise, nothing that shocks Him, nothing that He hasn’t thought through, thought out and thought about!

We read often throughout the Old Testament that things were built ‘according to the pattern’. (See Exod. 25:50, Num. 8:4, Josh. 22:28, Heb. 8:5). There is nothing in the heart of the King or in His kingdom that is not created or built without it being according to His pattern and His heart.

More important than anything that has ever been built upon the earth, The Father of all Creation and everything that is and will be, has a master plan for your life. That’s because YOU and I are the most important creation upon the earth! Listen to what Jesus has to say about creation and the moment that mankind inhabited the earth.

“Then I was beside Him as a master craftsman; and l was daily His delight, rejoicing before Him, Rejoicing in His inhabited world, and MY DELIGHT WAS WITH THE SONS OF MEN.” (Prov 8:30-31)

This scripture is found in the Old Testament. It is speaking specifically of the time of creation. Although here the scripture is speaking of ‘wisdom’ we know from the New Testament that Jesus the one and only beloved Son of the Father is both the ‘power and the wisdom of God’ (1.Cor 1:24).

So I believe that this passage in Proverbs is about Jesus; the Word at the very beginning. Here He is beside the Father as a Master Craftsman, crafting the earth in perfect design. But even after He has done all these wonderful things, His delight is the “sons of men”.

It’s clear to me from this Scripture that although God created the world by speaking “Then God said…” Yet the Father, the Son (the Word) and the Holy Spirit had spent time thinking through every aspect of what would be and how they would do all that they lad planned and purposed.

God had a blueprint for all that would take place the moment creation was spoken into being!

God is both spontaneous and orderly (organised) at the same time. Although it appears to us as though He just ‘does it’, He has in fact planned it, purposed it and ordered it beautifully well beforehand.

Let’s listen to Jesus some more:

“The LORD possessed me at the beginning of His Way, before His works of old. I have been established from everlasting, from the beginning, before there was ever an earth. When there were no depths I was brought forth, when there were no fountains abounding with water. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills, l was brought forth; while as yet He had not made the earth or the fields, or the primal dust of the world. When He prepared the heavens, I was there, when He drew a circle on the face of the deep, when He established the clouds above, when He strengthened the fountains of the deep, when He assigned to the sea its limit, so that the waters would not transgress His command, when He marked out the foundations of the earth, then l was beside Him as a master craftsman….”  (Proverbs 8:22-30)

This shows us clearly that whenever GOD (the Father, Son and Holy Spirit) does anything, it is always well though through. It is architecturally sound. It is drawn and worked out. Wisdom always goes before and prepares everything in order that it can be built and established as God desires.

Jesus and His Blueprint

If this is how it is with a solid mass, with a solid structure that has no ‘breath of God’ within it, how much more so is it for us, whom He has chosen to be His adopted Kids! If God takes so much care and attention to create the earth and made it so beautiful for us, how much more does He desire that our lives have a plan and a purpose? Jesus is the Master Craftsman of the earth and all that He has created – He is also a Master Craftsman of our lives. He has a blueprint by which we can become all that He has planned and purposed for us to become!

In the New Testament and the letter to the Corinthian Church the apostle Paul uses this same kind of terminology to describe the function and gift that he had become to the Church:

“According to the grace of God which was given me, as a wise master craftsman l have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it.” (1.Cor 3:10)

God doesn’t want us to muddle through life. He doesn’t want us to be alone and without help. He has a plan and purpose for each one of us. And at the end He wants us to look like Jesus in terms of our character and being, and He wants us built with strong established foundations and that He can build more and more upon us and through us, showing us of and making the life of Jesus manifest through us all together.

Therefore, He sent to us our Saviour and redeemer Jesus Christ, His One and only beloved Son. He dealt with our sin, our iniquity, our transgressions, our infirmities, all our weaknesses and failings. He took the old and gave us the new – that are new creations in Christ.

Jesus was also sent as the Apostle – the Master Craftsman – to build us into all that we can be and will be, by and through the power of His Holy Spirit. This was always His plan. To build us and establish us in Him, both individually but even more importantly together as His Church.

God always uses a blueprint according to His plan. He builds from the foundation upward.

The Master Craftsman = The Apostle:

Jesus is the great Apostle, the sent One, the Master Craftsman came to bring us this building blueprint for our lives. The disciples, whom Jesus chose, became apostles; master craftsmen who would be able to build peoples lives according to His plan. Paul was a Master Craftsman appointed and chosen by God

And Jesus revealed that even as He ascended into heaven “He Himself would give some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some evangelists, some pastors, and teachers….” (Ephs 4:11)

Fivefold Ministry.

Why would Jesus reveal these ministires? Because His plan and intention is for the people of God to be built and established in Him in order to do the works of service and in order to come into fullness.

By the time of Pentecost, 50 days after the death and resurrection of Jesus, the disciples were ready. Jesus had taught them, re-programmed them, re-tuned them, and finally they had been ‘born again’, which could only happen after His death and Resurrection. Internally, everything was in order. They had been trained and discipled, they had become true sons of the Father, ready to prepare and train others, fathering them into the same spirit of sonship. All Father God had to do was add power. Internally they were already, now they would receive a clothing of power that would fill them and fall on them enabling them to be His witnesses.

When the Church was born on that day, power was supplied. What were needed were the ‘gifts’ and tools to build the Church according to the pattern that the LORD had purposed. These twelve men who were chosen to walk with Jesus and called to be apostles – had now become those apostles – Master Craftsman ready to build the church together according to the original blueprint that was in the heart of the Father.

Nothing has changed:

This is still His plan. Nothing has changed. Until the Church grows up, until it comes to unity of the faith and begins to find fullness in Him, the apostolic and prophetic nature of the Church will continue and it will increase.

At the church here in Shipley, United Kingdom, I have been the one to build the church. I have laid the foundation of Christ in the hearts and lives of individual believers as well as in the church as a whole. This is the building gift that I am. Adam, a man whom I have discipled and trained, now pastors the church. This is the gift that he is and although he can read the pattern, he does not have the wisdom or anointing to build in this way – yet.

Without apostolic understanding and life, the blueprint for life will never come into fullness; it is already given, but without that ability to see, without the anointing which is needful to unfold it and build in like manner as the Master Craftsman, we individually and corporately will not come into fullness. 

As best and as simply as possible, l want to try and unfold some of that ‘blueprint’ to you. To do so, we may have to examine and look at terminology that may be unfamiliar and outside your accepted Christian viewpoint. But let’s remember that these words are the canon of Scripture. They are words that God Himself has chosen to use and that the Holy Spirit is completely at home with and understands fully. He is our teacher and He will, in His grace, help us to see and understand the truth of His own word.

Apostle and the Depth of Its Meaning:           

What does it mean to be truly ‘apostolic’?

As already discussed, Jesus was and is the Apostle and High Priest of our confession. In Hebrews 3, we read that Moses was faithful in the house to which He was called. Jesus also was called to build a house – us. That’s because He is the Master Craftsman and He has the blueprint to build us correctly as a temple and house in which the Holy Spirit shall live and glorify God through us.

In order for anything to be built correctly and established properly there must be a foundation.

We know that the foundation of our lives is Christ Jesus “For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid which is Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 3:11). This of course is the apostle Paul speaking of what he has been called to do through the grace of God – lay foundations.

Foundations Must Be Laid.

So Jesus is our foundation. This foundation – Jesus – must be laid and built up in each believer’s life. The reality of the truth must be built within each of us and then through us together.

           “The Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus” (Hebrews 3:1)

This apostle sacrificially gave up His life in order that we might have life; He did this in, by, and through the power of the Holy Spirit. All the prophets and apostles both before and after Jesus were required to follow the example of Jesus. Only when we live in this same manner can we build on the same foundation that He laid.

The foundation of the Church is Christ Jesus, the One who in love sacrificially gave His life for all others.

If the Church is to be ‘apostolic’ it must be in both doctrine and life. A truly apostolic and prophetic Church gives its life, in love, through and by the power of the Holy Spirit so that others may experience and have the life of God that flows through that offering.

Remember:

  • God became a Man – Jesus Christ.
  • That Man became a bond servant.
  • That Bond Servant became an offering poured out
  • That Selfless Life poured out brought love, life and power into the earth’s arena.
  • That life was multiplied and is to be reproduced throughout the earth.

That is truly what it means to be apostolic.

This book is the simple unfolding of the journey to living an apostolic life, the only one that provides the blueprint for our lives.