Jesus of Nazareth was born into a home where his father Joseph was a carpenter (Matt. 13:55; Mk. 6:3). This skilled trade was a vocation that provided financial income for the family but no doubt this was also a great practical blessing for the family as various items were crafted for the home that could not otherwise be purchased. We might imagine cribs and cradles, tables and chairs. Maybe even a footstool.
This is more than a trivial observation, however. It appears to be theologically significant. God, after all is the Maker of all things. The idea of Joseph creating something for his Son in his role of a craftsman reminds us of the heavenly Father fashioning a footstool for his Son. Ps. 110:1 tells us:
“The LORD says to my Lord: ‘Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies your footstool.”
Making a footstool is the work of a craftsman. The better the craftsman, the better the footstool. And the Psalmist is speaking here of the Master craftsman. God the Father is making a footstool for God the Son. And his construction materials are the rebels that live under heaven. Just as the serpent was to be crushed under the feet of Messiah (Gen. 3:15), so also the seed of the serpent will receive the weight of his heel.
So don’t grow weary in preaching Christ’s gospel no matter what the response that you see. God is at work in your preaching, though we don’t always know in what way. Sometimes it is in judgment (Mal. 4:3; 1 Cor. 15:22-26). God is making something out of the people you are preaching to…either footstools or friends. Unrepentant rebels will ultimately be subdued by God’s wrath and repentant rebels are subdued by God’s grace.
Both are ultimately going to be gifts to the Son. And in preaching the gospel, God has allowed his church to be involved, hand-in-hand with the Father as it were, in preparing a gift for the Son.