Some people may consider my wandering mind irreverent but since it’s Christmastime I was wondering if Jesus had his own carpentry business or if he worked for a larger company as part of a framing crew or maybe as general laborer before he moved up to carpenter. Personally I like to think of him as a sole proprietor: a loner — but that flies in the face of his tendency to work with people.

What would it be like to go to work every morning with Jesus to frame up a house or whatever they built with wood at the time? Did they commute separately or did they “cart pool” to keep costs down? Was he one of the quiet, thoughtful guys or was he the life of the crew, always on top of the jobsite humor? There are so many questions.

If he had his own business he must have had a business name. More than likely he was just Jesus the carpenter at the end of the road but it might have been Nazareth Carpentry, JC Builders or Custom Cabinetry by Jesus. Then again a more philosophical name like Insight Builders or Shining Light Construction wouldn’t have been out of line.

You can imagine he had all sorts of clients. We know that Bethlehem could have used another inn or two and then there must have been neighbors who wanted doors built, shepherds who needed mangers and farmers needing carts. Did he have deep and meaningful conversations with these clients or was it just business?

“Verily I say unto you that I can build a cart for your ass and it will cost you 50 shekels, but that does not include the wheels.”

“Come on, no wheels? You’ve got to throw in some wheels.”

“I am a carpenter, not a wheelwright.”

“I’m not asking for a miracle, just wheels. I can’t believe this.”

“Oh ye of little faith.…”

“And 50 shekels? Jesus Christ, you’re killing me on the price. For a guy who was born in a stable you ask a noble price. I don’t have that kind of money for a cart but I can trade you for two lambs. That way you won’t have to report it on your income tax; you know: no rendering unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s.… Hey, I’m pouring my heart out over here.”

“Blessed are the pure in heart.…”

“Look, I know some money changers at the temple who could use a carpenter to build them some nice tables. They will pay top dinar. I can recommend you.”

“A visit to the den of thieves?”

“Hey, I called on a lot of other carpenters first who could do this job but at last I called you when I heard of your reputation for quality. For the right price, I will choose only you.”

“So, the last is now first, and the first last. Many were called, but few are chosen. I like how that sounds.”

At the time a carpenter had to make his own tools. There was no YouTube so someone had to actually show you how to make them. Did Jesus learn tool making at home or at a trade school? The only other way to get tools was to inherit them — and perish the thought that he stole them although he may have picked up some tools after the untimely death of other carpenters. As we all know, untimely death was one of the leading causes of death at that time.

There was a 1988 movie called “The Last Temptation of Christ” which opens with Jesus toiling away in his shop making crosses for his Roman client to be used for crucifying Jewish rebels. Surely the Romans would have built the crosses at their own shop and not contracted them out to the private sector which would have gouged their oppressive overseers on the price.

Maybe what suited Jesus best was making cribs, crutches, children’s toys and farm tools: items that would make great Christmas presents and a more harmonious world reflecting his message of loving one’s neighbor.

It’s a good message. Too bad it hasn’t been fully embraced after 2,000 years. Perhaps we should redouble our effort. When Jesus comes back we don’t want it to look like we ignored everything he had to teach us. That would be bad, as there will be hell to pay.

My sincerest wishes for a great Christmas and holiday season for all.